Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pajama Party

About mid-December, I'd been thinking I'd take a three week break from politics and other weighty, worldly topics, but this '06-'07 transition has been a rather ghostly one. No wonder I spent precious resources on a bottle of champagne (ok, sparkling wine, but at least it was from France). No wonder some people party like they're not going to like tomorrow or even wake up tomorrow.

This past week, I've been mired in the spooky execution of Saddam Hussein and in the maudlin, remembrances of Gerald Ford. It is sort of schizy to witness the mix of angry pillaging and regal whitewashing of these center stage exits, ceremonies both vicious and vacuous, somber and sinister. And you don't have to look to the demises of deposed national leaders to see grim reminders that not every day is a holiday when you are married to this world. We took a breath, and the real world surrounds us again, from girls gone wild to school shootings to dire dysfunctions of all sorts.

Here it is Wednesday evening, and I am still in my pajamas. I still haven't seen a single person I know this year. I haven't gotten in a car this year. And my expenses for the year thus far run to $4.02. And did I mention the pajamas?

Monday, New Year's Day was a beautiful day, just right, and it felt like good fortune. Yesterday, Tuesday, was an increasingly overcast "national day of mourning." And today, today, Wednesday, has been more than twelve straight hours of cold, dark rain. I've crept along at a petty pace while hump day became a notable slump day.

Last week, I wrote a sort of glowing tribute to President Ford, and by New Year's Day, I was ready to add the downside to that one. Meanwhile, the fearless (and reliably contrarian) Christopher Hitchens and others at did a fine job of that for me.

And then, this afternoon, most succinctly, Cindy Sheehan put the slam on our rosy farewell to Mr. Ford and to the incoming Democrats, who might quickly become sycophants and suckers if they're not resolute, and she knows it. Sheehan knows it takes guts.

Along with about 70 fellow protestors, Sheehan disrupted a Democrats' press conference to insist her demands be heard, that the Democrats not authorize any more spending for the Iraq War, and more power to her. She said, "We want accountability. We just buried a president who did not hold another president accountable for war crimes, and that's why we're in Iraq right now. Our leaders who get us into these messes are the ones who need to be held accountable."

Sheehan said that if the Democrats authorized more funding for the war, that would make the Democrats "co-conspirators" with the Republicans. She said, "there is already enough money in their killing budget to bring the troops home," Wow, Sheehan's got it, slam dunk, and right about Ford, too. Ford might be better than what we've got now, better by a long shot. But again, he was not a hero: he considered this war a huge mistake but didn't want that view to be known until after he'd died. But going back to 1974, whether or not Nixon was a crook, Ford's pardon was a shame if not a crime. Sheer forgiveness? Certainly not. And besides, civilization and "a land of laws" depends on fairness even more than it depends on forgiveness.

Let's hope Bush isn't so lucky. Peace depends on justice a lot more than it depends on sweeping high crimes under the rug or burying them in the sand.

And so between here and the Beltway and Baghdad, we're off to a rough start, '007. I'm still in my pajamas, and it's no party.


At 1/03/2007 10:06 PM, Anonymous tiger eye said...

you got time on your hands? like the mix... keep crunchin' the figs, watch for pits!


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