Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ghost in the attic

SADLY, THERE there was something terribly grotesque about President Bush's appearance before the TV cameras last night to tell us what we already knew - and what his administration should have known a long time ago.  As he recounted a Gothic tale of a "serious financial crises," "rescue effort" and "collapse",   he seemed to be a ghostly presence  returning to remind us that he once, by God,  served as leader of the free world before his own party (and the public) exiled him.  No longer the decider, he was now the faded outsider trying to explain, as best as his speechwriter could offer him to the public,  how America became impoverished by the sleight-of-hand Ponzi schemes of the highest rollers on Wall Street.  

But something in his presence had changed.  It lacked the bravado of his post-9/11 breast beating   when he promised to return the terrorists' war with our own war, defiantly asserting "Bring 'em on!" and later declaring the mission accomplished.  Who would he now "bring on"?  
And what mission could be accomplished by his authority  during the remaining days of his failed presidency?  

Even his pallid effort to reassure the nation was upstaged  by John McCain's theatrical decision to suspend his campaign, cancel his Friday night debate,  and return to Washington to cast his first vote in the Senate since - well, only the congressional archivists can recall the date.   

How bizarre.  In purporting to play a leadership role ,  McCain emerged as a Hollywood stunt man in the virtual reality of his perilous climb to the White House.  Did he really think that Obama would accept a few days off from his own schedule?    And did he really think that in the clumsy rearranging of the debate calendar that he could offer Sarah Palin more time for her on-the-job training on the path to the vice presidency?   Were the Democrats dumb enough to offer her a delay in her scheduled debate with Joe Biden?

If we can assume that that McCain has to be smarter than he sounds at times, the fallback position is that he is taking a lot of bad advice from the people around him - people who have a great stake in spoon-feeding him to the safe-keeping of the Oval Office.  That's the polite version.  And as each day passes I have to wonder what's under his $5,500 cosmetics that would tell us who John McCain really is.

I am Abe Zaidan and I approve this message. 


No comments: