Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sab Chalta Hai

Bush relected.

Fantasy and reality have merged indistinguishably. The message from the American public is
loud and clear.

It doesn't matter if you didn't protect our country after being warned about planes being hijacked and federal buildings being attacked (Aug 6, 2001 memo)?. So what if you were out clearing brush in Crawford all summer as terrorists assembled and architected an attack of such audacity that they themselves couldn't believe the extent of their success? Doesn't matter if you wouldn't even examine how this came to pass, and resisted efforts to put together an inquiry for two long years. We admire how beautifully you convinced us that, though it was Saudi Arabia which provided the hijackers, our biggest enemy was Iraq!

And when your claims of imminent danger from weapons of mass destruction proved so utterly false, how well you kept a straight face, and indeed, took the battle to the enemy (no, no, not Iraq, Kerry!), launching a series of Swift Boat lies! What grit. What fortitude. We salute you.

We all of us, even your Democratic opponents, agree that your administration holds the prize for the most bold-faced mendacity, yet, we are happy to vote for someone like your new nominee for Secretary of State, a proven falsifier and open slighter of Congressional privilege. They are unable to conduct a simple dialogue, which would go like this:

Senator X (D): Ms. Rice, for the record. Were you the National Security Adviser to the President during the year 2001?

Rice: It depends, Senator...

Senator X(D): Let us say, specifically, September 2001.

Rice: Yes, I was.

Senator X(D): Was the security of the country under your purview?

Rice: (After some usual dissembling) Yes.

Senator X(D): Could you please describe what happened in our country on September 11, 2001?

Rice: Terrorists with links with Iraq attacked our buildings in New York and Washington, killing 3000 people.

Senator X(D): Would you describe it as a failure to protect the country?

Rice: I guess some people could look at it that way. I don't. Mistakes happen.

Senator X(D): Yes, and when they do, those responsible pay a price. I am shocked that you did not tender your resignation first thing September 12. It would have been the honorable course. But perhaps that is too 20th century. Anyhow, nothing personal, Ms. Rice, but I somehow don't see myself supporting your nomination for Secretary of State. I wish you well.
Such a dialogue, which should have been the sole line of questioning of every Democrat -- and Republican with any shred of self-respect -- would have at least restored some dignity to the Senate.

But everything passes. As they say in Hindi, Sab Chalta Hai (anything goes).

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