Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sand Castle at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The trouble with a sandcastle, as every child sadly learns, is their impermanence. What's that line from the Bible warning about building a house upon sand?

Some folks, this author included, knew right off that the naive governor of Texas, the ne'erdowell son of the president, was mostly made of sand-stuff rather than star-stuff. We could see the grains under his fingernails.

They crumble: sandcastles. Many children learn that their 2nd one ought to be further away from the waterline; some apparently never get it. They'd rather be right than competent. The stuff of children, but thankfully, most grow up and become more wise. Some even become wise adults who learn from their adolescent failures.

I recall reading a line in one of my many books on George W. Bush, some metaphor of The Emperor's New Clothes, in which the author says that it will happen, ever-so slowly, here in America, and that it will first be just a giggle, then laughter, and finally, full blown hilarity as more and more Americans see Mr. Bush as that Andersen character. At the time I read it, few snickered; many Americans were still horns-waggled by the fear and lies. I said to my wife,"that will be a long way off."

His incompetence is transparent, like the clothes, but it brings tears rather than laughter. This emperor has blood on his hands. Seven out of ten Americans have come to realize it; the other three are chronically gulliable.

He is not finished playing with guns yet: he sees another Muslim nation in the crosshairs and has his trigger finger ready to blast. And why not? What has he to lose? Clearly not his reputation; that, like the sandcastle, has eroded long ago. He hears voices, too. Some are surreal, like the Father, others are real, like the fundamental Christian zealots shouting at him to pull the trigger. His wife stands beside him, smile plastered on her non-empathetic face, like a Greek statue.

Garrison Keillor penned a short essay nearly two years ago for titled, "The little Man." His closing paragraph is heartbreakingly accurate:

"So why does he still seem so small, our president? In his presidential library, he'll be portrayed as Abraham Lincoln after Chancellorsville and FDR after Corregidor, but to most of us, the crisis in Washington today stems from a man intellectually and temperamentally unequipped to rise to the challenge. Most of us sense that when, decades from now, the story of this administration comes out, it will be one of ordinary incompetence, of rigid and incurious people overwhelmed by events in a world they don't dare look around and see."

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