Tuesday, October 12, 2004
The King Commands
From Charles Pierce on Altercation:
As we all keep moving along through the Nuisance business, it behooves us to remember that C-Plus Augustus told us all to do exactly that in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities. Remember? Go to Disney World! Take a plane trip! Hit the malls! What is that but treating terrorism like a "nuisance" and not like a "war"? The Avignon Presidency is not interested in allaying fear. It is interested only in its political utility. For three years now, it has arrogated to itself not only the right to tell us when we should be afraid, but also the right to tell us how we should respond to that fear. (Shop! Re-elect us! Invade Iraq!) For three years, it has claimed exclusive ownership of the events of September 11, 2001, and to their immediate aftermath. Never particularly fond of political self-government, it found itself resentful of emotional self-government, too. Which is partly why my old friend Andrew Card made that wacky statement about C-Plus's seeing the country as a 10-year old.And if you don't agree with that, feel free to bow in obeisance to His Majesty King Georgie. I'm sure you won't mind not being bothered about voting ever again.
And now, comes that pesky Constitution again and, suddenly, people are speculating openly -- and in large numbers, too -- that these clowns don't own 9/11. That the response to it truly is 120 million different responses, and that the administration's stewardship of those events is as open to question as is their stewardship of the federal economy or the national parks. Beyond the now-customary dishonest paraphrase -- and, yes, Mark Halperin, stay strong, my brother -- you see a White House desperate to regain the emotional momentum it so squandered. More than anything else, this election will turn on whether or not we have the courage to be a self-governing people, to govern ourselves both in our politics and in ourselves.
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