The Self Made Pundit
Friday, August 15, 2003
IN THE HEART OF DARKNESS: And I don’t mean the compassionate conservative heart of President Bush.
I’m not writing about the mean-spirited and disastrous policies of Bush today because I want to discuss what it was like to be one of the 50 million Americans and Canadians thrown into darkness, just as America was thrown into darkness when the Supreme Court selected Bush as our president.
At 4:11 p.m. yesterday, a conference call in which I was participating suddenly went silent as electrical power to my mid-Manhattan office shut down as abruptly as brain power ceased at the White House on January 20, 2001.
For the next few hours, my co-workers and I would listen to a battery-powered radio’s reports of the biggest blackout in American history and wander the halls aimlessly, wondering what to do, acting as if we were Bush’s clueless economic advisers confronting the worst economy since the Great Depression.
At about 7:30 p.m., one of my few remaining colleagues and I decided to see if we could make our way home, and we opened the door to the musty and pitch-black stairwell, just as Bush has opened the door to dark and dank environmental policies.
We descended into darkness, unsure of our footing, much as Bush is plunging us all into the darkness of record-breaking budget deficits with no end in sight.
My colleague and I blundered down the stairs with only the occasional flicker of an inadequate lighter guiding us, just as Bush has America stumbling through Iraq and Afghanistan with inadequate forces to rebuild those countries.
We made it down the stairs and staggered out of our office building and into the hot and chaotic streets of Manhattan with no clear idea how to get home, much as Bush has no clear idea how to pacify a defeated, yet chaotic, Iraq.
With the Grand Central trains out of commission, I waited on Madison Avenue for three hours as I scanned each packed oncoming bus, searching in vain for a bus that would take me near home, just as American forces have searched futilely for those numerous – yet apparently invisible – weapons of mass destruction that Bush claimed imminently threatened America.
After an exasperating three hours on the darkened, yet crowded, streets of Manhattan, at 10:30 p.m. I finally settled for a bus that took me out of the city and about half the way home, just as Bush and his crew have decided to settle for proof of programs of weapons of mass destruction as supposedly justifying a preemptive war to end an imminent threat.
Shortly after the bus ended its route in a dark and unfamiliar neighborhood of a nearby city at about 11:30 p.m., I was ecstatic to see my wife driving up in the dark to end my bleak adventure, just as citizens who care about democracy (with a small “d”) will be ecstatic a year from November for the chance to drive out of the darkness of Bush’s inept policies.
I feel like I’ve made a breakthrough – I wrote an entire Self Made Pundit that was not about President Bush. I think I might finally be over my obsession with the amazing Bush, who has the fascinating ability to combine incuriousness, ignorance, self deception, hypocrisy, duplicity, outright dishonesty and sheer ineptness into one seamless catastrophe of an administration.
Or maybe I’m not.