Yes, I am getting a bit tired of all this Bush-bashing. Frank Rich’s column in the NYTimes today is a good example. I agree with everything in it, but really, what’s the point? Here’s the opening, emphasis added:
WE like our failed presidents to be Shakespearean, or at least large enough to inspire Oscar-worthy performances from magnificent tragedians like Frank Langella. So here, too, George W. Bush has let us down. Even the banality of evil is too grandiose a concept for 43. He is not a memorable villain so much as a sometimes affable second banana whom Josh Brolin and Will Ferrell can nail without breaking a sweat. He’s the reckless Yalie Tom Buchanan, not Gatsby. He is smaller than life.
Uh…I’m not sure I get the logic of that clever allusion to Hannah Arendt, but I”m sure Rich’s smart fans do. Or think they do. And his references to all of us leads to the old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto: “What you mean “we” white-man?” Behind it all, Rich is separating himself and reaping satisfaction with his “I told you so’s” heaped on the Republican right.
Well, if he is going to say “We like …,” he ought to face up to the unpleasant fact that we elected him. Yes, even those of us who didn’t vote for him! We live here. We aren’t renouncing our citizenship. It’s our country, our society, and it made a big mistake. If you want to talk about our country in the collective, you have to own up to its failures, too. It’s like being in a family – the sins of the wayward are, in some sense, your burden, if you are truly a family.
Intellectuals like to harbor the secret thought that if everyone were just smart enough to listen to them, the one’s who are really smart, everything would go fine, but it never works that way. People are just too…well, let’s say it, dumb! (Or are they not dumb enough?)
Rich isn’t talking about all of us, he’s talking about himself and his friends. I happen to agree with him completely, but those yahoos who supported Bush aren’t going away, and neither am I. We’re just going to have to find a way to exist together.