Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Far Slope

I haven’t written anything for weeks, partly because Fall is a busy season for us migratory farm workers but mostly because everybody is now aware that there is something seriously off about the current administration and its policies, that it isn’t simply ideologically problematic but frankly pathological. Thing is, I don’t like to rant in company, especially when I don’t like the company. After all, in the aftermath of its change of heart, the media hasn’t changed its methods. Whether at your feet or at your throat, the journalists can be counted on to get the story wrong. What can you say about an institution that waited for the wind to change before it took serious notice that the government was promoting torture? What we have here is a weather vane, not a moral compass.

I can’t claim that I don’t enjoy the sufferings of the Republicans—Lord knows they deserve far more than they are likely to get—but not even Schiller thought that Schadenfreude was the daughter of Elysium and there are more important questions to pose and ponder than how to phrase a fresh denunciation of a fallen foe. For example, I want to know why our system is so inept at vetting its potential leaders. I understand or think I understand how a guy like Bush can get elected. What I can’t understand is why and how a major party could nominate such a dubious character.