I excruciating and heartening to pick through current events. It is certainly gut-wrenching to imagine the fallout that may now well accrue from the latest misstep of our amateur in chief.
We are speaking here of the prisoner swap, of course, which is bound to engender the harvesting of loosely guarded Americans worldwide, possibly even before the five senior-management murderers Mr. Obama recently de-Gitmoed have time to make their way back to the office, meet all the new faces, learn where the coffee area is now and familiarize themselves with the new company policy on sexual harassment (same as the old, it turns out) and get back to work.
At the same time, whenever this president does something this spectacularly off the reservation, one imagines for the briefest of moments that this will be the thing that finally breaks the spell over the hoi polloi, the “Can-you-hear-me-now?” moment that restores the general population back to full consciousness. Of course, sadly, that invariably turns out to be wishful thinking.
It is easy to see that with a fundraiser here, a vacation there, a failed investigation or two coupled with another, slightly smaller, Oval Office screw-up, and maybe an award ceremony in the Rose Garden or a black-tie dinner with selected lap dogs (read pool reporters) to take the edge off it all, the page will turn (as Congressman Barney Frank once famously averred) and everything will be copacetic once again. Especially if you stir in a championship playoff series in the background. Five death-dealing gran mal terrorists exchanged for one silly, confused, self-deceiving little boy deserter/traitor who foolishly went out and got exactly what he deserved? So yesterday’s news. And a terrible distraction to boot, when everyone knows we should be talking about (fill in the blank).
In the meantime, one may assume that Darwin will be hard at work in North Korea, where apparently at least three different benighted Americans remain under house arrest, each having thought it cute to travel back in time to check out Stone Age communism up close and in person. (From the Wall Street Journal:
“Matthew Miller, a 24-year-old, was arrested after tearing up his visa and declaring he was “not a tourist” upon arriving in the North on April 10, according to North Korean state media.”) They are all now (surprise!) house guests of the Man With the Pumpkin Head who has recently been hipped to the fact that Americans in hand, however checkered their résumés or deficient their reasoning capabilities, may be traded like sparkly beads for stuff you want/need from this confused president.
Somewhere an ebullient Dennis Rodman is clothes shopping under the understandable impression that he will soon be back on center stage, there to weave his diplomatic magic. He may find that the game has passed him by. Smart money says that the amateur plenipotentiary doing business as The Worm will look up at the TV and find that Hillary’s surrogate (hubby Bill) will have supplanted the versatile hoopster/drag queen/bon vivant/interloper in the serious matter of shuttle diplomacy for political points and the right to put Obama’s teeth on edge. Sic transit doofus, Dennis.
Bill Boyl lives in Nevada City.