Monday, July 6, 2009


Like Billy Pilgrim in Vonnegut's book, I have become unstuck in political time, bouncing back and forth from 2009 to 1788. Never one to look at the past as any kind of "glory days," that approach is a much tougher row to hoe in terms of political thought.

Having just written about Palin, let me say a few words, not in any groundbreaking way, about a few of our Founding Fathers. I'm reading The Federalist Papers in toto and the depth of Hamilton, Jay and Madison's political thought is, as always, shockingly rational, logical and consciously aware of the merits of both sides of the Constitutional argument. Not to mention visionary in a way that would make Nostradamus jealous.

Palin's windswept presser, with every gust sounding like a great sigh in the microphone, was a lesson in idiocy and poor thinking, not a trace of preparedness involved. It showed, and anyone pretending that that was a well-laid out argument for anything but the need for better education in the USA and the necessity for drugs like Ritalin, is too deeply in the tank to warrant any discussion.

The writers of The Federalist Papers were the great thinkers of the day and VALUED as such. Oh, what an age, when intellectual power and serious thought were praised, not vilified. In a day where Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity are seen as intelligent commentators on their respective sides, we are truly screwed. And the pundits who invade our space every day in between Michael Jackson reports, are almost entirely devoid of substance. Sure, some peek through now and then - Zbigniew Brzezinski, occasionally, Pat Buchanan, often - and like them or not they have some brainpower.

And where are the great minds in public service, who are not in the tank for Goldman Sachs, or the NRA, or the health care industry, or (name your own powerful special interest that doesn't care about the general welfare of the nation)?

I'll never give up my iPod, 52" Samsung TV and this computer I'm blogging from, but it would be lovely to head back, if only for a few minutes, to a time, when smart men made smart decisions for all the people, not only the people who had just bought them tickets to last night's cricket match, after supping at a posh local ale house.

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