Interesting post by Marshall Whittman noting the distinctly pre-9/11, peace-and-prosperity turn our politics have taken:
American politics seems eerily similar to the period prior to 9/11. Before that horrible day, the focus of political discussion was a "culture of life" issue - stem cell research. A celebrity scandal surrounding the death of an intern and a Congressman was the fixation of all the television networks. And the President's domestic agenda was floundering.
And then the world was transformed. We entered a new twilight struggle. The entire nation was on edge about another terrorist attack. We were at war.
While our brave troops are making daily sacrifices in Iraq, our domestic politics has returned to "normalcy" - or what passes for that condition these days. The President is publicly more focused on privatizing social security and one tragic medical case than the war on terror. Our attention is consumed by Terri Schiavo, the Michael Jackson case and the horrible crisis of steroids in baseball. Beyond the commitment of our troops and their families, can it be truly said that America is on a war footing?
I think, however, that he understates the seriousness of the aforementioned issues. Terry Schiavo is nothing less than a battle between the forces of light and the armies of darkness. As Tom DeLay told us:
This is exactly the issue that’s going on in America. That attacks against the conservative movement, against me, and against many others. The point is, it’s, the other side has figured out how to win and defeat the conservative movement. And that is to go after people, personally charge them with frivolous charges, and link that up with all these do-gooder organizations funded by George Soros, and then, and then get the national media on their side. That whole syndicate that they have going on right now is for one purpose and one purpose only and that’s to destroy the conservative movement. It’s to destroy conservative leaders and it’s, uh, not just in elected office but leading.
As for baseball, it's misleading to, in any way, believe the hearings are about the politicians or the players. As Jose Canseco so eloquently put it while preempting my appearance on MSNBC, this is about the children. Children who face a future when roid'ed celebrities pin them to the ground and inject anabolic steroids into their trembling buttocks. Children who, in the words of one weirdo congressman, might someday elect to take a "smart pill" that could massively increase their intelligence but shave 10 years off their life. They could win a Nobel Prize, but they couldn't grow old. I'm sure you'll agree that the Senate must step in and disrupt that dystopian future immediately.
And Michael Jackson? Well, Michael really is about protecting the children. After all, how do you know it's bedtime in Neverland?
When the big hand touches the little hand.