Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No Running Near The Talent Pool...

The recent, ‘almost a car bomb’ incident in Times Square is garnering a lot of attention. Understandably, there's a fairly pronounced risk associated with detonating an explosive in the middle of a packed New York City. Yes, there’s live coverage galore, but for all the wrong reasons. I thought about this for a while, and I’ve come to the conclusion the always-present, always limp-dick media heavies are wasting their time.

I’m an erstwhile ‘journalist’ (I even have a slightly dulled Bachelor's degree to prove it), so I have an odd sort of predisposition toward analyzing stories and their relative newsworthiness. Is a story interesting? Is it topical to current events? Does it compel the reader to search for more information? Will the story stand on its own, or will it have to be padded, gun-decked and pencil-whipped without shame?

Those are the lead-off questions (or variations on a theme) that editors in news rooms often ponder the moment a story hits. In the case of the SUV-bomb, parked and waiting to dole out fierce retribution to New York’s population of infidels in payment for America’s outrages committed against Islam, there would seem to be plenty of newsworthiness to go around, right? Well, sort of.

There’s the trusty old ‘clash of the cultures’ angle;

'The lone freedom fighter, striking a blow for oppressed Muslims everywhere, and doing it in the heart of the Great Satan’s back yard (Lefties love this stuff)'.

There’s the obvious vulnerability of American citizens to terrorist attack -- a real grabber on the best of news story days.

Wait – sorry. I didn't want to say ‘terrorist attack.’ I meant to say,

“Isolated, alleged act of potential violence, as-yet unproven, and totally unrelated to any blatant cow-towing or ass-kissing we’re working with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

That's better -- can't be throwin' the "T" word around lightly, you know.

And the political slant, let’s not forget that. The President, now gratefully distracted from those pesky details of that thing happening down in the Gulf of Mexico, will surely face heavy public scrutiny from detractors, aiming to connect his administration with another episode of embarrassing security failures.

Naturally, questions about the President's overall grooviness will be countered by somebody at the Washington Post, who'll write:

“If the President’s crack security forces, headed up by Homeland Security Secretary, Janet “don’t call me Cabbage Patch again” Napolitano hadn’t pounced so quickly and effectively, it would’ve been 9/11 all over again,” blah blah yadda yadda yah.

It won't matter that Car Bomb Boy was sitting in his seat aboard an Emirates Airlines A330, taxiing merrily along on his way down to runway 31R at Kennedy Airport before somebody figured out who he was (a big shout-out to the TSA blue shirts who passed him through without blinking an eye).

But all this is hardly surprising, nor does it dig deeply enough into the story to root out the real reason the Times Square bomb scare is so interesting. Nowhere have I seen a newspaper, television network or blog site identify the part of the story that’s really compelling, which is, of course, the state of affairs within al Qaeda’s terrorist hierarchy.

Why is that important to a car bomb story? Here’s why: they must be running out of ideas, or worse yet, qualified car bomb guys, to have mounted so stupidly planned and amateurish an adventure as this.

Somewhere in the Middle-East, huddled in a Bedouin’s tent, four or five al Qaeda big-shots are squatting, shoveling dates and rice into their faces with greasy hands and foot-long beards. They’re disgusted, embarrassed and just plain pissed-off. An underling is reading from an Al Jazeera account of the search for, and ultimate arrest of, our little Pakistani-connected terrorist wannabe.

The story details evidence collected by New York authorities, which further shows just how idiotic the plan really was. Suddenly, one of the al Qaeda masterminds looks up, greasy mouth agape, still full of half-chewed, curried goat meat, and says, “Are you kidding me?” The others pause and look at each other with raised eyebrows, hoping somebody will have an answer.

“You mean to tell me this moron tried to ‘blow up’ New York City with a shitty, pre-owned Nissan SUV full of firecrackers and a couple of bags of Turf Builder? Seriously?”

Silence for a moment, then a lieutenant finally says,

“Well, yeah, Chief – he parked it right in Times Square where a lot of infidels hang out; it was a really good spot!”

The Chief blinks a few times, puts his grubby food down on the dusty floor of the tent, and shakes his head.

“What the fuck is going on here?” he thunders, “You idiots are making us all look bad!”

The lieutenant hopes to quell the Chief’s rising anger. “He’s not one of the first-string bomber dudes, but we figured we’d give him a chance to prove himself – he seemed so genuine in his desire to kill infidels, we just couldn’t tell him ‘no.’ And anyway, his uncle Raheem has a discount store in London, and they can get Nike stuff really cheap, so we told him he could have a go.”

The Chief is dumb-struck.

“HE USED FIREWORKS AND LAWN FOOD, YOU STUNNED PRICK!” he yells. “What happened to integrity around here, anyway? We brought down hotels! We brought down embassy buildings! We used their own airliners to bring down the World Fucking Trade Center, and this jerk-off just lights an SUV on fire?!!!”

“Hold on, Chief! We told him to get his bomb design blueprints from our secret web-site – they have a link on MSNBC’s home page and everything! Just because he took a few short-cuts doesn’t mean it was a total failure!”

The Chief tries to calm himself. It always goes in one ear and out the other with these fools, he tells himself. Have to speak slowly – s l o w l y. Keep the voice down; concentrate!

“Look,” he says, “I’m not trying to discourage initiative or anything, but there are larger problems at issue here. Ever since our glorious victory at the Twin Towers, we’ve started to slide. Osama, peace be upon him, has gone into hiding because every American devil on the planet wants to kill him.”

“You mean Obama?”

“No, Osama! O-s-a-m-a! Osama bin Laden? The Boss? Big guy with effeminate mannerisms and really huge lips, remember? Pays all the bills? Hello, numb-skull?”

“Oh,” the lieutenant says, “I just thought you meant…”

“Keep quiet, dumb-ass!” The Chief’s patience is going away. He continues.

“Just because the Boss has been forced to lay low for a while doesn’t mean we’re free to send anyone we want to do these jobs. There are standards, ya know, and there’s gonna be hell to pay when he hears about this!”

The Chief has everyone’s attention now – he knows a timely application of bin Laden name-dropping works like a charm.

“First, you sent that dumb-ass British guy with the scraggly beard and steel wool hair – the one who thought burning his shoe on an airplane was a good idea? What was his fuckin’ name…


“Yeah, ‘Richard Reid,’ the ignorant prick. He’s an idiot! But then you scrounged up some Nigerian kid and told him to line his drawers with explosives! I don’t know which is worse, the fact that you were stupid enough to dream up a plan like that, or that he was too stupid to tell you all to piss off! Did you happen to notice how bad that made us look?”

The lieutenant and the others can only look down at their reeking sandals – no way they’re getting off easy this time. The Chief is on a roll.

“And now, you let a complete half-wit buy a car, on Craig’s List, no less, and build a shitty excuse for a bomb that didn’t do anything except smoke up the place and stink to high heaven? And you let him do this in Times Square to boot? Where every American will get to see this and have a great snicker?”

“Well, the plans looked pretty authentic when we reviewed them, and he even had this…”

“Shut up, stupid!”

“Yes sir.”

“Now, you ignorant shit-stains had better listen to me and listen good. NO MORE MORONS, do you hear? They’re laughing at us in Kabul, and they’re laughing at us in Karachi – the infidels are laughing at us in Kalamazoo, dammit! The next time you send a car bomb dude to America, he better have his head and his ass lined up, understand? I’m gonna hear no end of shit from the Boss as it is…”

The Chief gets up to go outside for a pee, leaving the lieutenant and the lieutenant’s lieutenants behind to reflect on their future with the company, and the obvious, career-limiting consequences if the next attack doesn’t bring spectacular results. And that brings me to the point.

Either one of two possible scenarios dominates my view of this lunacy. The first is probably more serious than the second, but it circles a possibility that al Qaeda might not be what it once was. We don’t get the full intel brief on the impact of Predator drone assassination hits (nor should we, for that matter).

We can only enjoy hearing about another dink getting his pre-paid, one-way ticket to "Allah’s Paradise Bar and Grill" when a Hellfire missile shows up. It’s at least possible the net effect of continued attacks on terrorist leadership structures has had a deeper result than we know. Saddam had everyone thinking his linen closet was packed to the rafters with WMD, and we all believed it, so why would this be any different?

You can recruit new morons every day, but you can’t stick them into senior roles (with the necessary risk exposure) overnight. It takes time to build a proper al Qaeda ‘career,’ and a lot of that seems to have been rooted in old boy network sentiment. “He’s been around for a long time, so he gets to be the big-shot.” They don’t get their stripes by blowing themselves into shreds and tatters at age 22.

The second possibility is slightly more rewarding, from a mean-spirited point of view like mine. Maybe, just maybe, the thinning of the ranks has resulted in a necessity to throw in the Junior Varsity losers. Perhaps they don’t have many decent car bomb dudes just now, and until they train a new crew, the dullards and glory-seeking amateurs will have to suffice.

The possibility doesn’t bode well for the Movement’s international operations, of course, but it might be a signal to the West to pour on the firepower now, while we have the chance. The obvious answer is, and has always been, kill every al Qaeda guy you can find. Use any method you can, profile and discriminate, persecute and torture, make them watch re-runs of The Flying Nun – everything’s ‘on the table’.

You would think there would come a point at which there isn’t enough senior planners to keep things running, and the lack of discipline among the newbies will ultimately lead the hunters to the whole lot of them in the end.

Kill off the big-shots faster than they can be created, and shooting the underlings won’t be so difficult, and serious attacks on the West may decline perpetually.

All of which begs these two questions:

Are the al Qaeda boys running out of talent, or are they just getting a lot more stupider? I would like to think it’s the latter, but reality is easier visited on the former. Makes me want to become a lobbyist for Raytheon (or whomever constructs Hellfire missiles) when I grow up.

There’s a splendid irony to all this, too. How nice that the stupidity of TTNG (Terrorists, The Next Generation) is becoming more pronounced than the stupidity of the Obama administration’s Homeland Security pretenders! Is there hope for us yet?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Brevity, Watson, brevity...

In the few hours since my last post, tens of complaints have been streaming in over the wires about the excessive length of my pointless, droning diatribes (that means you, Alex). I am launching an investigation into these serious charges as part of my new, carefully planned move to become 32% less tedious in 2010. My staff believes a thirty to forty-percent reduction in tediousness can be achieved by cutting my posts down to the size of most newspaper stories. My staff is also fond of watching re-runs of "The Flying Nun."

Since Alex, and other keen observers, has pronounced my piercing socio-political commentary as "a little bit long," perhaps he'll appreciate the terse, clipped nature of this public service message announcing my Reduced Tedium Initiative 2010, or "RTI 2K10."

I'm currently researching my next post, which I pledge will be "a little less long," just to make it easier for viewers to digest in one sitting. Complaining, know-it-all viewers like Alex, I mean.

Look for the new edition in a matter of days. (not available in stores...)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Questions, questions...

In the words of General Douglas MacArthur, an over-hyped blowhard only slightly less abominable than me, "I have returned." I won't waste your time telling you why it's been nearly a year since my last post. Suffice to say I was distracted by other concerns. Naturally, this is simply codeword play in a feeble attempt to avoid coming right out and admitting that I didn't give a shit. But now, it's time to re-ignite the Fire.

I take a minor hiatus, return to this worthless blog-type thing, and what do I find? A country even more polarized than it was when I dropped off the face of the Earth. Why? Because Senators and Congresscreatures from the Democratic Party are either deaf, indifferent or willfully negligent, depending on your point of view.

In this hectic week, the persistent health care reform debate, and subsequent passage into law by several swipes of Mr. Obama’s three hundred ceremonial pens (what’s with all the pens, anyway?) has made us unwilling onlookers yet again to what seemed an endless national train wreck as Democrat Representatives struggled to balance their professional survival with their, well, their professional survival. Huh? It sounds bizarre, but that is what we see.

Politicians are nothing if not self-serving, self-promoting, self-centered, self-conscious self-addicts. In short, they really do embrace the first rule of political life: Win and hold power. No one is surprised by this, and it's hardly a revelation, but its injunction points to an astonishing display of murder/suicide behavior that is equal parts aggravating and worrisome.

From one end of the Democrat side of Congress to the other, representatives found themselves in between the proverbial mortar and pestle. On the one hand, a significant majority of their constituents made it clear they’d had enough. They're outraged, and they're motivated to express that anger in voting booths next November. Two-thirds of Americans simply did not want this approach to health care reform, yet Dems in the House and Senate have given our people the collective finger. Those same people aren’t laughing, and they’re not in the mood for Congressional sleight of hand.

Their message was clear: 'stop shoving us closer and closer to the edge of an abyss no one wants to explore, or your job isn't worth a plug nickel.'

As this majority of the electorate holds in its hands the political careers of so many Representatives and Senators, simply because they outnumber the partisan liberal morons who will vote for Democrats without regard for consequence, that message holds weight. But there’s trouble in Beltway Paradise.

The Democrat leadership (so-called) in both Houses is adept and ruthless in the art of back office arm-twisting, and their agenda is markedly different. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D), California, and her bumbling counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), Nevada, have no interest in the almost certain fate of their troops. Their expectations were stark and stone cold: 'vote in support of Obama-care or else – if you vote against us, your days as a Democrat politician are over, end of story.'

Not a comfortable spot to be in, but one they've occupied ever since the new Administration took office more than a year ago. In short, we've seen this before, but despite the GOP’s most fervent efforts to blunt Obama-care, passage was achieved after a stunning display of blatant, out-in-the-open corruption that would make the most callous Tammany Hall architect wince. Under siege from the voters back home (the precise reason the Tea Party movement sprung from the grass), yet threatened with excommunication from the liberal church, should they shrink from the task at hand, Democrat Reps were forced to choose between one brand of Hara Kiri over another. Either way, this would end badly for them, and it was clear they knew it.

At the eleventh hour, with a razor-thin vote hanging in the balance, a sub-set of the celebrated “Blue Dog Democrats” emerged as the last hurdle for Obama to gain passage, or the last hope of defeating the reform bill for Republicans in the House, depending on who you talk to. Led by Michigan Congressman, Bart Stupak, a small but pivotal group of pro-life Democrats momentarily held up the show over moral concerns that Federal money (our money, to be precise) would be used to pay for abortions.

Stupak’s crew balked at signing off on the bill, signaling the possibility of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat to hopeful, but still skeptical GOP Reps. In the end, the thin ruse was both transient and transparent. In the end, Stupak caved. So much for moral convictions. If you ever wondered about giving Blue Dogs a break, hoping they were reasonable, marginally honest people disguised as Democrats, wonder no more. They’re whores, no better than the radicals they pretend to be separate from.

As then-Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain returned from a 1938 Munich summit with Adolf Hitler, he did so armed with a piece of paper proclaiming that Great Britain and Germany would never go to war with one another. “Peace in our time,” he said. When Nazi panzer divisions roared across the Polish frontier almost exactly one year later, signaling the beginning of the worst conflagration in human history, Neville figured out what everyone else already knew – pieces of paper, carrying the guarantees of liars and insane men, guarantee nothing.

Mr. Stupak was obviously out sick the day they taught WWII back in school.

As we looked on in the most perfect, staggering level of amazement, Brain-Dead Bart announced that he had obtained an extra-special Executive Order from the very huge and powerful President himself, guaranteeing Fed money (remember, that means our money) won’t be used to fund abortions. How noble. We can envision the exchange, fictional though it may be.

“I promise, Bart – I’ll never use Federal money to pay for the termination of those pesky little fetal lives the superstitious fucking Republicans are always screaming and crying about,” the President might’ve said.

Bart maybe thought about that for a while, and said, “Promise? Cross your heart and hope to die? ‘Cause they’re going to kick me in the nuts when I get back to my district if I vote for this shit.”

The President could’ve nodded solemnly and said, “Yes, Bart – I really really really promise – just get on board already.”

Just then, the bright red Bat Phone from Nancy’s office lit up, and Bart answered, “Yes, Madam Speaker?”

“Hi, Bart. Some of my people told me you’re talking to the President, and I just wanted to let you know how it will feel to have both of my stiletto heels removed from your ass if you even think about voting ‘no.’ Do we understand each other, Bart?”

Bart swallowed and blinked a bit, glancing nervously at Brother Barack, who simply smiled and nodded with raised eyebrows, as if to say, “Don’t even think about it, mo-fo.” Bart knew his best option was to smile back and get on with it.

“Well, okay, I guess,” said Bart, thrilled with the sudden currency he’d gained in the form of a power-packed, vitamin-enhanced Executive Order (from the historic president, no less). Now he’d be able to show all his constituents an iron-clad reason why he ignored them and sold their futures down the river, yippee!

Of course, Congressman Stupak’s “Chamberlain Moment” was lost on no one. He rolled over for a hollow promise unworthy of the scrap of paper upon which it was printed, perhaps merely for the convenient excuse it would afford him for doing the Administration’s bidding in direct contradiction to his district’s wishes. He also turned a blind eye to his so-called principles and a lot of the people in his district who believed he represented their interests, and he did so with a straight face. Bluntly speaking, Mr. Stupak is Mr. Stu-pid. He was bought off with bullshit and a measured application of fear, nothing more.

But what of the others? What about the members of Congress who (to their slight credit) never wavered on their intent? Those representatives who faced the fury of voters last summer when the truth behind the bill was first revealed? If they didn’t know then, they must surely know now. Barring an outright miracle between here and November, a crushing defeat in a landslide is what awaits a sizeable majority of Congress when the voters finally get their hands around some greasy politician throats.

Why did they do it? Why did they agree to jump from a cliff and prematurely end their careers? For health care reform? Really? The debate was never about health, and not about care – it was (and is) about control and power. Did they say ‘YES!” to this bizarre suicide pact out of allegiance to their Speaker, or their hallowed, historic president? Not likely. No one loves themselves more than politicians, especially over the fortune and folly of other politicians. Are they all radical nut-jobs, bent on the nation’s destruction? I don’t buy that either. So what is it? What would induce lemming-like behavior from a group of narcissists who’ve made a study of self-preservation?

And that is the point of this post.

Conspiracy theorists might argue there may be skeletons within closets these Congressmen and women don't want us to see. They could suggest sins of the past have mounted and collected, such that Her Royal Serene Majesty, the bug-eyed, leering Stepford Speaker is armed with photos of a compromising nature that she wields over their heads (one-legged prostitutes, dildos, goats, you name it), threatening exposure as punishment for failing the Party. I say rubbish -- we're looking at literally hundreds of Representatives, and I find it difficult to believe Nancy Pelosi’s brownshirts and covert operatives could find enough on that many people to give the threat legitimacy. No, it's not skeletons she has, and that leads us nicely into the supposition portion of the program.

Maybe the Democrat majority has simply gone too far, and can’t get back. What if this is nothing more than a sad little group of egotists who've dedicated themselves to a philosophical, ideological absolute, only to find things aren't anywhere near that settled when reality shows up?

Imagine yourself at the highest echelons of liberal, progressive, Democrat strategy. Whether from the Speaker, the Majority Leader, or the shock troops within the newly rebuilt White House itself, there was a common goal, and it had been building for years. The time had finally arrived, and the moment must've been intoxicating to them. We now had an obvious radical in the White House (we shall overcome, we shall overcome…) a Senate and House of Representatives more liberal than any who’ve stood before, all buckled up in their leather seats, all at the same moment. Talk about history!

And let us not forget the power of a squarely left Federal bench. A perfect storm of progressive, radical authority, finally in charge of everything. This is the stuff of a committed socialist/communist/progressive's wet dreams!

So off they went, spending our money and our children’s money, utterly oblivious to a slow-burning rancor from half the voters, the half that never bought into the personality cult and the myth of ‘historic.’ TARP, Stimulus, Health Care “Reform,” et al. Damn the conservatives; full speed ahead! But here’s where the Left took its most fatal wrong turn. They fell prey to the temptation of believing their own bullshit.

With all their blustering and arrogant posture of authority, Democrat politicians, like any politician, are still people -- men and women with just as much capacity for weakness and low character as any pimp or drug dealer on the filthy streets of an urban nightmare. Instead of accepting their newly acquired power with grace and humility, ready to fulfill candidate Obama's promise of a new beginning in Washington, the frailties of ego and arrogance guided the Democrats in ways a few of them must now regret with all their hearts as they stare down both barrels of what might end up being an impending November debacle.

Nobody told them about this part, when they were greedily accepting cool-cool Barack’s campaign support. It never occurred to them that Nancy and Harry and Mr. Personality would come calling later on, like a pack of Cosa Nostra muscle men extracting ‘protection’ money from innocent shop-keepers.

With no one walking along beside them, offering cautionary red flags of warning when the normal, human process of thoughtful introspection is ignored, the Democrats have run, head-long, toward a phalanx of growing dissent among their constituents. Drunk with power, and void of the ability to self-correct, Pelosi and Reid, egged on by a combination of their own sense of self-importance and the ever-present validation of a liberal press, misinterpreted Obama’s election (and their own majority) as a mandate from the people. They incorrectly regarded their majority status as currency to be spent at will, and without concern for the near 50% minority’s opinion. More to the point, the liberal machine mistook the pomposity of campaign success for a signal to begin a transformation of our country into the Utopian ideal they’ve always wanted since they protested Vietnam and Nixon as starry-eyed foamers in college.

As though chained to their seats inside a heavy train, pulled by a locomotive with no engineer at the controls, Democrat Senators and members of Congress are powerless to slow the machine, and the end of the tracks is the side of a granite mountain. It all seemed so cool! It was great fun to stand on the steps of the Capitol, grinning like so many adolescent chimpanzees in the glow of victory. But here they are a year and a half later, getting shot at by pissed-off voters (literally), suffering the numbness and despair that accompanies the surety of knowing they’re about to get canned. What happened?

And there’s the question.

What happened, indeed? We’d love to see that answer revealed because it eludes us still. We’d like to know what compels an ego-maniac to set aside his or her own personal gain, when that product of their efforts once stood above all others, and become willing accomplices to the most shameful abrogation of responsibility in our nation’s history. What was promised in exchange for their cooperation? What was threatened if it was withheld? What would induce you to enrage most of the people you are sworn to represent, ignoring their wishes, and knowing you will almost certainly lose your livelihood as a result?

Logic, for the most part, would naturally seem to us useless when mentioned in conjunction with modern-day politicians, even under the best of circumstances. But as much as we distrust and loathe people who seek public office, there is a consistency to their behavior (or was, I should say) we could always count upon. Modern politics is a wasteland of liars, confidence men, bullshit artists and neurotics who honestly believe in their superiority over the rest of us slobs. To aspire in that direction invites suspicion, sadly. Not all, but arguably most political professionals have a couple screws loose to actually want that kind of life for themselves. We play along because we’re uncomfortable doing the things successful politicians have to do, so better them than us.

Still, the most important ‘quality’ (and I use the term very, very loosely) inherent in the psyche of most Senators, Congressmen/women, presidents, advisors, cabinet members, what have you, is a single-minded dedication to one silver, shining, pristine concept:

Do whatever you have to do in order to win your next election.

That seems so simple to those of us who watch the carnival procession that is politics, yet it was blown away the moment President Obama signed his cherished health care reform bill, officially signaling the beginning (even if temporarily) of transformation.

“This is what change looks like,” he said, with a smugness few can match.

What a costly thing this is likely to be. Not just for the country for all the reasons we already know, but also for the Democrats who voted for this lunacy. In eight months, barring a total loss of memory by American voters, many of the sacrificial Congressmen and women, plus a sizeable number of their brothers and sisters in the Senate, will be given a date by which they must vacate their offices in Washington. Their replacements will want to move their stuff in, you see.

Two years after that, the Historic President will likely become history himself, and having regained control, Republicans (provided they’re slightly more intelligent and savvy than their Democrat colleagues, of course) will begin and continue the long and arduous process of repealing Obama-care, regardless of what the Supreme Court may or may not say on the matter this summer. What kind of reception in this next administration (a conservative administration) will Democrats who sided with progressive socialism against the will of the majority of Americans enjoy?

No Obama Army to catch them when they fall. No Reid, No Pelosi, who will both be relegated to back-bench status at best, and out of Washington at worst, to arrange cushy Government jobs for newly deposed Blue Dogs. No Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. No none of ‘em. Doesn’t seem like a trip worth taking, does it?

So why did they? Seriously – why have these career politicians become lemmings in expensive suits, diving into the very crevasse they’ve spent their entire professional lives avoiding? Why now? What really went on in those backroom arm-twisting sessions? What was so lucrative to them? Or, what made them so fearful? Watergate brought down Republicans in their hundreds forty-odd years ago. Will this be the real ‘history’ lesson for Democrats? The question isn’t rhetorical. I want to know what was so powerful it could get narcissist politicians to hang themselves with a smile.

Oh, they’ll all gather at the river and argue about Constitutionality and the Commerce Clause until doomsday, while commentators wring their hands and analyze and make their own heads explode. Maybe the Republicans can repeal, maybe they can’t. No one really knows how this will shake out over the next five years, but I cannot free myself from the puzzle’s biggest question. Why, really, did they do it? A pity the Washington Post has no more Bernsteins or Woodwards on staff. What a story this would make, if any remaining journalists were around to investigate it…