SO much for a July Fourth week spent in idyllic celebration of our country's birthday. This year's festivities were marked instead by a debate -- childish, not constitutional -- over who is and isn't patriotic. The fireworks were sparked by a verbally maladroit retired general, fueled by two increasingly fatuous presidential campaigns, and heated to a boil by a 24/7 news culture that inflates any passing tit for tat into a war of the worlds.
Let oil soar above $140 a barrel. Let layoffs and foreclosures proliferate like California's fires. Let someone else worry about the stock market's steepest June drop since the Great Depression. In our political culture, only one question mattered: What was Wesley Clark saying about John McCain and how loudly would every politician and bloviator in the land react?
Unable to take another minute of this din, I did what any sensible person might do and fled to the movies. More specifically, to an animated movie in the middle of a weekday afternoon. What escape could be more complete?