In the dog days of summer, the nuts come out. This is what I thought as I read Edmund Morris's odd, suckup piece -- a self-aggrandized little lecture about why President Bush can't meet Cindy Sheehan -- on the op-ed page of the New York Times.
Morris, in a display of sloppy dumb-ass misplaced sentimentality, presumes that the president has to conserve his emotions, lest his five-week vacation be marred by the draining empathy he might feel if he met Mrs. Sheehan again. It's a very school-mastery little bit of finger pointing from a man whose Reagan "book" was quite literally mortifyingly unreadable, jaw-droppingly presumptuous.
I thought the man would still be banging around blindly in Plato's cave, but there he is, a weak man in proximity to power, identifying only with the power broker. He seems to think our president actually has a complex emotional life, one which includes the complex transaction of imagining what Other People Feel. I have seen none of this, what with the bike rides and the lying and all, but hey, whatever.
The Cindy Sheehan cavalcade is a circus, a Billy Wilder circus at this point. I was turned off yesterday by all of it, finally, including Liddy and Huffington on CNN going at it, and it felt a little bit dehumanized, a little bit remote. Fodder for news-cycle junkies and media vulgarians. The tragedy is Greek. A confused, confused and heartbroken mother mourning a son. A post modern media Medea in the making. (Or rather, Antigone, now that I think about it. ) A family riven in despair, tearing itself apart for commentators everywhere.
The Greek chorus goes on and on even here on The Huffington Post, I sense the odd undercurrent of glee as the currency of the Crawford Camp-Out rises and rises; an August story, but not an august one, flattened out and almost meaningless, as the days go on and on and on.
A moment of silence is called for here and there. Edmund Morris might want to remember for a moment what it feels like to lose someone you love. As should we all.