Sunday, November 12, 2006

Winning for Dummies

It was inevitable. The think tanks are now advising us on Cspan and the other pundit pit stops that there is little that the victorious Democrats can do about the war in Iraq without throwing that country into further chaos; little that can be done about increasing the minimum wage without upsetting small business, little that can be done about the Arab-Israeli nightmare without upsetting Israel, no way we can talk to the nuclear madmen in Iran and Korea, and no way to institute economic fairness without upsetting big business, big oil, and the pharmaceutical companies. No way is their way. They are warning us that this was no Democratic victory but a Republican defeat, eager to take the air out of our electoral triumph. They are predicting failure before the new Congress is even in session, advising us that we are now mired in such a debt laden Bush created mess that there is no way out, so we must move cautiously, make incremental steps, forget about investigating the crimes of the past six years, silence our voices and hope for the best while expecting the worst. In other words, the only solution is to become the Republicans. We are now assured that even the firing of the wretched Rummy won’t do the trick. Again and again they post their “No Exit” signs. So like the characters in that Sartre play, we are stuck in our own private hell. Well, there is a way out. And we don’t have to look to the Washington punditry or a wall eyed, sneering, tobacco stained French intellectual like Sartre for the answer. We have our own beautiful Britney Spears to offer a solution, which I call “winning for dummies.”

Ms. Spears, “America’s Sweetheart” for our trashy 21st century (oh, how far we have descended from Mary Pickford to MTV) is by all accounts not the smartest young stunner to emerge from the pack, yet she showed us how to win when faced with what appeared to be an intractable problem. Not all of us can lose our extra weight and go on the David Letterman Show, as she did, but like Britney, we can opt for change by biting the bullet and making changes. She decided to rid herself of a mistake, her feckless, untalented, handsomely scruffy young husband, Kevin Federline, just as America decided to divest itself of its untalented, unscrupulous Republicans. And she did it on the very day that America filed for divorce. Yes, there will be those like Mr. Federline’s ex-girlfriend, the mother of his other children who claim, “He’s such a nice guy. He’s made some mistakes but everyone else doesn’t have the whole world pointing their finger at their mistakes.” You can imagine Laura Bush nodding in agreement. And Denny Hastert, offering a grunt that sounds a bit like an “Amen.” We change by changing, by making the bold moves that cannot undo the past, but can salvage the present for the rule of law and leave our children and grandchildren a future democracy. Yes, guys, we won. And caution is the only losing strategy for winners.