Monday, February 20, 2006

The Morning After

Day two and all is jiggy here in the blogosphere of Bungalow Babe in the Big City. Today is Presidents Day and Little Babe went off to vacation camp in Riverdale with his best buddy, while Middle Babe went off to a full-day rehearsal at her high school for the senior class's production of Once Upon a Mattress. Middle Babe plays Princess Winnifred the Woebegone. Big Babe has classes at Columbia. Husband of Bungalow Babe (HOBB) is reviewing applicants for the graduate program where he teaches and when I finish this entry, I will return to my work, drafting a press release to announce a major literary award.

Kudos to Krugman

Paul Krugman, that is, for hitting the nail on the head with his excellent NYTimes Op-Ed column today, The Mensch Gap ( I couldn't say it better, Mr. Krugman and I wish I'd said it first. There is an extreme absence of menschlichkeit (menschiness) in the current administration. Or to quote him directly:

"Be a mensch," my parents told me. Literally, a mensch is a person . But by implication, a mensch is an upstanding person who takes responsibility for his actions.

The people now running America aren't mensches.

In the course of his essay, Krugman delivers his anti-mensch list:

"Dick Cheney isn't a mensch."
"Donald Rumsfeld isn't a mensch."
"Michael Chertoff isn't a mensch."
"Michael Leavitt isn't a mensch."

Krugman charts the innumerable fuck-ups of the administration -- from the Twilight Zonish flipping of blame for Cheney's gun-gone-wild onto the victim, 78-year-old Harry Whittington to the VeePee's misleading info on WMD's to the screw-up that is the war (or American occupation) in Iraq to the destruction of New Orleans by FEMA's inaction in the face of Katrina to the "catastrophic" prescription drug plan to the holding of prisoners of dubious guilt at Gitmo.

Posing the pressing yet poignant question, "where have all the mensches gone?" Krugman goes on to deliver his blow of blows:

"The character of the administration reflects the character of the man at its head. President Bush is definitely not a mensch; his inability to admit mistakes or take responsibility for failure approaches the pathological."

Amen, Mr. Krugman. America hears you.

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