The Daily 750

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A Separate Peace, 2005

Friday, October 28, 2005

Peggy Noonan writes of America that the wheels have come off the trolley, that it’s up to the elites -- "our educated and successful professionals . . . specifically, the elites of journalism and politics" -- to get the trolley back on the track, and that at least some of the elites have made "a separate peace" – meaning they know things in general are bad, but specific to them things are just dandy; and anyway, there's nothing they can do about anything anyway.

Good but not entirely valid, as David Rensin once said about one of my arguments, but that’s the way most pundits make a living.

Noonan’s "separate peace" refers to the state of Russia from about 1916 to March 1918, when, exhausted from war and civil turmoil, the newly-self-installed Bolsheviks signed a doomed peace treaty with Germany and its Central Powers allies, thus unilaterally withdrawing Russia from World War I. To be similar, the US would have to look like this:

  • The President’s chief advisor would be a literally stinking drunk who never bathes and is convinced that he has divine powers and, despite his disgusting appearance and outrageous manners, has sex with all the Washington society women and the prostitutes of G Street.
  • We -- along with our allies, Britain, France and a few other smaller countries -- would have been at war against Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Saudia Arabia since 2002, when the draft would have been reinstated, with all men and women between the ages of 16 and 66 sent to the Middle East for indefinite tours of duty, armed only with M-16s, a vest full of ammo, a few grenades and enough armored personnel carriers for half the field.
  • They would be commanded by the ineffective and now doddering George Bush Sr.
  • Michael Moore, Al Franken and the entire Air America staff, Bill Maher, Sean Penn, Barbara Boxer, and many other liberal leaders would be arrested. John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Jon Stewart would be detained overnight and released but kept under surveillance.
  • All imports to the US would stop because of general disagreement with the war. Britain, France, Japan and South Korea would urge the US to be more aggressive and devote more resources. Germany, China and North Korea would insist the US halt all military actions immediately.
  • Food riots would break out in Washington, DC and across America.
  • Workers and common soldiers, led by Ed Asner and Cindy Sheehan, would form a massively popular political party and insist on an international peace conference in Stockholm.
  • The President would continue with war, sending even more men and women to battle, untrained, ill-equipped and ineffectively led by George Bush Sr. There would be a massacre of American soldiers when Iran explodes a small nuclear device on a field army at the Iraq/Kuwait border.
  • There would be massive defections from the Army and Marines. Navy and Air Force pilots would refuse to take off in their planes.
  • The President’s fetid and licentious chief advisor would be assassinated in a tortuous plot wherein he survives eating a half-dozen cyanide-laced Krispy Kreme donuts, a gunshot wound to the liver, and a midnight trip to the Potomac wrapped in a carpet and stuffed into the trunk of a car, coming to after being dropped to the frozen ground from the trunk. He is shot in the lung and then, for good measure, the head, this last by a foreign agent who has jumped out from behind a nearby bush. Unsure still whether the rascal is dead, the assassins rewrap the body in the carpet, seal it with duct tape, and drop the whole package into a hole in the icy river. Stories in the Enquirer and the New York Post insist that the vampiric degenerate survived even that, and is in hiding in Arkansas.
  • The President would resign in disgrace. Asner and Sheehan would form a new government.
  • Jesse Jackson would be sent to Baghdad to sign a peace treaty with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern powers, granting them sovereignty over Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Afghanistan and the remote provinces of Pakistan.
The wheels wouldn’t have come off the trolley. The trolley would have come off the trestle, sailed through the air, crashed into a deep ravine and burst into flames.

I’m not so pessimistic. My TVs, radios, newspapers, magazines and blogs are crammed with elites of every stripe not only opining how they'd change the world, but actually working to change it, through money and action. Sometimes I'd like them to keep their money and their ideas to themselves. C'mon, Peggy, cheer up. It could be worse.