Monday, October 02, 2006

Gratuitous postcard: there's spinning and then there's spinning


There's a helluva lot of yammering on about Foley this and Foley that, and who knew what and when... It seems to me that folks ought to shut up, sit down, and wait for the investigation to be completed, especially now that Foley is leaving office.

Can the hype. Quit the pre-election witch hunt. If you can't do anything but point fingers and cry, "burn them all!", you need to go home and cut back on your caffeine. And, maybe you should look in your own closets while you're there.

Yes, it's likely that Foley is a creep and a jerk and has followed in the footsteps of at least one former president, by intending to use his job as a means to sexual congress, as it were. But does it really do the public any good to have "October Surprises" in which partisan conspiracy theories are, once again, floated? Accusations against party leaders can go both ways, because, if, indeed, the Republican leaders knew about Foley's conduct, there is no way the Democrat leaders could have been kept in the dark.

After all, when we talk about the Congressional pages, regardless of how goody-two-shoes they may present themselves to be when they first apply for the positions, we are talking about teenagers, here. They talk to each other. They talk to their bosses. Gossip does not rest quietly in some closet, as long as two or three teens can sit down over colas and Snickers bars.

But their gossip isn't really news. Yet.

And then there's Bob Woodward, gossip extraordinaire. His job is to sell books. He does that very well. So, by dint of his having published a book, he merits a visit to the newsy shows, for an interview about his book. But does his word appear as gospel, that the world should follow his lead, on, say, Iraq? His job is neither to analyze intelligence, nor to make policy. He is a self-promoting entertainer who used to be a journalist, of sorts. Any other television, radio, or newspaper personality who treats him as anything other than a purveyor of political gossip is not a journalist, either. Woodward isn't news.

But the one man whose attraction I can't see, whose presence before newsroom cameras I really do not understand is James Earl Carter. He is president no more. He has ceased to be president. If you hadn't nailed him to the perch... oh, sorry.

This is an ex-president.

But Jimmy Carter was all over the news, last week (before the sex scandal broke. We all know that shtupping sells better than simpering -- even if it's only in the mind). His opinions were touted by newsy people as the next best thing since sliced bread. But Jimmy hasn't had anything new to say since 1976... or maybe even before then. I can't remember that far back. He was irrelevant as a president, he should be considered even less so, today. As an ex-president. Why book him for interviews on ABC's weekend GMA program, when we can very easily predict what he'll say? "I never say anything bad about anybody, but that man is an idiot because he won't listen to me tell him how to do his job -- and because he's a Republican, so he's a moron. But I never badmouth people. I am, after all, Jimmy Carter, Maker of Everlasting Peace in the Mideast and Right Hand of God, and I'm so humble the worms envy me."

And, yet, for all these who spin, and all they've spun, the Left seems incapable of creating a thread strong enough to weave into a usable fabric for party or nation.

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