Tuesday, February 03, 2009

David Kahane on the difference between being a conservative and a progressive:
Didn’t pay your taxes? In wingnut-world, you pay fines and interest, you go to jail, and your wife and kids get sold into slavery. In progresso-world, you say: “I forgot!” and everything is hunky-dory. Why, you may become the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, get nominated for the Orwellianly named Department of Health and Human Services, or, if you play your cards right, even get to be secretary of the Treasury and command the IRS yourself!

Stole classified information and trashed it? In wingnut-world, you get arrested, put on trial, sent to Guantánamo, and executed. In progresso-world, you cop a plea, pay a fine, get probation, lose your law license, and get stripped of your security clearance for a couple of years, or until a new Democratic administration comes to power. Plus, of course, you apologize: “I deeply regret the actions that I took at the National Archives two years ago, and I accept the judgment of the court,” said Sloppy Sandy at his sentencing in 2005. Problem solved!

So maybe it’s a dumb idea for me to try to make a movie out of this one. Rangel, Geithner, Daschle, Dodd—all these President’s Men are good, honorable, decent Democrats, who only want to do what is right for our country. They’re self-sacrificing public servants, willing to forego the blandishments of private enterprise to selflessly serve the American people at this crucial time. Why, any day now, Chris Dodd will live up to his promise to release the paperwork on his two Countrywide mortgages and everything will be A-OK.


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