Sunday, October 09, 2005

High Noon

What was Rome like in the days before Brutus killed Caesar? was the mood tense in Washington in the weeks before Nixon resigned? could one sense the "fire in the minds of men" that spread from country to country in Europe once it burst into flame in France? If life was experienced as portrayed on TV, there would always be dramatic music in the background to alert you to an approaching conclusion. Your attention would be focused on the main players and the guy with the white hat would beat the guy with the black hat. You could just sit back, as it were, and let someone else mediate the experience of life for you, drawing your attention to the important bits at the appropriate time.

Those who opt to allow the mass media to mediate life for them are today concerned about earthquakes in Kashmir, mud slides in Guatemala. NYC subway bombs or perhaps, bird flu. Meanwhile it looks to me as if a counter coup is being waged in Washington D.C. As the noose tightens around the executive branch, evoking notions of divide and conquer, Congressional support for the Executive has been hobbled by the scandals surrounding Delay and Frist. The ruling party is in disarray as they await word of indictments from Patrick Fitzgerald. Instead of the more pedestrian and thus more palatable notion of an out-of-spite exposure of a CIA agent, leaks are emerging which suggest a broader conspiracy to not only discredit the "debunker" of the Niger Uranium claim which stood as basis for those 16 words, but to also hide those who originally forged the documents. In other words, assuming the allegations prove true, this was no honest mistake.

[ cue dramatic music ]

This brings us to one of those potential inflection points in history. I often wonder, these days, about the last days of the Nixon Presidency. Did he ever think about just arresting those trying to prosecute him? or firing them? or something more sinister? I've read accounts that suggest the first two were on his mind and possibly the third option. Ah to have been a fly on the wall in the Oval Office in those days, or these days for that matter.

In Rome, at least as I interpret history, the Caesars' rise to power was enabled as faith in the Republican system waned while faith in man as god rose. Perhaps Nixon found that faith in the system was stronger than the shared desire to continue on his path.

I don't know how Bush and his Neo-cons will react which is why I keep hearing that dramatic music. Its the system vs a group of people with a vision that cannot co-exist within the system and the suspense, if this was a TV show, would be killing me.