Friday, June 17, 2005

EXILE ON MAIN STREET



Friday, June 17, 2005
Washington, DC

It's on. The movement to impeach President George W. Bush has been born. Our erstwhile free press doesn't want to admit it, much less report it, but the hog is definitely in the tunnel. All that's left now is the squealing.

Early this morning, after I put the water on to boil, I walked barefoot down the hardwood hallway and opened the front door onto a gorgeous, tropical morning. Birds were chirping, the garden was fresh with dew, and traffic was light on our tree-lined boulevard. On the front steps, next to a pot of magenta geraniums was The Washington Post. With sweet anticipation, I picked up the plastic-wrapped bundle, walked back to the kitchen, dropped it onto the round oak table, stepped over to the avocado green Formica counter and ground the shade-grown beans.

Moments later, with a big mug of tall, dark and handsome coffee in one hand, I slid Section A out from under the inch-thick Advertising Supplement with the other, and spread the front page out on the table. Above the fold was a large color photo of four United States Senators dressed up to celebrate "Seersucker Thursday, a Capitol Hill rite of spring."

Well damn. Here I thought that a large and noisy crowd of demonstrators, gathered at the front gate of the White House, led by a United States Congressman holding a fat stack of 540,000 signatures of American citizens - demanding an investigation into the Downing Street Memo and all that that entails - along with a dozen other US Congressional Representatives and surrounded by a media circus, might get a mention on the front page of the local rag.

Not on Seersucker Thursday, Bubba. What we do have is Minnesota's Republican Senator, Norm Coleman, showing off a spiffy pair of black and white saddle shoes while Senator Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat from Arkansas, gleefully claps her hands, the honorable Republican Senator from the great state of Mississippi, Trent Lott throws his head back, laughing with carefree abandon, and Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee thoughtfully contemplates his own shoes.

God I love this country.

But wait! All is not lost. On page A6, top of the fold, a small picture catches my eye. I recognize the scene immediately, because I was there. John Conyers in shirt sleeves yesterday afternoon, crossing Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, swarmed by media and flanked by hundreds of supporters. From the picture you wouldn't know the location or see the crowd. From the caption, you find out that "Rep. John Conyers Jr... and other Democrats hold a mock Judiciary Committee hearing as a protest against the war in Iraq".

Under the title, WASHINGTON SKETCH, is a hatchet job by some bottom-feeder called Dana Milbank. The header says, DEMOCRATS PLAY HOUSE TO RALLY AGAINST THE WAR and the piece opens with this:

"In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe."

Excuse me. I have to go flush my head down the toilet. Failing that, I'll be back with another steaming mug of oily, bitter coffee.

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