In his address to the nation Tuesday night about Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama took a refreshingly frank approach: “Today we mark the end of our nation’s military commitment in Iraq. Our foolish adventure there has been a catastrophe, a nightmare inflicted on us by a past president whose stupidity was exceeded only by his arrogance. Iraq was a disaster that cost thousands of American lives, God knows how many Iraqi lives, and increased our national debt by an amount that is almost beyond counting. What did we get for this immeasurable investment? Nothing.
“Here’s where things stand now. The Iraqi government, if that’s what you’d call it, is a shambles. The economy is wrecked, and life in Iraq is still so dangerous and unstable that nobody wants to be there anymore. And neither do we, baby. We’re outta there.
“Now we can turn our full military attention to Afghanistan where we’ve been fighting for ten years without any success whatsoever. We’ll be putting lots more troops and treasure into the effort, which will result in many more American casualties and plenty more dead Afghanis, including lots of hapless women and children who keep getting in the way of our smart bombs and missiles. But, hey, don’t look at me. I didn’t start this and there’s no way, politically speaking, that I can just pull out of it. Which would be the smart thing to do.” The President had some other things to say about bravery and sacrifice, etc. etc., but nobody bothered to write it down or record it.
Meanwhile, down the road at the Capitol, Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress adopted a resolution to stop acting like willful little brats. Rep. John Boehner, the Republican obstructionist from Ohio and minority leader in the House, said, “We thought it might be interesting to pass some laws that would actually be good for the country.”
Boehner’s counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky obfuscator, announced that from now on he would work with senators from both parties to respond to the needs of the American people. “Tantrums will no longer be tolerated,” McConnell said. “We are also going to try to keep lying to a minimum. We want the Senate to be a kinder, gentler place where work actually gets done.”
Cynical observers of the Senate noted the timing and language of McConnell’s statement, which closely followed a threat by his fellow senators to stone him to death if he didn’t stop acting like a five-year-old with a skin rash.
Many Democrats of dubious standing also clamored to partake of this new Era of Good Feeling. So-called Blue Dog Democrats in the House, who have been trying for many months to play both sides of the fence while also sitting on it, came out in favor of the resolution. The Blue Dogs issued a statement that said in part, “The American people do not want…” Nobody bothered to record the rest of the statement because everybody knows that the Blue Dogs haven’t the slightest idea what the American people want or don’t want. And also, because nobody cares what the Blue Dogs think or don’t think, say or don’t say, stand for or don’t stand for.
Glenn Beck issued a refreshing statement in which he apologized for being a contemptible scumbag and announced that he was retiring from broadcasting to raise pigs. “I’m going to quit while I’m ahead,” said the now wealthy conservative ranter. “I sense that people are about to catch on that I am the worst kind of hate-mongering, lying phony. Even my mother thinks I’m disgusting and I kind of agree with her.”
Over at MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, the liberal blabber, announced that she was not going to be cute anymore. And her colleague, Keith Olbermann, said that while he intended to continue his arch ways, he was giving up his insufferable “special comments,” having recognized that what was special about them was that they were pompous and embarrassing.
Rush Limbaugh issued a one-sentence statement. It said, “Who the hell is Glenn Beck and who cares if he’s retiring?”
Bill O’Reilly also issued a statement that said, in part, “Who cares what Rush Limbaugh says on the radio? Doesn’t he know that nobody listens to the radio anymore. Hey, Rush, get a life. Join the parade. This is the twenty-first century and you’re just a fat loudmouth with bad breath.”
Limbaugh is said to have issued a response but nobody heard it.