Saturday, December 17, 2005

Seeking the long view

President Bush said on TV yesterday that the national security bombshell--the NSA wiretappings, a headline of national and international import--was "not the main story of the day." Only in his dreams.

So this is the way to win the war on terror. The terrorists hate us because of our freedoms. Get rid of our freedoms. Then they won't hate us any more.

It's a sad and scary time to be an American. It would be nice to find solace in our own history and literature, to predict happier times. Harold Bloom tries it, clinging to Whitman in an effort to understand "what seems our national self-destructiveness." His little essay that might have moved toward a misty hope for the United States as "the greatest of poems" rises, in the end, no higher than the grim realities of the present moment.

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