The single most significant comment since the election, by Victor Davis Hanson:
A Country Unhinged
By Victor Davis Hanson
In the last week, it is almost as if the entire American moral landscape has been turned upside down in eerie fashion — in matters that vastly transcend fornication and adultery. The Petraeus-gate matter is the stuff of tabloids now; but soon the real issues relating to when and what Eric Holder knew, and by extension the president, and how exactly Benghazi (the crime of indifference to the besieged, the cover-up of the truth, the actual mission of our consulate and annex) fits into this labyrinth of deceit, both petty and fundamental, may overshadow the present sensationalism.
Nothing seems real anymore, not preelection federal data on jobs or food stamps or the release of such “facts”; not foreign-policy information like an Iranian attack on a drone; not the supposedly competent federal relief in response to Hurricane Sandy. Even Saddam Hussein’s plebiscites could not achieve margins like the 19,605 to 0 we saw in 59 Philadelphia precincts. Does anyone care?
Susan Rice, who flat out deceived five times in a single day on national TV, is supposedly seriously being considered as secretary of State when Ms. Clinton leaves — the latter now plans to be “busy” when hearings on Libya resume.
How can all this suddenly explode on the scene, just 72 hours after a national election, in a supposedly transparent country with a free, watch-dog media? Have we become a Russia, Venezuela, Cuba? Is there one honest person in Washington left?
I didn’t think it possible that a single scandal could knit together so many disparate strands of stupidity. The Obama administration tries to appear informed (Holder) and ignorant (Obama himself) at the same time on the matter of the CIA Director playing hide-the-Hellfire missile with a fawning groupie. (What must that pillow talk have been like?) And that’s only one multi-starred general behaving badly! The other one was sending something like 50 emails a day over two years to a busty socialite in a fetching yellow frock. All this against the backdrop of Chris Stevens’ lifeless body (at least I hope it was lifeless) being defiled and dragged through the streets of Benghazi. Where said CIA might have been holding and torturing detainees, leading to the assault by Al Qaeda affiliates in the first place.
Oh yeah—during an election.
And the MSM couldn’t see less if they gouged their eyes out. (I might actually watch MSNBC to see that happen.)
And what are we talking about? Mitt Romney’s likability? How to pander to Latinos?
We are indeed a country unhinged.
PS: A response:
There is no foundation anymore, nothing real on which to base unbiased judgement, no certainties. In ancient Asia, when things got this out of whack, the philosophers would call for a “rectification of names.” In other words, make things once again correspond with the reality that originally gave rise to their labels. Facts had to become facts again, not politically convenient assemblages of massaged information; rulers had to act as rulers were supposed to. And the way to bring that about was usually through a revolution that purified the Asian equivalent of the Augean stables.
We are witnesses to decline and its accompanying decadence, no different from Rome or Versailles. You know that better than anyone else writing here. The more dysfunctional Washington gets, the higher the per-square-foot rent and the more expensive the steaks. I once watched Barney Frank happily devour a $50 steak just weeks after the subprime implosion wiped out trillions in personal wealth. And he was hardly alone. The only job left to us is to chronicle it as faithfully as we can, so as to give the next group the chance to act more smartly than we did.