Sunday, December 31, 2006

No healing without pardon, or, indeed, trousers


From the Observer: “Ambulance service officials have renewed their pleas for revellers not to misuse the 999 system after an apparently drunk man asked emergency operators to help him find his trousers.”

And in 1974, wasn’t the entire United States, metaphorically speaking, a drunk pantsless man crying out for help? Dick Cheney said this at Gerald Ford’s funeral: “It was this man, Gerald R. Ford, who led our republic safely though a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe. Gerald Ford was almost alone in understanding that there can be no healing without pardon.” Hopefully, Cheney will spend the rest of his life repeating those words (which I believe he first addressed to Harry Whittington after shooting him in the face), in increasingly desperate tones, from increasingly smaller prison cells with increasingly larger bunkmates, all named Bubba.

When jokes are made about prison life, there is always a bunkmate named Bubba.

Even if it’s a women’s prison.

Especially if it’s a women’s prison.

Of course what Cheney especially likes about the Nixon pardon is that Nixon was never made to enumerate the crimes for which he was pardoned. The other thing he and other Republicans like about the “Ford healed the nation” trope is that in it, the only significant actors are Republican politicians, while Democrats and indeed the American citizenry are reduced to spectators, just as now they insist that only Republicans are qualified to clean up the mess that they themselves have made in Iraq.

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