File under “damned if you do or don’t”

I’ve been reading several stupid pieces like this one.

Apparently all the ususal suspects and spoilsports are suggesting that President Bush should dramatically scale down his inauguration. Billionaire Mark Cuban, who clearly doesn’t have enough to do owning the Dallas Mavericks, has been singing this song for a week or more on his blog: As a country, we face huge deficits. We face a declining economy. We have service people dying. We face responsibilities to help those suffering from the … devastation of the tsunamis,” he wrote on his blog, a Web journal.

Really? You’re still slogging the “declining economy” horse? We have men at war, so there should be no celebrations, anywhere? We are, helping people rebuild their lives after a horrific tsunami, and so we should not have anything joyful of our own?

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard, and I will suggest that if John Kerry had been elected president, no one would be questioning the spending of a single dime at his inauguration. Rather, we’d be hearing about how “in this time of fear, and pain, while we’re at war, while we’re helping to rebuild Indonesia, this large and spectacular celebration is an affirmation of the optimism and strength of America, as she celebrates her healthy democratic process, and let’s face it, she could use a party! This inauguration is for all of our service people around the world! Blah…blah…blah… Katie Couric would be breathless over it. Michael Moore would be giddy.

As usual, this whole “issue” is a nothingburger – sound and fury indicating spoilsport posturing. Bush is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. If he goes ahead with the big inaugural, he’ll have the ankle biters yapping and the newsfolk frowning. If he decides to have a small private ceremony with only a few guests, chicken salad and pound cake, the same ankle biters will declare that he is “posturing as damage control for his (insert whatever they want to carp about)” and some of the screwier ones, like Helen Thomas, will declare that such a small ceremony is “typical of the secretive and stingy White House under Bush.”

Yawn. It’s not even fun, anymore to predict what theses folks are about, because it involves allowing your mind to go “petty.”

President Bush won office with 61 million votes. He’s entitled to his party, and heck, no one complained when President Clinton (elected with a “42% of the vote mandate”), after declaring that the American economy was “in the worst shape since the days of Hoover,” threw a giant bash. No one would complain, because it really is a stupid and meanspirited fight. Pageantry is part of the fun of political theatre, and it’s also an economic booster for the town. Good heavens, even Hillary Clinton, no paragon of discretion when it comes to criticising President Bush knows better than to suggest this. In her “autobiography” she even admitted that she is “a sucker” for the big pageants and parades that come with the job.

A man gets elected president, he’s entitled to his party, even if the small-in-spirit can’t stand it.

UPDATE: Powerlineblog.com reveals the ever-dour Judy Woodruff’s non-stop riff on how awful it is that President Bush dares to have an inaugural, and rationalizes why it was okay for anyone else to have a party.

About Elizabeth Scalia

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