Liberty Triumphant Over A Dead Cow? Treasures From The Yeltsin Center
The New York Times reports another outbreak of American style presidentialish-ness, this time in the wilds of Russia.
The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center looms over Yekaterinburg, where young Boris began his climb of the greasy Communist pole. His previous boosts to local history include destroying the building where the Bolsheviks killed the Russian royal family.
Boris is going to get the full American cheese plate, with stirring versions of his “compelling personal story” and a reproduction of his tank-standing posture in the events leading up to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Tanks for the Memories
Tank-adjacent events apparently not to be marked include his killing hundreds while shelling the Parliament which had impeached him. Americans still basking in the afterglow of Saint Ronnie’s miracle victory over Communism may not recall that in the aftermath of Parliament’s defeat Yeltsin rewrote the constitution removing any limits on Presidential power, enjoyed two genocidal wars in Chechnya and elevated the obscure Vladimir Putin to greatness. While looting the economy.
Visitors will thrill to a recreation [“not a replica” the Times stresses] of his presidential office, featuring the actual furniture.
Work In Progress
Latest news on the coalition of the willing shows an unexpected ally at Freedom’s Frontier: Zimbabwe’s Eternal President Robert Mugabe.
The word comes from the Open Society Institute’s new report on just how many countries the CIA roped into helping them capture, kill and drop ship terrorism suspects hither and yon.
Going with popular boogieman Mugabe seems an inspired choice, what with his storied history of firm government.
The Washington Post’s awful Op-Ed page has long been an embarrassing collection of right wing hacks “correcting” the Post’s non-existent liberal bias, leavened with torture enthusiasts both right and “centrist.”
Now we have fresh evidence where the rot begins.
All choked up over Queen Elizabeth’s looming Diamond Jubilee, Op-Ed Page Editor Autumn Brewington has come out with a wistful plea against democracy, yearning for the “above party” magic only royals can provide.
“What if, instead of debating whether partisans will put the country’s interests ahead of their own or find reasons to move beyond the gridlock in which they have mired Congress, Washington surmounted the political system and put someone above it? Someone who, like a living Statue of Liberty, symbolizes the nation and represents not one ideology but the American people.“
Just how Britain surmounts unsightly “partisan gridlock” is unexplained, but this yearning for conflict-free governance is endemic in thoughtful Washington. Utopian “realism” free from any actual analysis of either issues or the structure of American government, the transcendence Brewington pines for usually means bemoaning how stalemate blocks us from “getting things done,” i.e., doing in Social Security.
As America’s stalwart Egyptian man-crush slinks into the shadows, can America ever love again? Where will our search for love, strength and stability take us?Perhaps to the southwest shores of Africa, where an island glistens in the sun. Teodoro Obiang Nguema = Choice! Thanks to whatever diplomatic pack-rat who gave Wikileaks its document trove, we know learn that a young Obama administration looked to move on from torture, bank fraud and general kleptocracy, turning a new page with the dynamic island [and chunk of shore] nation of Equatorial Guinea.”“It is time to abandon a moral narrative that has left us with a retrospective bias and an ambivalent approach to one of the most-promising success stories in the region.”
Good Lord, They Got To Karl!
“This year, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the White House media holiday party, which would have been called a Christmas party if U.S. Grant were still president.” – Bill O’Reilly
Strenuous efforts to uphold the banner of Christ in the White House continue, although they appear increasingly strained. Careful observers have discovered a Mao ornament on a White House tree, from which all manner of fevered speculation has spawned.
As the observers themselves note, “edgy “window dresser Simon Doonan was engaged for the White House decorating effort, delivering his patented mixture of familiar faces mobilized to dubious ends. The troubling ornament appears to reference Andy Warhol’s Mao series for whatever reason.
Warhol was a fine Republican artist who painted Ronald Reagan as well, and even attended Reagan’s inaugural.
Now Sleeveless To Serve You Better
Also on the prowl for atheists in office is former he-man Chuck Norris, who entertains the readers of World Net Daily with fanciful readings of past presidents’ Jesus-relating.
Norris complains that Barack Obama let down Team Jesus by not refuting eccentric Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad claims the US is busy trying to hold back the return of the Mahdi, Islam’s ass-kickiest Imam, who is expected to pair up with Jesus at some point and redeem mankind.
How the cause of Christ or America would be served by getting down into the weeds of Islamic theology is unclear.
Chuck touts two web sites as delivering the steaming Christianity we demand in our leaders, but I fear he may be misreading them. A search of WhiteHouseChristmasCards.com delivers no results for Ronald Reagan, and surely Reagan should provide some Jesus-mongering material.
And I’m afraid “Christmas with the Presidents” doesn’t provide the firm slap of theology Chuck’s audience craves either.
The document provides breathless detail on presidential holiday minutia with little proof of Christ’s grip on the White House.
“For the Christmas of 1958, Mamie pulled out all the stops in decorating the White House. She had 27 decorated trees, carols were piped into every room and greenery was wrapped around every column.“
“In 1977, the Carters ordered and sent 60,000 Christmas cards, substantially more than any previous administration.“
And triteness sparkles throughout:
“Christmas in Illinois, where both Ronald and Nancy Reagan grew up, was a sharp contrast to their Christmases in Washington. The President has recalled that his family never had a really fancy Christmas.“