Friday, January 16, 2009
If George Bush was the pilot of Flight 1549
It's a fitting end to a bleak joke of a presidency.
George Bush, whose legitimate election has been questioned for the entire term of his office, praising a process which he and his henchmen did their damnedest to thwart.
In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people.
If it were that simple, we wouldn't be where we are today.
But the beautiful irony of the evening is that no one was watching George Bush pretending to be George Washington.
Everyone was watching the results of the action of a real hero, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III, a man whose experience, cool head, bravery and skill saved at least 155 people from a watery grave.
A nation, hungry for real heroes, was hanging on every word they could glean about the former Air Force pilot who made history by landing a jetliner intact, on the Hudson, and then checked the aisles to be sure the plane was empty before he disembarked.
All this while another former pilot, a pretend hero, a man with a fictional story of achievement, stood before a handpicked audience and beating the dead horse of terrorism in our faces one more time.
One could take the occasion to wonder what would have happened if these pilots exchanged roles. If Sullenberger was president, he likely would not have had to thrown his own farewell party. We could imagine that such a resourceful soul would never have allowed the attacks on 9/11 to have occured if he had received the warnings that the Bush administration had. He probably would not have engaged in an illegal, trumped-up invasion of another nation. He would have acted swiftly to save New Orleans. He would have built an economy by engaging the people he cared about most - not his benefactors, but his constituents. If Sullengerger was leaving office, a grateful nation might be roaring it's approval in a tearful farewell.
And if Bush was flying for US Air. Why, there would be tears too. We'd be mourning the loss of every passenger on Flight 1549 because the pilot, in his inability to act decisively, would have bailed, and parachute in hand, he would chuckle to the press, "At least I didn't hit any buildings."