A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, October 07, 2004 :::
The in-many-ways-wonderful-despite-being-liberal Washington Post is often as good a paper for somone living in Dubuque as for someone living in Washington. During the reign of Marion Barry, e.g., only those offenses which made national news made into the Post, with the ornery Washington City Paper left to fill in the gaps, which it did with relish.

That basic reportorial fact was driven home when the Post finally noticed what was becoming of the justly famous Metro. When A Mind That Suits was but a lad just out of college, the Metro system was very small, and trains on weekends often had only two cars. These days, the system covers most of the metropolitan area, and one almost never sees anything less than six cars. During rush hour, there are never any fewer than the maximum eight, and those maximum eight cars are filled to the maximum, making it a real effort for the trains to pull out of the station or stop, so overloaded are they. Stuck in a tunnel one morning because a train had lost contact with the third rail, a certain pudgy, balding English teacher did the math and calculated that a full 8-car train probably held 1200 people. At one train every 2 minutes, that is a lot of people going in and out of stations.

This radical increase has come about in part because traffic congestion and the absence of Marion Barry have made it very attractive for professionals to move back into town. That they can move into the most beautiful everyday houses in the US makes it that much more attractive. Plus, following a plan laid down by Mr. Barry but thankfully executed by others, the entire area from Dupont Circle to the Capitol itself is filled with luxurious office buildings, so many more people both live and work downtown.

Now, it appears that local governments will follow through on long frustrated plans to carry the Metro out to Dulles International Airport, which--travellers should note--is nowhere near Washington, DC but is very near the wonderful Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum. And so the Post has finally noticed that the Metro may in fact already be carrying all the humans that it can ever hope to carry. Ah, well. Better late than never.

In politics, the ever-insightful (and inciteful) Hugh Hewitt has said what all pundits should realize, and that was that A Mind That Suits was correct about how disastrous the first debate was for Sen. Kerry. What a wise man Mr. Hewitt is. George Will, an opponent of Administration war policy, gave a good account this morning of why conservatives should vote for Mr. Bush. The Washington Post's lead editorial gave an intellectually honest account of all the issues raised by the final report on Iraqi WMD, and it should be studied closely, as should this short take by David Frum, a brilliant man with whom A Mind That Suits often disagrees, although he does today.

Meetings You Are Glad You Did Not Attend

The normally indispensible Wall Street Journal was almost silent about the report, granting it a few column inches in its news pages and no notice at all on its famed editorial page. It is unimaginable that they did not snag an advance copy, and even if they didn't, Dr. Duelfer, the lead investigator on WMD, spoke twice yesterday before Congressional committees, giving them more than ample time to formulate a response. But they have had a lot more ample time than a 12 hour news cycle.

The problem is, the WSJ has committed itself to a position that can only be described as irrational: the war was not about WMD, but the WMD are in Syria, which makes the war justified. Had they bent their considerable collective intellectual firepower to justifying the war based on the work of Dr. David Kay, whose interim report, released almost exactly one year ago, differs in no significant way from either his final report last January or Dr. Duelfer's report, this would have just been one more day in the trenches. One can only imagine that the most recalcitrant of the true believers at that august journalistic institution simply do or does not want to admit that the initial justification for the war was almost entirely wrong, even if the report actually justifies the war, which it does.

Religion is supposed to be a comfort, but Donald Rumsfeld is a strange god to worship. And you simply do not want to be at the meetings where the reality of the report was thrown against a belief that is impervious to argument or fact, and some form of collective judgment was to be formed.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:16 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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