Monday, January 03, 2005

Caviar Christians

Presidential inaugurations have always made me sick, regardless of party, and I've pretty much skipped the last few. But this year's imperial pageant promises to be utterly grotesque, what with some $40 mil being dropped on this self-congratulatory event while the Iraq meat grinder keeps humming, and the tsunami survivors try to deal with their personal losses and find some way, in the face of disease and starvation, to trudge on.

Oh, I expect Bush will make some solemn noises amid his standard rough posturing. His shtick. But after the swearing in, the parade, the waving to the crowd and false smiles, there'll be the parties where a slice of the American elite will gorge itself on expensive booze and entrees. I won't pretend that I haven't imbibed some really fine liquor and downed some exquisite grub in my time, and that I didn't enjoy it. But how anyone, esp Bush supporters who consider themselves "Christians," can participate in this spectacle while paying for mass murder and torture in Iraq, and while people in south Asia need every dime they can get, is simply obscene. There's a part of me that believes if faced with such obvious and barbarous disparity, average people will back away from the pig trough and re-consider their actions. It may not be my rational side, but it still nags at me.

There are some who feel that these parties should be cancelled, and the funds used for tsunami relief, armor for troops in Iraq, among other less glamorous things. Steve Alburty has started a grassroots effort to convince those throwing the shindigs that dancing the night away (in praise of a corrupt admin) at this particular moment is at best in bad taste. (Thanks to pal Jon Schwarz for the link.) A noble gesture, doomed to fail, I'm sorry to say. The Beltway rollers are addicted to this kind of gala. Still, doing nothing would be worse. Push as hard as you can for as long as you can. Maybe someone will take heed.

As for our First Christian, well, I'm afraid there's no getting through to him. In his Bible, Jesus strafes Arab neighborhoods from a Blackhawk attack copter, yelling like Slim Pickens in "Dr. Strangelove." Afterwards, J.C. catches the red eye to DC in time for the festivities, hobnobs with corporate donors, RNC honchos & conservative celebs before embarking on a ten-city tour pushing His president's Social Security "plan."

Happy New Year.