Enemy of the Week

Tender Resignations

It’s always those who should quit who can’t or won’t.

By 6.4.04

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It was supposed to be Rumsfeld. Or Cheney. Or Bush. Or John Ashcroft. Not to mention DeLay, even Hastert, and of course Karl Rove and maybe Rice. Along with Wolfowitz, Feith, Krauthammer, Limbaugh, Hannity (but not Colmes), Roger Ailes, John Podhoretz and especially Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But instead all of the above (except Colmes) got together and forced the affable George Tenet to walk the plank and sink to the bottom, taking with him all evidence that would have convicted any of these villains. And naturally much was misreported. Many journalists cited "personal" reasons as a motivation, when in fact it was the above "personnel" who forced Tenet's hand.

With Tenet's departure it's now a given that nothing bad can happen to us a country again or that desert-based WMDs will ever materialize as anything other than a mirage. In that sense Tenet has left the country stronger than he found it. For certain more resignations are required, but we must also concern ourselves with those who are resignation-proof. How come no one is calling for their head? Must we remain resigned to those who never have?

Backing up a bit, we have last week's aging raving star, Al Gore, violating every hate speech restriction codified by the administration he so ably served. If he keeps at it, no one will believe he actually won the popular vote in 2000. To regain his rightful place in history, there is only one thing he can do. He must resign. From what, you ask, since he's not currently holding elective office? From being Al Gore, of course. Then no one would be lying if they described him as selfless. And we would always have Howdy-Doody to fall back on as a replacement.

Al Franken has no reason to resign because for one thing there's no management left at Air America that might otherwise threaten to fire him. What's more, for the first time in his career he's earning his keep, drawing no salary at all for the many hours he puts in behind a microphone trying to resolve the Socratic question about whether a falling radio broadcast in an empty forest makes noise. One can almost hear the trees tittering.

John Kerry could resign but he has yet to be nominated let alone to accept the Democratic presidential nomination. He's about as likely to be elected president as Saddam Hussein is to return to the Iraqi presidency. Even West European fans of his like Jacques Chirac and Gerhardt Schroeder are resigned to Bush's reelection -- reports the New York Times. (Talk about burying the lead; you'll find the info on p. 2 of the linked-to story.) Kerry is in that enviable position in which resignation would provide a much needed boost to a doornail-dead candidacy. His campaign would finally catch fire once it knew it was going down in flames.

We think George Soros should resign, if only because he's topping John Kerry in making George Bush's reelection inevitable. Imagine comparing the photos from Abu Ghraib to the attacks of 9/11, as Soros gleefully did yesterday. (Anyone see prisoners jumping from windows?) Some political advertising money simply can't buy. The FEC might want to call this contribution from Soros an illegal gift to the GOP. And he's the best the Democrats have.

So far the New York Times and Washington Post haven't reported on Soros's comments, though the L.A. Times and Boston Globe have. In the Post's case, the deliberate omission is doubly heinous, considering the paper covered Soros's appearance in other ways in its Friday edition. The Clinton-era instinct of protecting Democrats at all costs is back in vogue.

True, the Times was busy elsewhere. With its usual sense of the big picture, the paper directed its attention to President Bush's upcoming intrusion into European affairs. Of a sudden it even found the Pope an infallible figure. So in an unusual op-ed, it decided to compare the American president to the communist dictator who imposed martial law on Poland to snuff out freedom and Solidarity. Back in 1983, it wrote, everyone noticed that Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's knees were shaking when he appeared before John Paul II. "Will George Bush's knees be knocking when he meets with the pope?" the op-ed author asked, meaning Bush has a lot to answer for imposing martial law on America and free Iraq.

John L. Allen Jr. is the op-ed writer's name. He is Vatican correspondent of the National Catholic Reporter (a.k.a. the National Catholic Heretic), an Enemy of the Week débutante, and a future adviser to George Soros and the former Al Gore.

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