“We’ve always said, all options except for boots,” a State Department spokeswoman said last month. “That is still the case.” The catchphrase has become “no boots on the ground.” Nancy Sinatra used hers for walking. But what about our men and women in uniform and under the command of our president? Can they use theirs for golf? Marching on parade? Hiking in the Rockies? Or to think of it another way, what about sneakers or high heels? Can they be worn on the ground?
We were hoping the president’s major address last week would clarify matters. Instead, the only thing that really moved us was his fulsomeness about the country he has found out he really and truly loves. Some would say he was being Reaganesque.
“… America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth,” he reported. “Our technology companies and universities are unmatched. Our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history.” And nearly a hundred million Americans who could be working aren’t — that’s how swell it’s become in the land of the free, give or take some unpleasant statistical adjustments a month or two after initial numbers are announced.
Not everyone is on board. While our man finds himself “more confident than ever about out country’s future,” last week’s winner of our medal of dishonor has found the liberal enclave she once lived in to be “soulless.” Thus writes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about Arlington, Virginia, in her new memoir. Guess it’s not a place where you find senators of the male persuasion standing on the corner watching girls go by.
Nor, in the wake of the Ray Rice frenzy, are we likely to find similar activity at NFL stadiums, sports bars, and homes tuned in to televised professional football. So sayeth acting Commissioner Maureen Dowd, who claims women are almost 50 percent of the NFL’s fan base. It’s really all the fault of the lynchable commissioner Roger Goodell, who didn’t react indignantly enough to Rice’s crimes when he still had the chance. For his transgressions, Maureen pronounces Roger more like Richard Nixon, “the man who covered up crimes,” and less like his father, former Senator Charles Goodell, whose career Nixon supposedly destroyed after Goodell came out against the Vietnam War.
Meanwhile, another voice has been added to the list of those who happily will no longer allow the Washington Redskins name to sully their premises. An online retailer named Etsy announced last Tuesday it is banning all things Redskin from its no doubt very lucrative site. Let’s see if that spikes sales in its other departments. We detect a new trend, set in motion by CVS, which has renamed itself CVS Health after removing evil tobacco in all forms from its drug store shelves. But can we be certain that no tobacco residue remains? Just because you remove asbestos or nuclear waste doesn’t mean its effects can’t cause trouble for countless decades to come. On the other hand, as a marketing tool it deserves emulation. Obamacare is about to start a second round of recruiting. Wouldn’t it stand a better chance of success if it henceforth were referred to as Obamacare Health? In time, the injury riddled ’Skins might just as naturally rename themselves the “Washington Skin Health.”
But what can be done to save the Jay Carney franchise? Such a makeover as we witnessed on Obama Speech Night last Wednesday may be a first in media history. Last June 20 was his final day as chief Obama spinner and apologist, all of it delivered behind the dullest exterior. The three-plus months since he’s apparently spent entirely on Tahiti or under a sunlamp. His bland complexion has been replaced by an unshaved, splotchy ultra-tanned look. No more gray suit, white shirt, and dull tie. Now it’s designer blue blazer, open collar on matching shirt, and a smug demeanor that screams he’s coming to you from San Francisco, which he was, his first night in CNN’s employ. And the rest is history, as 78-year-old John McCain wiped the television screen with him. Jay Carney, back on the job, and already behaving as an overmatched Enemy of the Week.