Early morning at the Roman Baths, Bath, England.
"Looks like you reduced Bill Whittle nearly to speechlessness on PJTV's 'Trifecta' today. Good job!" twittered blogpal Stoutcat this afternoon. Bill Whittle? He of the evocative, beautifully crafted essay "Imperishable" that brought tears of joy to our eyes just the other day? Yes. The one who decided to write out the entire Declaration of Independence in longhand as a gesture to "help recover this document":
And I would urge you now – I would urge each of you listening to this today, especially those of you with children – to help me recover this document. We can’t get that ink back on that paper. But we can do something better. We can put new ink to fresh paper, and copy down once again those words exactly as they were written. We can whisper them aloud as we write them – as I did – and through writing them anew on the page we will inevitably write them anew on our hearts, as fresh and as clear to our eyes and our souls as they were the day that ink dried in that hall in Philadelphia.
Yah. 'Think we'll try that ourselves. But back to the harsh reality of what passes for political discourse in the faltering light of what we used to call the Shining City Upon a Hill. First the good news: "Thank you, Sissy, you've just redeemed this show for us," said the "funniest family-friendly satirist on the internet," old buddy, old pal Scrappleface Editor-in-Chief Scott Ott, in Tweetfecta: MassaGate and the Naked Truth About Rahm Emanuel." Emcee Steven Green, the debonair Vodkapundit of our blogging youth, had sent out a provocative twitter invite early afternoon:
Go on and hit us up with your Rahm v Massa questions for today's LIVE Trifecta. Use that #PJTV tag so we can find them.
"We have something here that I think is unprecedented in American politics, a White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, destroyed a fellow democrat's career, forced him out of office, just to make it one vote easier to pass health care, at least if Eric Massa is to be believed … Is Emanuel guilty of something like sexual harassment, or was he just happy to see Massa?" taunted Steven, tormenting his fellow trifectors with our deliberately provocative question:
ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: How close — shower-buddy close? — were Eric Massa & Gen. Wesley Clark?"I thought we played hardball, but the people watching this stuff, they're meaner than we are," quipped Green, tossing the ball to Whittle:
There comes a point where politics becomes impossible to parody … really I don't know what to say about this. It's so appalling on so many levels …
This most ethical administration ever… he could have walked away with Scott Brown … this bulldog gnawing and chewing and trying to get this thing across the line has resulted now in this level of discourse. It's no longer ask not what your country can do for you, now it's like it's if you drop the soap in the shower, don't pick it up. That's where the level of national discourse has fallen under this administration.
"You have that moment of shock where you go WHAT?" added Ott:
And then you go oh. Oh. Congress. Oh. Washington. Oh. The White House. They have lowered the bar so far I don't know what kind of world these people live in. I can't imagine such a situation. This is so alien to the vast majority of Americans. It defies explanation.
As Bill Whittle gasped in horror upon first being assaulted with our stumper, "Sissy, I don't know."
Update: Oh. Instalanche! Oh. Thank you, Professor Reynolds.
Update II: "This is the best circus Washington has ever seen. Enjoy it!" emails the big guy. Oh. Oh. Oh.
Update III: Ed Driscoll links. Thanks, old friend!