Thursday, August 04, 2005


If you've seen "The Shawshank Redemption," and especially if you've seen it countless times due to the miracle of commerical cable television, you probably remember the lines about the inmates getting institutionalized. The old man Brooks had been in prison so long, he couldn't handle the outside world after he was released. Red felt like he had been in prison long enough to be the same way.

I'm not going for a direct comparison here. I am just taking off on the word "institutionalized."

Congress breaks for the month of August. The President is off for a five-week vacation and brush clearing photo op. The Washington press seems to be pulling back a bit, recognizing that this is a slow time in DC.

August in DC. An annual slowdown. Accepted by these players. "It's always like this."

Except there is a war on.

A war that was launched on the basis of lies.

A wrong war, in which people are still dying. A war with no end in sight.

A war that doesn't come up in casual conversation, days at a time, weeks at a time.

A war in which our country is abandoning our morals, ignoring the Geneva Convention, torturing, murdering.

But it's August, and down in D.C., things are quiet. It's always like this.


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