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The tragedy of Macbush

Full Speed to Port!

Posted: March 19, 2008 12:23 a.m.
Updated: May 20, 2008 5:02 a.m.
This past Friday, Carrie and I made a quick trip to Brooklyn to visit our two sons living in New York. Jon had kindly arranged for us all to see Patrick Stewart playing Macbeth at the incredible Brooklyn Academy of Music. So it was to be a wonderful weekend, full of fun with our boys and with seeing fabulous Stewart in that riveting Shakespeare play.

But as we flew over and across our great country, me a'-flipping the channels on our JetBlue headrest TV, it was apparent that things were terribly amiss 35,000 feet below. Bear Sterns was melting by the minute, and for a time it appeared that all of Wall Street might follow. From channel to channel, pundits called out "recession" - yea, even "depression." Catastrophe loomed below.

Days later, with the biggest federal bailout of a private firm in history, things have, for a time, calmed down. But my, how the chickens have come home to roost in our time. My, how we will now pay for our electoral sins.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It read: "1-20-09: The end of an error."

That much is true, but more so, "The end of a tragedy," I would counter. Who could have imagined, seven years back, the destruction one man could render upon his country in seven short years?

Seven years in, and our dollar is debased 50 percent against the Euro. Seven years in, and oil explodes from $25 to more than $100 a barrel, and we're slaves to oil states. Seven years in, and deficits run unabated and banks teeter on insolvency. And worst - seven years in, and our liberty and national morality are besmirched with torture, prison without trial, and unjust war.

It's plain to all now - at home and abroad - that America's Bush episode is a tragic epic nearly beyond compare.

But then in Brooklyn, we saw Macbeth and witnessed the comparison.

That classic tragic story of the victorious but weak, manipulated soldier - who murdered his king, murdered liberty, murdered truth, and destroyed his own country. That tragic Macbeth, who had once been so beloved, and for naught, became so despised.

The similarities are stark and obvious. Having not learned the lesson of Macbeth, all America today suffers the Macbethian tragedy of Macbush.

And so today, in the spirit of classic literature meets political reality, I bring you the Shakespearean tale of "The Tragedy of Macbush" - albeit abridged to this column's sparse 1,000 words:

Narrator, describing the scene:
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke; It weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash Is added to her wounds For in Macbush, he being unprepared, Our will became the servant to defect; Which else should free have wrought.

Macbush, responding flippantly:
Things without all remedy
Should be without regard:
What's done is done.
To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.
America, lamenting that it fell victim to Macbush's politics of fear:
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors and do not know ourselves.
When we hold rumor from what we fear, yet know not what we fear, But we float upon a wild and violent sea each way and move.

Macbush, decrying the unintended suffering of cronies from his lavish tax giveaways and resulting banking and stock market tumult:
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble;
Something wicked this way comes.

Nought's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

Sir Obama, challenging Macbush and his congressional court on their false testimony leading to war:
What is a traitor?
- Why, one that swears and lies.
And be all traitors that do so?
- Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.
And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?
- Every one.
Who must hang them?
- Why, the honest men.
Then the liars and swearers are fools;
For there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men and hang them up.

America, responding:
This tyrant Macbush, whose sole name blisters our tongues, Was once thought honest: we have loved him well.

Now what does the tyrant, Macbush?
Great White House he strongly fortifies:
Some say he's mad; others that lesser hate him Do call it valiant fury: but, for certain, He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause Within the belt of rule.

Narrator, providing a current report:
Now does Macbush feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands; Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach; Those he commands move only in command, Nothing in love: now does he feel his title Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe Upon a dwarfish thief.

Macbush, crying from his shallow soul:
I am sick at heart,
This push will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have lived long enough: my way of life Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf; And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses, not loud but deep - Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
And on election night, breaking free from Macbush tyranny, America shouts and rejoices:
Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o' the time:
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are, Painted on a pole, and underwrit, 'Here may you see the tyrant.'

A postscript, on enduring until that blessed final day:
Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

"1-20-09: The end of the Macbush tragedy."

Gary Horton lives in Valencia. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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