The Right Coast

May 11, 2004
One Angry Frog
By Tom Smith

Mr. George "Jeremy Fisher" Will is really mad this time. He's calling on Rumsfeld to do whatever it is he should do. Now that's telling him. Mind you, he's not saying Rumsfeld should resign. Nor is he saying he shouldn't. He is saying that Rumsfeld should do whatever the brave, bold, Shakespearean, Hamiltonian, Eatonian, Princetonian, bow-tiean thing is, as it may happen, as one should have thought it should not have been necessary to say, but apparently is necessary for one. That, as I say, is tellin' 'im. George the Man of Will. He is a brave man. Frogs that inflate themselves too far have been known to actually explode, you know. Will should be careful.

Forgive me for observing the obvious irony. Here is a pundit who is too sceeeeerd to take a position on whether Rummy should go, but is quite happy to bloviate on the importance of doing the courageous, the honorable thing, without taking a position on what the honorable thing is. So while positioning himself carefully in the middle somewhere, Will calls for bold action, without saying what that might be. This amounts to no more than moralistic preening, or whatever it is frogs do, not have feathers to preen. Giving themselves a fresh coat of slime, perhaps (One should have thought one should know better than to mix one's metaphors, shouldn't one? But there one is.) Will really missed his calling. He should have been an opinionated C of E curate who advised his parishioners to always be moral, while not having a bit of advice on what the moral thing was. Husband a drunk wife-beater but no other source of income? Well, then do the moral thing! What is that? Not a clue, what? what?

Needless to say, there are more important things here than the marginal advancement of journalist pundits' careers (as can almost always be said). As it says below the statue of Nathan Hale (of Yale) outside the CIA headquarters, a lot of things are honorable in defense of one's country (or words to that effect: contact Mr. Will for exact quotation.) Rumsfeld has a war to win. If he becomes a hindrance rather than a help, Bush will fire him, if Rumsfeld doesn't resign first. If you expect it to be Shakespearen when it happens, you'll probably be disappointed. In the meantime, calls for his resignation, or calls for honor (and the better part thereof) are just political posturing. Mr. Will should exhale, and have a nice butterfly sandwich.