Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


If You Want to Destroy My Sweater

When I was in high school, and I was first working an after-school job that put a tiny little bit of money in my pocket, I took some of my new-found cash and bought a black fleece cardigan sweater. I loved it. I wore it all the time.

When I went to college, the sweater came with me and it became my signature look. Four days out of five, I was wearing a t-shirt and my sweater. Some people wondered if, in fact, it was an organic part of my flesh.

I just liked how it looked. It was comfortable. It was unlike what other people wore. It gave me a sense of identity. When it got too worn and gnarly, I bought one just like it, and then I wore the living hell out of that.

Eventually, I met the woman who would one day become my wife. She didn't like the sweater so much. And she let me know it. And, painful though it was, I eventually stopped wearing it. After a few years, I even went so far as to throw it out. I decided that holding onto a look that nobody but me thought was the least bit cool was probably not a good idea, especially if it stopped me from having a relationship.

Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary, told reporters this week that, while the Bush administration was not really going to change its policy in Iraq, they are going to stop using the term "Stay the Course." It doesn't, Snow said, "capture the dynamism" of Bush's policies. Dynamism. Right.

So, instead of doing something substantive to actually make some progress in the war and acknowledge their failures and the anger of the American people, they're changing the words they use to describe what they're doing.

This is kind of like what might have happened if, instead of giving up my sweater, I'd just started calling it a snood. We need to do what my then girlfriend might have done if I'd tried it: we need to dump the GOP's ass and find someone better.