Wednesday, March 8, 2006

All Right, Mr. DeMille; I’m Ready for My Close-Up

Maureen Dowd on the Hollywoodization of the White House:

Who ever thought Dick Cheney and Mamie Van Doren would have so much in common?

The White House is constantly trying to do laser resurfacing on its Iraq policy, to sandblast away the damage from its own mistakes. But its veneer may be beyond repair.

In Hollywood terms, we’ve reached an Indiana Jones crisis moment in our parlous protectorate. The cave is collapsing, the snakes are encroaching, the vehicles are exploding, the crushing ball is rolling down on us. The public has stopped buying the administration’s sugary spin. The Washington Post reported yesterday that 80 percent of Americans — cutting across party lines — say sectarian violence makes civil war in Iraq likely. More than a third call it “very likely.” Half also think the U.S. should begin withdrawing troops from Iraq, the poll found, and two-thirds say the president has no clear plan for Iraq.


As Hollywood often does, the administration scorns introspection and originality. It sticks with the same worn themes: Stay the course. Victory’s around the corner. Anyone who expresses skepticism is a defeatist, a softie on terrorism.

Or, as Dick Cheney would say, channeling Norma Desmond from Sunset Blvd, “I AM big; it’s the wars that got small.”