I took a little test this morning to measure my “outrage quotient.” I’m sure you’re familiar with this test. Although it doesn’t require medical supervision, I recommend that at the very least, you have a friend or family member present just in case something goes wrong. After all, trying to gauge how angry you can get at the mainstream press or the left can be a dangerous proposition. There’s always the chance that you’ll come across something so spiteful, so biased, so…so…outrageous that a myocardial infarction becomes a distinct possibility.
Sue was dead set against me taking the test. “What happens if you read something from Daily Kos and your head explodes?” she asked plaintively.”Or watch Anderson Cooper emote like a cheesy actor in a bad production of Hamlet and throw up? I just did the floor, ya know.”
You can see it took a little convincing.
After promising to accompany her to Pier 1 Imports to pick up a wicker chair to replace the one that our loving cats eagerly shredded by peeling, ripping, biting, and chewing the offending furnishing to smithereens, she agreed to closely monitor my vital signs in the interest of safety.
We started with something easy; the indictment for homicide of the husband and wife owners of a nursing home where 34 elderly patients drowned during the hurricane. Evidently, the owners failed to accept an offer to evacuate the residents prior to the hurricane’s arrival.
My reaction surprised me. Didn’t the Mayor of New Orleans do exactly the same thing when Amtrak offered to evacuate several hundred people the day before the hurricane by train? According to the Washington Post, Amtrak ran a “dead head” train to move equipment out of the city. The company says they offered to move several hundred people but city officials turned them down.
I waited anxiously for the bile to rise in my throat in disgust and my blood pressure to careen out of control, but nothing happened. I glanced at Sue who looked relieved. I could have explained to her that the Mayor of New Orleans has become an untouchable. Any responsibility for the catastrophe rolls off his back like the water that inundated the hundreds of buses left in a municipal parking lot to become submerged instead of being used to evacuate citizens.
Since that didn’t elicit much of response, Sue tried to get a rise out of me by showing me a story involving the other half of the disaster duo, the Governor of Louisiana. It seems that Governor Blanco continues to exhibit a bit of peevishness at the federal government, this time because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking too long to recover the dead bodies left in the wake of the hurricane. She says that the dead “deserve more respect than they have received.”
For a moment, I thought I detected a slight rumbling in my gut, a sure indication that my outrage was about to burst forth into a white hot series of invective and angry retorts. I wanted to say something like “maybe you should worry about giving more respect to the living, you cretinous lickpsittle! Start thinking about all the citizens of your state you let down so ignominiously in the hurricane’s aftermath! ” Alas, the rumbling was only indicative of a little indigestion from the Dominoes Pizza we had eaten the night before, not of any real outrage at Governor Blanco’s extraordinary mismanagement of the crisis.
I was beginning to get worried. The test was not going at all like I planned. Even Sue had begun to look at me as if something might be wrong. Then she remembered the story about the Louisiana Congressman who used to National Guard to retrieve his personal belongings while they were still carrying out search and rescue operations.
It seems that Representative William Jefferson (D-LA) commandeered some National Guard troops on Friday, September 2 to take him back to his house in New Orleans so he could pick up a few odds and ends – three suitcases, a laptop, and a box “the size of a small refrigerator.” This is the same Rep. Jefferson who last month had his home searched by the FBI in connection with a corruption probe.
Kind of makes you wonder what was in the box, no?
Sue looked downright crestfallen. No response worth mentioning. My heart never skipped a beat nor was my respiration affected at all. Again, I could have clued her in that having lived and worked in Washington D.C., you develop an outrage proof attitude when it comes to members of Congress. The venality and amorality is so widespread and endemic to the institution that it becomes depressingly the norm to read about such things.
So far, nothing had been able to raise my hackles. It really looked like, with a nod to Jo Dee Messina, “My Give a Damn” was really busted. Then I saw the fearful look on Sue’s face.
“I don’t think you should see this,” she said carefully. “It’s from a diarist at Daily Kos and it’s in response to the President’s statement that he takes responsibility for the federal foul-ups during disaster relief.”
I laughed and Sue nearly swooned. “You don’t get it,” she said angrily. Do you have any idea what this moonbat said?”
“Let me guess,” I chuckled. “Now that Bush has taken responsibility for mistakes made by the Federal government, he should be impeached. Am I right?”
“How did you guess?”
“Honey,” I said patiently, “Nothing those idiots at Kos say either surprises me or causes me much anger any more.”
Sue looked desperate. She thrust a printed copy of the offending passage in front of my nose:
Now that Bush has taken responsibility, he must resign. He has pleaded guilty. He has admitted that he was complicit in the deaths of thousands of people.
Haul his ass in front of the House of Representatives for an impeachment trial, and then ask him to confirm that he admits responsibility. If he denies this, he will look like a flip-flopping liar; if he confirms that it was his fault, Congress will be forced to impeach him.
I actually giggled after reading that. Somehow, the avalanche of lies, distortions, bias, and prejudice had numbed me. I felt like a wet noodle. I got the feeling that nothing the left did from here on out could possibly affect me one way or another. In short, I was suffering from “Outrage Fatigue.”
Then again, maybe it was that Dominoes Pizza we ate last night and by tomorrow I’ll be back to my old apoplectic self.