Bob Franken

End of Recess

September 4, 2007
End of Recess (Bob Franken)
@ 10:35 am

It’s “Show and Tell” time as everyone returns from vacation to House Middle School and Senate Senior High.

“Let’s see what you did this summer,” said Ms. Pelosi, the House schoolmarm, “and children, you have to settle down!”

There was a bit of a ruckus. Playground bully Rahm Emanuel was already cussing someone out.

Over in the Senate, that job is handled by the headmaster, Mean Mr. Cheney; his assistant principals, Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell, don’t even try to stop all the incessant talking.

But what’s amazing about Vacation Show and Tell is how many went to the same place, Iraq (those who weren’t in Iowa or New Hampshire, anyway). What’s even more amazing is how they saw so many different things behind all the desert barricades.

Some are showing pictures of despair, futility — so pervasive that all Americans should come back. They’re mostly the ones who hang with the Democratic crowd.

The Republicans, easy to spot because they dress in alligator shirts, have a much different picture. Their lenses captured a rosy image of a surge in progress and security.

It becomes quickly apparent that when reporters from the Journalism Club question them for the school newspaper, most have already made up their minds about Iraq.

And that’s well before they’ve tackled their first assignments: to read all the reports that are coming out and listening to the authors, Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.

But after days spent in Committee Detention Halls, the kids will start gathering for assemblies. They’ll yell at each other a lot until the class president, who actually has his own academy down the block, forces his deal with the rowdies here in the Congress neighborhood, who will be intimidated by the prospect of being held accountable.

In all likelihood few, if any, Americans, will be coming back from Iraq for a long time. Because this is a school where nobody ever learns.

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