Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
And all this time I thought that was just a line in a movie…Who knew there was more than one Wizard of Oz? Who knew there was and is more than one guy pulling our crank?
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Who knew there was more than one crazy dude behind a curtain trying to distract us? Who knew there was a whole city devoted to doing just that?
Not Oz. Washington.
Not the head of Emerald City. Try all of Emerald City!
Not little people. Try important people. And these days, worried people. Distracting. Shifting. Forcing us to look elsewhere so we don’t see what’s in front of our face. Hoping we forget what we cannot fathom.
Sound familiar? It should. Because it’s a pattern. The veterans scandal is exploding, and this week we learn the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is putting out emails urging action on climate change. So “Flipper” matters, flipping veterans the bird does not.
Iraq’s imploding and Harry Reid takes to the Senate floor to demand action – not on Iraq – on the Washington Redskins! Reid calling for owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s name – the very same day the U.S. Patent Office strips the team’s federal trademarks.
Talking minimum wage when the health-care law is maximum out of control.
Pivoting to equal pay the very day we learn all Americans’ pay is suffering.
Deliberating whether Dr. Oz is making bogus comments on diet drugs the same day we learn emails are disappearing at the Internal Revenue Service.
Fat chance Dr. Oz was on the up-and-up, but fat chance this should be our most pressing concern.
In any of these pivots, do you see any underlying good? Do you see anyone asking how it’s possible for a tax agency to lose thousands of emails? Or a veterans agency to lose thousands of records?
Is anyone explaining how Iraq exploded so quickly and why our top officials didn’t remotely see it coming?
Where’s the pivot back to the things that matter? The issues that matter? Where’s the urgency to address the crises at hand and not necessarily the focus-group tested issues that can wait?
It’s human nature for politicians to deflect. Richard Nixon famously chose a trip to the Middle East and a triumphant motorcade through Cairo with Anwar Sadat to take this nation’s mind off Watergate. But it didn’t take the nation’s mind off Watergate – at least not for long.
Such distractions are meant to be just that – distractions. They’re meant to make us forget or at least forget what we were so worked up about. And taken one after the other, they’re often meant to play one off the other as well.
A Benghazi perpetrator capture that might make us forget how four Americans lost their lives in the first place.
A push to clean up the oceans that might get our minds off our not cleaning up so many federal agencies.
You’d think those who keep pulling our crank would see we’re becoming cranky. We’re onto the distractions. We’re onto the war on women that’s more about forgetting how we’re losing so many wars.
The problem with hiding behind a curtain and trying to get people to think you’re all powerful is pretty soon, they see you’re just frantically pulling anything out your sleeve and hoping…they don’t notice.
They do. They’ve walked this yellow-brick road.
And they don’t much like where it leads, or who’s leading.