Wednesday, November 08, 2006

IN SUM Yesterday at work I got into a heated debate with a representative from one of the huge, multinational banks. Arguing the advantages of one of her company's financial instruments over US Treasury securities, she made the following case:

If Bank [X] winds up having to break its financial promises, the United States government is almost certain to be in the same position. But even if the US goes under, our bank may well survive. So the smart thing to do is to park your money with us.

I pounced: Was she really trying to say that she considered Bank [X] a more stable institution than the United States of America? Was she actually arguing that trusting Bank [X] with our company's funds was a safer bet than trusting the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury?

The argument struck me as not just specious but offensive. You're not going to get anywhere with me, as a customer, by essentially calling my country a banana republic.

As best as I can recall, it was only the second time in the last two years I found myself unabashedly and vociferously defending the honor and integrity of the United States--at this blog and elsewhere, I and other lefties have spent much more of our mental energy picking at the current regime's flaws.

But the debate with the bank representative was (corny as it sounds) a reminder that all that poking and prodding has been in the spirit of loyalty to the United States, a profound respect for its traditions. These last two depressing years, lefties really believe we've been busy with the business of saving the country--not burying it.

And lefties were rewarded for that work and that belief last night.

We're not out of the woods yet. But there's reason to believe that the darkest days of the Bush administration are behind us.

The slow march toward illiberalism and lawlessness has stalled.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.