The Miracle will be if we survive the Bush presidency intact.
No more stark contrast could have been on display yesterday than the difference between events on the west side of
As I write, still breathless reporters all over the TV dial are exclaiming the Miracle on the
But this was not a miracle.
What we see here is the result of excellence and we should be no less in awe of it. It’s just that after the relentless pummeling of failure and incompetence on display before us and the world of the Bush administration and their apologists trying to spin it away, we can hardly recognize competence and excellence anymore.
The pilot of the plane, and no doubt his co-pilot, the flight attendants, the air traffic controllers, the ferry boat operators, the manufacturers of the plane, and yes, the government bureaucrats at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) all worked together to assure that a disaster in the making instead is hailed as a miracle. Instead it should be hailed as a mark of pride that such a wide range of people can succeed to such a degree in split seconds in an incident for which all were trained and prepared.
All of these people should be celebrated not for performing miracles, they should be celebrated for being the very best at the jobs they do every day.
You can pray and hope for miracles and for much of the Bush presidency that’s what we had to do all too often to little effect because we could not rely on most of the folks at the top to do their jobs much less do them well. That era (or perhaps error is a better pun) is over.
All appearances and claims are that the incoming Obama team is put together largely because of the excellence that all will bring to their tasks. If that is the case, then maybe Americans and the world can return to the expectation of things as they once were, that we can celebrate excellence in the things we do rather than hope for miracles when nothing else works. If the standard of expectation is excellence miracles aren’t necessary.