Replaceable

The graveyards are full of people the world could not do without.

— Elbert Hubbard, 1907, per Quote Investigator: 21 November 2011: “The Graveyards are Full of Indispensable Men”

In this time of upheaval over various sexual deviances of the rich and famous, including legislators, presidents, actors, comedians, journalists, and so forth, it is important to remember. Part of the slant against accusers has to do with the lofty positions that folks are falling from, and how comfortable they are in many lives.

We invite into our brains these characters to help guide us through the daily jungles of a hyperactive world, and like tourists in a real jungle, feel afraid to venture forth without their guiding hands and sharp machetes cutting the path.

But they are not our sacred cows. Even the greatest orators have speechwriters. Even the most spirited leaders have staffs.

Some worry about what is lost. That great art might perish under the association with a scoundrel. Let it. Food spoils, why not art? We can always have it remade, as Hollywood seems apt to do of any old film and not especially those made by power abusers. Or not, let the art endure with a sticker pointing out the misdeeds of the artist.

But whether it is on the issue of sexual misconduct or other abuses of power or just plain imbecility, we must remember that these people are replaceable in their roles. We should be glad to replace them.

As the GOP moves to pass their equivalent of comfort food, to snack away their pain in dealing with bad leadership, we must all remember their mistakes are replaceable too. The tax code can be fixed, and it will be fixed as the deficit rises and the debt with it. It is injurious and gluttonous to be sure, and it is a sick parody of something like Simpson-Bowles or any other even-handed attempt to reform the tax code, but after the drunken reverie wears off, even some Republicans will be lending a hand to fix their own mess.

We are only 49 weeks from the midterm elections.