Thursday, July 20, 2006

Landis Recovers; Bush Still Bonking

A reader asks how the astonishing recovery of Floyd Landis in the Tour de France affects my extended sports metaphor in yesterday's post.
Floyd Landis today brought himself back to within 30 seconds of the yellow jersey after losing ten minutes to the winner of yesterday's stage.
He went out on a breakaway early in the stage and clawed his way back into contention on the Tour's last day in the Alps. Having learned his lesson yesterday, he was constantly dousing himself with water (
shorting out his 2-way radio in the process) and taking nourishment to keep himself going.
It is not unheard of for a rider to mount such a breakaway, but usually it comes from a rider who has no chance of working his way into contention. But today Floyd Landis simply rode off leaving the peleton gasping in admiration. It was a stirring display of indiviual prowess and determination--a rare instance when one man on a bike could simply outdistance the entire field.
As for my metaphor and the international disorder we face, I am afraid that no individual act of heroism is likely to bring order to the chaos. The mess we're in today isn't the result of one bad day in the saddle and can't be rectified with a good night's sleep and a fresh start in the morning.
As I said yesterday, Bush has not measured up to the job of
patron. He thought he could transform the Middle East with a display of shock and awe. His premature declaration of "Mission Accomplished" 1,176 days ago would be like a rider declaring the season a success after winning a one day race in March. It's a long way from a quick victory early in the season to mastering the grinding ordeal of three weeks riding over mountains in the heat of summer.
Nearly five years after 9/11, the U.S. has failed to bring those who attacked us to account. Bush, who would claim to be the
patron who imposes order on the world, seems to be struggling up the hill as the world erupts with ever more virulent outbeaks of violence.
Photo: Roberto Bettini/


Blogger Dave said...

Two things:

1. I was joking about Floyd's recovery having anything to do with your analogy.

2. All we've been through together, and I'm still just "a reader?" :)

8:45 AM, July 21, 2006  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

No sports fans, he's not "just a reader." He fellow blogger Dave of First State Politics.

8:57 AM, July 21, 2006  

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