Yesterday evening’s musical performance by Condoleezza Rice at the Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival should have been called, Shanda (Yiddish for travesty) and Schubert. But Boosha (Hebrew for shame) and Brahms would be just as appropriate. What else to label this mostly musical performance before some of the nations most influential citizens?
With global terrorism, economic breakdown at home and abroad, no positive outlook in the Middle East, and soldiers still dying in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is this really the right presentation for our Secretary of State to be giving? And as I asked people this same question as they were heading to the performance, they all basically agreed that it was not.

Yes, she made some “substantive” remarks. But given the condition of the world right now, and her position, focusing on her admittedly stunning ability to play the piano, is just not good. It smacks of genuine surrender. It actually brings to mind the image of those musicians playing on the deck of the Titanic in its final hours – they already accepted that there were no lifeboats left, so why bother trying to save themselves or anybody else?
By the way, if the current administration wants to help get Barack Obama elected, these are just the kind of things that its leading members should keep doing. By failing to stay meaningfully engaged (some of you will scream: “Stay”? When were they ever meaningfully engaged?) in every issue for as long as they can, they reinforce the very hopelessness to which Senator Obama presents himself as the solution. Maybe that’s why the largely liberal crowd was so happy with her performance….

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