By Dr. Linda Seger
Author of Jesus Rode a Donkey:Why the Republicans Don’t Have a Corner on Christ
Whenever I read about George W.’s mess in Iraq, it reminds me of what happens when you hire a bad plumber.
One day, you notice that something seems to be wrong with the plumbing. You’ve heard of George W. and somebody told you he’s a really nice guy. You ask him to come to look at the plumbing. After a cursory look, he tells you that a thingabob is stuck. It’ll take no more than 6 hours to fix it, no more than $350, and it’s a “slam dunk.” He seems nice and reassuring and tells you he’s a Christian. You figure those are good enough qualifications for you.
The next day he arrives, but he doesn’t seem to have much equipment. He tells you he likes to do it “lean and mean”. At the end of the day, you go to pay him, but you notice there are two pipes lying on the floor that weren’t there before and there’s a small hole in the floor. He tells you “these things take time.” He seems very reassuring.
Three days later he brings in three other guys. You ask about their qualifications and he tells you that one used to be in sports with him, one is dating his daughter, and another goes to his church. He says “Look, you just have to trust me.” At the end of the day, you notice some strange stuff oozing out into the yard and spreading that wasn’t there before. The bathroom floor seems to be at a bit of a slant. He says something about staying the course.
At the end of the second week, the ooze has spread to two neighbor’s lawns and the living room seems to be sinking into a sink hole. The neighbors tell you that they don’t have anything against you, but they aren’t too fond of your plumber. They try to talk to George about it, but he explains to them that these things take time, and he has to stay the course, and says this is the time for them to be good citizens.
He suggests he put up a wall between your house and the neighbors.
At the end of the second month, he tells you he’s bringing in more people, needs more time, and asks for more money. You notice the whole left side of the house is tilting. Out of pity, the neighbor across the street says you can come and stay there.
The neighbor tells you that her brother is a master plumber, teaches plumbing, and has received many awards for his plumbing work. Perhaps he could come and take a look. The brother comes over, tries to talk to George but he won’t listen, so he tells you that whatever was the original problem, it wasn’t a thingabob. Thingabobs don’t exist at this altitude, and have never been seen in these parts. He says he’s willing to come in and fix it, but he always hates to be the person to have to fix somebody else’s mess since it becomes costly and extremely time-consuming. He suspects that a whatchamacallit was stuck, which doesn’t take much to loosen. One of George’s workers overhears and tells George he thinks the brother has a point. George fires him.