Jackson Diehl at the Washington Post is thunderstruck by the abstracted, almost unreal atmosphere within the administration.
Incredibly, some officials close to Kerry were arguing in recent weeks that one reason not to designate Egypt’s coup a coup was to avoid dampening the Mideast “peace process” — whose prospects for success are invisible to all outside the administration, including the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Never mind the burning city, goes the logic; we’ve got our hands full building this Potemkin village.
That Potemkin Village is called Narrativeville and lots of people inside the Beltway actually live in it. In that town all problems can be solved by sending off new talking points to Journolist to make reality conform to fiction. Except maybe this time it won’t happen beyond the remit of the Metro. The unaccountable refusal of reality to conform would puzzle many in Washington. But the last few weeks have been a story of two cities built by a river. One by the Potomac and the other by the Nile, each afflicted by its own brand of madness.
All the demands that America “do something in Egypt” are really preconditioned on one unstated assumption: that Washington itself knows what to do. That used to be a reasonable assumption. But perhaps it is not any more.