I was reading some old Molly Ivins columns yesterday and was struck by how history repeats itself. Read this snippet from Gulf War I and tell me if it doesn’t sound like it could have been written today, complete with news about Citicorp:
You may have noticed that many of our fellow citizens have slipped into wretched excess on the patriotism front. Yellow ribbons tied around the necks of pink plastic yard flamingos. A bumper sticker on a huge gas-hog that says, WHIP THEIR ASS, THEN TAKE THEIR GAS.
All in all, festive days for armchair Rambos.
For those of you who relish life’s little ironies, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has just bought $590 million worth of Citicorp, America’s largest bank, thus becoming its largest shareholder. I personally enjoyed President Bush’s presentation of his energy policy in midwar: He said he wouldn’t do anything to conserve energy because he didn’t want Americans to have to make such a sacrifice.
Well, everything is the same but worse now: the war drags on, designed to last forever. Instead of $590 million, Citigroup just got $7.5 billion from Abu Dhabi, surpassing Al Waleed as largest shareholder. And as for energy policy? I’ll bet the first Bush would have changed his tune had gasoline jumped to nearly $4 per gallon back then. Bush II doesn’t seem to think that it even requires a comment.
Welcome to the future, the same as the past but with a “New! Extreme!” label.