I confess: my spirits were lifted almost as much by watching that helicopter leave Washington yesterday as they were by the beginning of a new presidency and all that the Obama administration symbolizes.
As Dick Cheney was wheeled out from the White House, looking for all the world like Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life, (or, as my husband suggested, Dr. Strangelove), I was reminded of Jonah's grudging response to Nineveh's repentance.
Not that anyone has really repented -- yet. But if they did, could I forgive failed leaders for their failure? Forgive those who sought power and abused it for the abuse? Forgive the deceivers for their knowing deception? Or would I chalk it all up to PR and following the crowd?
It's clear from all the historical evidence (not to mention the book of Nahum) that there was no love lost between Assyria and Israel. It's also pretty clear who the 300-pound gorilla was in this match-up. And yet, the book of Jonah has the audacity to imagine a world in which Nineveh, hearing Jonah's minimalist prophecy, repents.
Laughable? Maybe. But maybe a prophet who is unhappy when the guilty change is much, much sadder.
President Obama seems inclined to move on rather than pursue investigations. Good for him.