You May Say That I’m A Dreamer…

If I may, readers, I beg you to allow me a momentary departure from our customary rigor and gimlet-eyed realism:

Conjure this up in your mind’s eye: a nickel-iron meteorite, ten or twenty meters in diameter, plows into the National Mall at high velocity on a busy autumn weekday. In stroke, it’s all gone — Congress, the White House, Treasury, Foggy Bottom, Justice, EPA, IRS, K Street, the pundits, the whole enchilada. Just gone. Just a big smoking crater where it all used to be, with, after a little while, a lot of curious Americans peering over the rim…

Just a fantasy, of course, and needless to say the chaos that would follow would be spectacularly awful (not to mention the tragic deaths of all the innocent Washingtonians — of whom, I understand, there may be as many as several dozen — who would perish in the initial impact). But as I read the news day after day, it’s hard not to think about how splendid it would be if we could just, somehow, make it all go away, and give the whole thing another try.

For most of the nation’s history, the Federal government played an almost unnoticeable role in most Americans’ lives.


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  1. guy says

    This would be an exceptionally bad time for a meteorite strike on D.C. – “Champagne was the worst hit, with the harvest down more than 20 percent on the previous year due to spring frosts…

    Posted May 11, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
  2. coyote says

    I imagine another Carrington event to bring down this tower of Babel.

    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  3. J Clivas says

    The last thing Afro-Americans want is for their ally, the Federal government, to be “unnoticeable”.

    Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says


    Why focus on that? Many others feel that way also.

    The really important point is that the vast apparatus of the government itself feels that way.

    Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink
  5. Tina says

    In Texas, we probably wouldn’t notice Washington’s absence, unless we became aware of the sudden ease with which we could build a new landfill or refinery, or say “no” to illegal aliens, or quarantine nurses carrying Ebola.

    Posted May 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink
  6. Whitewall says

    This could be a meteorite of sorts—
    Trump at Liberty University: “We don’t worship government; we worship God”. Many a secular Crown might be registering “tilt”.

    Posted May 14, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink
  7. colinhutton says

    Without researching it, I think five to ten meters would suffice. That being the case, I think you are being a bit selfish and isolationist. Could you rather bisect your Ni-Fe meteorite and fix the Brussels swamp as well. (Brussels too is a nice safe distance from us down here in Aus!)

    Posted May 14, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  8. Bluefin Tuna says

    Dave Barry considered the same solution in the early 2000s and concluded that it was likely to fail:

    Nothing can stop [the growth of the Federal Government], except maybe (not that I am advocating this) a direct asteroid hit on the Capitol Building. And even that probably wouldn’t work. Even if the entire District of Columbia were transformed into a gigantic two-mile-deep hole, taxpayers would be required to stand around the edge and throw money into the smoking cavity.

    Posted May 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink