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All hands on deck

October 13, 2008

Re "Obama's, and our, iceberg," Opinion, Oct. 9

Rosa Brooks is a bit shaky when it comes to using the analogy of the Titanic for this troubled era.

The Titanic story is about hubris, nobility of spirit and damage that could not be fixed. A "bailout" was useless, so most accepted their fate. The crew was mostly exemplary. Being seamen, they knew what the risks were when they signed on.

As Americans living in a democracy, we are not like the passengers on the Titanic or any ship. We are the crew. It is our job to be ever vigilant for icebergs. I'm afraid we were too busy acting like pampered passengers to pay attention to our course.

To blame the usual suspects -- Republicans -- is like saying only half the crew was on duty. Where was the other half? Were they locked up in the hold? Or were they, like drunken sailors, sleeping off a binge in the markets?

In sailing, even when the weather is calm, a lookout is always posted. And no matter who the new master of this ship of state will be, he cannot do a thing unless the crew stays awake, alert and sober.

Laura Crockett

Los Angeles

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