In what bizarre universe does Dancing with the Stars qualify as “reality TV” or any other definition of reality? And how did a disgraced former congressman end up cavorting in outlandish outfits as a participant in such a travesty? Indicted for illegal campaign-finance dealings, Tom DeLay apparently couldn’t stand being out of the limelight despite having dishonored his time in office.

But the antics of dubious stars are something way far apart from the reality average folks face in lives fraught with anxiety about health care, jobs, and fears about our foreign engagements. The president is being pressured now to make decisions about Afghanistan by the very people who were so deadly wrong in the past. Supposedly “the surge” worked in Iraq, as John McCain and others keep insisting. Yet that nation remains unstable with a government that isn’t inclusive, has not established centralized power to deal with the distribution of oil revenues, has no reliable police or military forces, to name just a few of the problems that still beset the country.