The Bush Administration is surreal. We’ve seen audacity before: Bill Clinton actually requested clarification on the legal definition of the word “is”. George H.W. Bush barfed on the Emperor of Japan. Ronald Reagan made “I don’t recall” his presidential motto. If he becomes a permanent fixture on the dime they should replace “In God We Trust” with “I Don’t Recall”.
It doesn’t stop there. Gerald Ford was clearly appointed to pardon Richard Nixon who ordered federal agents to steal documents from the Democratic opposition. One can only imagine that he was talked down from ordering the assassination of the leading Democratic candidates and settled on theft as part of a compromise.
Presidents and the people around them have proven to be corrupt and inept often at the same time. This dereliction of duty started with John Adams when he forced the passage of the Alien and Sedition acts in order to quash criticism of his administration. Interestingly enough the Bush administration has tried to use its power to limit the scope of the press.
Nothing compares to the Bush administration and we’ve had some doozies. Bush has taken the worst we have seen out of our past presidents and gone one better. The good news is that it’s hard to imagine it will ever get worse. The bad news is that this guy managed to get two terms. Sure, both elections remain steeped in controversy with final counts in pivotal states still in question but how did it get close enough to steal?
You can run down the list of cabinet officials, review a biography of Karl Rove and analyze the policy positions taken over the course of the past 7 years but nothing tops the two men at the top. Bush is the ever-bumbling moron to the embodiment of comic book evil that is Dick Cheney. It’s almost like a live action version of Pinky and The Brain.
Almost because The Brain was a cerebral intellectual genius who was often undermined by his control group counterpart where as Cheney is more of a surly old bastard who uses his bumbling sidekick as cover. You get the impression that when these guys leave office newly appointed White House officials will discover a shit stain on the Constitution from where Cheney literally wiped as ass on it and the Declaration of Independence will have splotches of Kool Aide on it because Bush used it as a coaster. We’ll probably find Lady Justice in a Supreme Court cloak room bound, gagged and sodomized with her scales and the Statue of Liberty might very well end up turning tricks in a Beijing massage parlor.
Unlike the quintessential bad guy, Cheney has no class. He dropped the F-bomb in Congress. Granted, we’d all like to (WTF is going on in here?) but Cheney used it in a threatening manner when addressing a rival. It should have been shocking but it wasn’t. We’re talking about a guy who shot a man in the face and then sat on his ass while that same man apologized to Dick Cheney for the public humiliation the shooting caused. Cheney is a heartless son of a bitch. Literally! The Federal government has spent almost as much money on Cheney’s ticker as it has on body armor for the troops. Cheney makes Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars seem like a fair and decent human being.
I’m still trying to figure out if W hails from the prominent political Bush family of Maine, Texas and Ohio or if he is actually related to the Bush’s Baked Beans clan. His father wasn’t exactly a great president nor was he an eloquent statesman but George H. W. Bush didn’t come across as patently stupid or even arrogant. The younger Bush is a dangerous combination of both. He’s definitely the product of several generations of wealth and the inevitable inbreeding that occurs when opulent people marry to consolidate power.
We’ve had presidents who managed to cast poor public images in the past. Jefferson was a poor public speaker who mumbled in hopes of hiding a lisp. Carter seemed wimpy, as did the elder Bush and Richard Nixon was just creepy. Gerald Ford was widely regarded as somewhat dumb but that was because he was a very slow, deliberate speaker. When it comes to speaking it’s hard to think of a politician who hasn’t put his or her foot into his or her mouth. And when it comes to lies, boy do we have a surplus. Ronald Reagan was about as dishonest a president as you can find but he had so much charisma that there are people who actually want to put his face on Mount Rushmore.
Nobody beats Bush. Most people carefully craft their lies but Bush just fires away. He’s like that neighborhood brat you could catch red-handed throwing rocks through your garage windows only to deny it to the bitter end. Bush characterized John Kerry as a flip-flopper but it’s not hard for the producers of the Daily Show to compile a video segment of Bush contradicting himself. In fact the only time Bush seems capable of speaking with out stumbling over his tongue and creating new words is when he’s telling lies. It’s the truth that comes out in slow, garbled phrases that don’t quite make sense.
Thomas Jefferson was known to show disdain for pretense and offended many white house guest by suspending accepted social decorum for a more relaxed environment. Seating during White House dinners was based on who got there first and many dignitaries took offense that their fashionably late arrival resulted in a less desirable seat. This was a shrewd ploy by Jefferson to demonstrate that the American concept of power was different and respect was granted on an individual level, not necessarily by station alone.
Bush demonstrates a lack of decorum as well but his goes beyond the symbolic displays practiced by Jefferson and into the realm of boorish self-importance. From sexually harassing the Chancellor of Germany to shouting “Yo, Blair” across a room filled with foreign leaders, Bush has proven that he simply lacks respect for everybody that is not George W. Bush. He’s the “war president”; he is the “decider”; he doesn’t have to engage in tings as bothersome as diplomacy.
Other presidents went to great lengths to show world leaders respect. When John Kennedy faced the irascible Khrushchev he did it with a sense of poise and rationality that won him the respect of every other leader in the world. Imagine what life would be like had Kennedy possessed Bush’s sense of self-righteousness.
Long ago Bush decided to abandon his ivy league roots and embrace life as a redneck. He is a combination of Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam. He makes ridiculous accusations, outlandish threats and then has the nerve to blame liberals for the mess he made and Cheney comes out of his casket every so often to keep the train on the wrong track. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t real.