Tuesday, May 02, 2006


The court jester

King George is doing stand-up comedy with Steve Bridges, a George Bush impersonator who took the stage with him at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday. They ribbed each other and the press, made fun of the real George's verbal goof-ups, and generally did the comedy-duo thing. Now, for the most part I think we all have to be able to laugh at ourselves and that making light of heavy stuff is a good thing. It's just that in this case, it might be funny if it weren't so frightening.

The Cowboy in Chief can't call in a stunt double to take the knocks for his role as The Lying President. He lied about what he knew, he lied about what he didn't know, he lied about the reasons for his decisions — and with the lies he tricked congress into letting him take us into a war that has trashed a country, sent our soldiers to their deaths, and is costing on the order of 300 billion dollars a year.

He can't blame it on his evil twin when he ignores laws and behaves as an autocrat in his role as The Illegal President. Claiming "presidential power", he chooses to ignore any law he likes, and no one is stopping him. The last time a King George did that, we threw him out and established the democracy for which we were, until 2000, famous.

He can't just punch his Weeble and laugh when he looks at his popularity polls that show him at a new nadir every week. As The Unpopular President he's even losing some of his support core, when even the most fanatic rectionaries realize that their own rights and privileges are at risk.

I still hold out hope for impeachment, perhaps after the midterm elections this fall. I believe that the message that impeachment would send is one that's critical for the survival of our method of government and our way of life: that we will not accept these abuses, and that a government perpetrating them will be held to account. But in my more realistic moments I at least hope that history will show what a disaster the Bush administration is.

That latter hope, at least, appears to be well founded. In Rolling Stone, historian Sean Wilentz provides an excellent analysis, and a prediction that history will not look at George Bush kindly:

But so far the facts are not shaping up propitiously for George W. Bush. He still does his best to deny it. Having waved away the lessons of history in the making of his decisions, the present-minded Bush doesn't seem to be concerned about his place in history. "History. We won't know," he told the journalist Bob Woodward in 2003. "We'll all be dead."

Dr Wilentz's prediction, though, provides only hollow comfort, and George, at the same time king and court jester, still has almost three years to pull us deeper into the quicksand.

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