A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Farewell, Goodbye and Leave Already

The 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, had his final address to the nation on Thursday, January 15. In his thirteen minute speech, he emphasized that terrorists had not attacked again since 9/11, that the nation’s air and water are cleaner, and children are being tested under tougher standards in education. Now children, while we’re in the fantasy genre, let’s turn to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”...

Overall, his assessment was cheery and upbeat, but then again he was grading himself as per his own silver-spoon-in-the-mouth report card. At several points, Bush stated he was honored to have served as chief executive. Some close to him have maintained that he is a humble man, although many of us Americans will only remember his condescending smirk and arrogant Texas swagger.

The pundits and commentators before and after Bush’s speech didn’t mince words. On Chris Matthews' Hardball, a quartet of reporters agreed (with one dissension) that the Bush administration was a tragedy. The lone dissenter, conservative commentator and former Presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan, felt that Bush is a tragic figure. Either way, if anyone mentions Bush’s name, people everywhere will start crying.

Bush has tried to claim success in the war on terror by boasting that no other terrorist attacks have happened on his watch. True, but I’m willing to bet that the real credit should be written off as luck, with perhaps some props to information gleaned – however inhumanely — through the use of aggressive interrogation techniques, aka torture.

If Bush’s administration did such a great job managing conflicts and disasters, then how do they explain away their performance after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast? The answer is simple - they don’t mention it all. It’s one of those episodes (others being Abu Gharib, Social Security privatization, and illegal immigration, among others) that, gosh darn it, didn’t quite work out for the Bush administration.

Now if one of those detainees in Gitmo had broken down during a session of water boarding and cried out, “Wait, I’ll tell you something! The levees won’t hold! The levees in New Orleans won’t withstand the force of a category five hurricane,” then perhaps the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina is something about which they could brag. But no, that didn’t happen, and today The Big Easy is still trying to recover.

The general assumption among the various media (I don’t know if I can count the Fox Network) is that Bush will not be missed by many people. I suppose political cartoonists will go into a period of mourning, if not outright therapy, for adjustment disorder now that a favorite source of their material is stepping down from the national spotlight. Yes, George W. was very good for the satire business, and I have to admit myself, I will miss his continuing mangling of the English language. Oh, the wonderful sound bites he leaves behind...truly awe-inspiring!

At least one pundit made the point that the passing of the torch next week proves the resiliency of American democracy — in short, America has survived eight years of George W. Bush. To be honest, we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain way back in 2000 when the polls asked prospective voters, “Who you rather have a beer with, George W. Bush or Al Gore?”

It’s a shame that the pollsters didn’t supply this logical follow-up question, “Would you vote for your favorite beer-drinking buddy to be the leader of the free world?” Think about this. Yes, your buddy would be a lot of laughs at the bar, whooping it up, and watching him try to score with any woman that walked by. Then, the next morning when he’s passed out in your bathtub having kept you up all night as he kneeled before the porcelain god, you should have asked yourself, “Is he Presidential material?” But no, that didn’t happen and now the entire country is trying to recover.

Let the healing begin...


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