Our man on the hill is like a boy in a bubble. Neither can so much as pass gas without a coterie of attendants monitoring and fussing over them. While the boy’s entourage has his interests in mind, our President is only surrounded by sycophants motivated by their own interests. Largely, the interest evidenced by our current crop of Capitol Hill sycophants is greed. To further the analogy, the boy in the bubble is not expected by society to discern his own fate. He’s just a boy, right? A child cannot be expected to navigate difficult decisions regarding complex medical choices and of social/political considerations of being kept alive by science and by heroic effort.
Our President, however, is expected to make tough choices. The American people demand that our elected officials be able to tackle incredibly complex issues daily, to suggest actions on issues that have been argued over for years - many of which have no clean, sanitized solution. He is expected to take no credit if his ideas work, and to take all the blame if his ideas fail. Why anyone would pursue such a position is beyond me.
Our Favorite shrubbery, George Warmonger Bush, is a mediocre man. He was a youthful drunk, an uninspired student, an indifferent National Guardsman, and poor businessman. He has a history of being rescued from his own blunders through the prerogative of his powerful family. His history suggests a lack in decision making capabilities; As he cannot make good, simple choices regarding his life, we should not expect his to make good, tough choices regarding our nation. Our man became President through deceit and trickery. By capitalizing on his name recognition, his new-found religion and his quirky charisma, by throwing a lot of money at the issue and by obstructing justice in Florida, the Republican Party photoshopped his public image long enough to get him elected - barely. The second election was won by smearing feces so thick no one could see through to the core issues. The net effect was for the American public to disenfranchise further from politics due to the unsavory view and smell of it. This, too, took a record amount of money, and our man barely squeaked through. Let there be no more doubt that elections are bought, not fought.
Why would the Republican Party choose George W. Bush? Because he is gullible. George is the perfect puppet for the GOP because he is not smart enough to be devious. George wants to be liked, he wants to do the best for America, yet he is surrounded by manipulative sociopaths. I’ve come to understand that our Favorite Shrubbery believes what he says about tax cuts, education, social security, and medicare, because the selfish greedmongers which surround him feed misinformation to confuse him until he just takes their words for fact. George then is dutifully trotted out to quote what he’s been forcefed, while his “advisors” try not to snicker too loudly from the front row.
George is like the boy in the bubble because both he and the boy know enough to not trust their own judgment. They both rely on others for encouragement, sustenance, and knowledge. The bubble boy lives in a mutually dependant relationship with his caregivers, who require sick people for their livelihood. In Washington, a co-dependant relationship occurs because George cannot sustain his presidency alone, and the puppeteers cannot function without their amiable, gullible tool.
Much is said by our current administration to compare George W. Bush with Ronald Regan, the unstated analogy is that President Regan was elected as a puppet, too, but he failed to comply. Many in both political parties believed Mr. Regan to be malleable, but he fooled them all. Ronnie was slick, Georgie is not. I can’t wait until the next presidential race, not only because I hope the Democrats get their act together to have a chance at winning, but because I feel the Republicans have played out their hand. Our Favorite Shrubbery is a once-in-a-lifetime convergence for the GOP. They will not be able to pull this trick off again - to dupe the American people and their own presidential candidate simultaneously. No one else out there has just the right qualifications as a willing puppet for the Republicans to manipulate in the next election cycle. Understanding this will begin to explain the desperation evident in the outrageous powergrabbing happening on the Hill this year. It is indeed an all-or-nothing proposition: In a few years the GOP will have nothing except what they have stolen today. Meanwhile, our bubble-boy president can retire to his ranch and not have to worry much about his future. What his family can’t provide to him will be given by virtue of his being an ex-president.
This article was written for the Left of Center: blog on April 30, 2005. I’ll keep it here either to remind me how stupid or how brilliant I am, depending on the outcome of the Presidential election, 2008.