It’s been a rough stretch for all sorts of political commentators of late, most especially for those who do so with pen and ink and try to bring a touch of humor to what they have to say. But last Thursday brought respite…
You gets what you deserve when you were the Worst. President. Ever. Including the ignominy of have a Big Dick more the focus of the well-earned contempt than you were.
This might be considered somewhat unfair, perhaps even beneath the belt, and if the Worst. President. Ever. had just stayed in his gated community hidey-hole instead of crawling out to toss the first ball last night and remind me why the Texas Rangers are as unlikeable as the St. Louis La Russa’s and nobody should win this World Series, there’s a good chance I might not have posted it, but he didn’t and so I did.
Some economists were actually afraid that the US would entirely free of debt by now, suggesting in this 2000 report that such an achievement could be a bad thing:
We must realize however, that a sharp reduction in Federal debt and the possible accumulation of a Federal asset raises at least three important issues. First, investors looking for an asset free of credit risk can no longer count on an abundant supply of U.S. Treasury securities, and Treasury securities may no longer provide a reliable benchmark for other interest rates. Second, the Federal Reserve may have to change the mechanisms by which it conducts monetary policy. Third, continued surpluses after the public debt has been paid off will require the Federal. government to acquire assets; either directly or though the Social Security Trust Fund.
Although the right wing assures us on the hour that everything is Obama’s fault, I really think we should do some sort of ceremony to thank George W. Bush and his Big Dick for eight years of dedicated efforts to make sure we will probably never run that risk again in our lifetimes. We just didn’t appreciate them enough while we had them.
I’m not quite sure how to give credit where credit is due for this amazing piece of satire from a decade past. It was brought to my attention by my pal Scoats, who I follow with Google Reader, but he got it here and I was motivated to post a link to the original on Facebook and then I realized that you people smart enough not to get caught up in all that social media crap shouldn’t be deprived, so here we are.
This piece is both amusing (probably hilarious in January 2001 ) and scarily close to predictive and it starts like this:
WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”
“My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”
Bush swore to do “everything in [his] power” to undo the damage wrought by Clinton’s two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.
During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years…
You need to go read this.
Decision Points holds the same relation to George W. Bush as a line of fashion accessories or a perfume does to the movie star that bears its name; he no doubt served in some advisory capacity. The words themselves have been assembled by Chris Michel (the young speechwriter and devoted acolyte who went to Yale with Bush’s daughter Barbara); a freelance editor, Sean Desmond; the staff at Crown Publishing (who reportedly paid $7 million for the book); a team of a dozen researchers; and scores of ‘trusted friends’. Foucault: ‘What difference does it make who is speaking?’ ‘The mark of the writer is … nothing more than the singularity of his absence.’
“Bribery? You are accusing me of bribery? (Snarl!) Sir, if I only had my gun here to shoot you in the face or my daughter available to eviscerate you, I assure you that your tune would change. (Scowl!) Failing that, might I offer you a little something for your trouble and ask you to go away? I thought so. (Sneer!)”
Just add it to the record. History will tell the tale.
Anis Shivani at the Huffington Post this morning takes a much grimmer and more thoughtful look at Decisions Points and what the presidency of George W. Bush meant to America than most reviewers have done so far:
Compassionate conservatism was Bush’s mantra during his campaign and his early years in office. For the international arena, it morphed into the “freedom agenda,” whereby despotic countries, particularly in the Middle East, would follow the free-market model and become Americans-in-training (Bush often speaks of old Europe versus new Europe, the “young democracies” of Eastern Europe which understood his fight against evil better than the leaders of old Europe like Schroeder and Chirac). Compassionate conservatism was capitalism’s charity arm; faith-based mercy dispensed in the form of paltry redeemable vouchers at capitalism’s back door, not too many questions asked: “Faith-based programs had the potential to change lives in ways secular ones never could.” It was the antithesis of the rationalized social welfare state, an attempted return to premodern dispensation of patronage and tutelage, a gross violation of individualism. The freedom agenda works in similar idiosyncratic fashion; the Bush Doctrine instructs the commander-in-chief which countries represent gathering threats, whose evil leadership must be replaced by good.
All this would be risible, if it weren’t still more or less our official doctrine. Have we disavowed Bush’s messianic declarations of global war to end evil in his 2001 and 2002 speeches, the 2002 National Security Strategy, and the second inaugural address? The Bush Doctrine is premised on zero tolerance for real or imagined terrorism (we have to be successful 100 percent of the time, they only have to succeed once). For example, Yemen (because of opinions issued there, or bomb parcels sent from there) is a growing target of the freedom agenda; and perhaps Iran will be, in a future administration. It is an open-ended warrant for the elite to pursue ends for which there are no cost-benefit calculations; there is no accountability for the success of the mission other than the gut feeling that freedom needed to be defended.
The funniest comment I keep seeing in reviews of Decision Points is something along these lines…
Bush briefly considered dumping Dick Cheney.
Yeah, right. If The Decider ever muttered about such an intention, even in his sleep, he would have found himself having a fatal brush-clearing accident within a week.