The End of An Irritant
Rational people, when faced with a massive failure of their own making, normally take some time for private circumspection and avoid further contact with the public, at least until the outrage of the torch-wielding villagers has subsided. But that’s not our Crawford Dauphin, whose capacity for realistic introspection is String Theory microcosmic while his unrefined chutzpah remains as large and lumbering as his political party’s logo.
Such is the case with this recent series of cringe-inducing Bush ‘exit interviews’ wherein Our Worst President Ever insists on trying to polish a turd that was flushed away years ago in the receding waters of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Even with the prodigious help of future cellmates like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, assiduously applying the spit shine of hastily rewritten history to the ‘Bush Legacy Project’ (a slim library containing the works of Niccolo Machiavelli, Chuck Palahniuk’s “Stranger Than Fiction,” a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” annotated in red ink by Lee Atwater, tracts by Aimee Semple McPherson, the collected speeches of Father Charles Coughlin and Herbert Hoover, and, of course, the paint-by-number version of “My Pet Goat”) the Little President That Couldn’t continues to maintain approval ratings that read like an Iowa thermometer in January.
Bush, in his stubbornly obtuse inability to recognize the spreading stain when he’s wet his pants, admits to few mistakes and those that he grudgingly examples are of such a pathetic and hilariously off-target nature that he must be moonlighting as a monologue writer for David Letterman.
In his last press conference (thank you, merciful Jeebus), he assigned as one of his mistakes the “Mission Accomplished” banner that decorated the space behind his head during his ludicrous publicity stunt aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in May of 2003. Neglecting to apologize for the pusillanimous White House fib that the banner was created by grateful sailors and not Rove’s relentless propaganda machine, this was characteristic of Junior’s endless fusillade of misguided missiles: The mistake was the banner — not the phony and unnecessary Hollywood PR stunt, not declaring a premature end to combat operations, not the trumped-up unnecessary war itself just the banner.
This event encapsulates the entire eight years of Bush’s failed residency in the Oval Office. There was no reason, other than Rove’s fevered obsession with primping his oblivious client as some sort of war hero, to dress up the graying Bush as a young fighter jock and have him ferried to the carrier via Navy jet. Past presidents handled such ceremonies with a modicum of dignity in a civilian business suit and relied on a helicopter for transport but then they didn’t need a flight deck and surrounding throng of ordered-to-be-there fawning sailors to indemnify their masculinity the way Junior does. A touch of cosmic comedy was added as President Top Gun forgot to release the crotch straps on his Fly Boy get-up; although apparently too dull to notice, or too inept to unhook them himself, the imperial testicles were no doubt reminded of the pain of command.
So this was the repeated play that Americans have been forced to witness for nearly a decade; a shambling, awkward boy-child, insecure in himself, incessantly pretending to be a simple, resolute man with the experience, virtue and wisdom to make the proper decisions and perpetually foiled by the forgotten crotch strap of reality biting into his flesh. Every pretend heroic moment has turned into a tragic farce, the stage set by Bush’s own words when he occasionally slipped and uttered the truth. Recall when Candidate Bush said he would be the “CEO president,” and that he was basically “a media creation”?