September 28th, 2004


Bagging on Bush, the Harvest Moon Edition

'Imagine our surprise Wednesday to read in the Israeli paper Haaretz (online), that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen, meeting recently with militants to enlist their support for a truce with Israel, said that, when they met in Aqaba, President Bush had told him this: " God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [ Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."'

Clipped from the WaPo.

This quote is of somewhat doubtful provenance -- Haaretz got it from minutes of the meeting written in Arabic. But if it accurately reflects the Mind Of Bush -- and it is consistent with other things he has said over the years about his relationship with the big Poppy in the Sky -- it points out one of the fundamental traits that should disqualify him from being President: He's fucking nuts. It reminds me, aptly enough, of the movie The Ruling Class. The protagonist (played by Peter O'Toole) has a Messiah complex, and sleeps on a padded cross. When asked "How do you know you're God?" he answers "When I pray I find I'm talking to myself."

I don't mind religious people, really. While humanity is cursed with, well, being human, it seems like religion can make enough people try to be better than their worst impulses to be a net positive. NARROWLY net positive mind you. But we're stuck with President Bush, who sincerely feels God called him to be President. And I'm not inferring this -- he has said it himself. Now unlike the President, I can't claim to know the Mind of God, but if God has hire/fire authority in this situation, Bush's resume shouldn't have made the first cut. By any objective measure, Bush wouldn't have even gotten the phone interview.

Our fearless leader's religious motivations remind me of another movie, Hannah and Her Sisters, in which Max Von Sydow's character says "If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up."

And as long as I'm going after Bush, I might as well make it a family affair. I'm surprised that Kitty Kelly's new book The Family hasn't gotten more traction in the media. Sure she's scurrilous, but she can sit by me any time. It's particularly gratifying to finally see in print and on CNN something that was common talk among the Republican mover and shakers my parents knew back during the first Bush adminstration: That Bush 41 liked to chase women.

Back in the day my parents were what passed for prominent in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which included being members of the Cedar Rapids Country Club, going to the Junior League meetings, etc. A woman my mother knew slightly, and whose son went to my high school, came back from the 1988 Republican Convention, all glowing and atwitter, and told all her friends that she'd fucked George H.W. Bush. After his inauguration, he appointed her Ambassador to a small, island country in the Mediterranean. Anyone who cares can use Google to work out who I'm talking about, but you'll never hear me say her name.

Thank you for this opportunity to lower the tone of today's political discourse. It takes some doing any more.