Monday, May 08, 2006

Poor Bewildered George

Sometimes, you almost have to pity George W. Bush.

Not a lot, really, since he essentially brought all his troubles on himself. But consider how things look from his perspective. Right now, he has to be feeling an emotion that most of us, as we grow into adulthood, leave behind.

Looking around at "his" country, he has to be feeling as if he can't do anything right.

In the larger sense, this is true. He screwed up all of the jobs he ever held. He couldn't even handle avoiding Vietnam by joining the National Guard - he rarely, if ever, showed up for duty. (Remember those National Guard documents that got a certain veteran news anchor fired? The facts were never in dispute. The documents themselves might have been forgeries, but the facts in them seemed to have been correct.)

And look at the situation lately. His Social Security "reform" was shot down. Despite his best efforts, scientists are coming forward to admit that global warming actually exists. It's becoming obvious, even to people who only watch Fox News, that Iraq is a disaster; this becomes even more obvious when retired generals are coming forward in droves to call for the firing of Donald Rumsfeld. Syndicated comedians named Colbert are standing five feet away from him, and mocking him by using talking points that Rush Limbaugh would be proud of.

His approval ratings are so low that squirrels trip over them. Because of his policies, America now owes more money to foreign governments than it did during the administrations of all of the previous presidents added together. Karl Rove is too busy worrying about becoming a prison bitch to properly smear the president's enemies. And his vice president shot a man in the face.

So Bush resorted to the tactic that got him elected for a second term, despite his obvious failings as an economist, a tactician, an administrator, and a human being. He tried to find an enemy to demonize.

This is a tactic that has usually worked well for him in the past. The fact that 11 states had gay marriage amendments on the ballots during the 2004 elections probably helped sweep him into a second term (the Diebold machines apparently had a lot to do with that, too, but let's not get into that right now). Admittedly, the fact that he demonized every Islamic person in the world, based on the actions of a few radical fundamentalists, blew up in his face when the Dubai ports issue came up. But for the most part, it's worked: liberals hate America, peace activists are supporting terrorism, and the French are evil smelly bastards.

But, looking around for a new enemy to grab the MTV-addled attention span of the American citizen, he found that old favorite, the illegal immigrant. And as soon as he tried to force the "wetback" stereotype into a more Satanic image, that soggy Chihuahua twisted around and bit him in the ass.

See, one thing that Bush didn't count on was that Big Business, his most faithful ally, wouldn't support him in this new Crusade. Because the dirty secret is, Big Business gets a lot of work done by people working for less than minimum wage. Sometimes, these people are in foreign countries (like sweatshops in the Marianas Islands, which Tom DeLay declared were "the perfect petri dish of capitalism"), and sometimes, it's a group of undocumented aliens somewhere in California or Georgia.

So pity George Bush. Everything he touches turns to dung. I just hope Laura Bush is properly supportive.

On the other hand, we still have two and a half more years with Bush in charge. So maybe you should pity America more.

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