September 16, 2004
By Rush Roberts
My favorite philosopher is supposedly Christ, but I ignore those
teachings of his that don't agree with my innate avarice. Wait.
To be honest, I don't really know any philosophers. That question
in the 2000 Primaries debate really caught me off guard, so I just
flung out the first ancient name I could think of, and it turned
out to be a stroke of luck because it locked in the Christian Fundamentalist
I urge us to do away with "junk lawsuits," yet in 1999 I sued
a rental car company for $2,500 and won. Sure, I have more money
than my favorite philosopher, but I really needed the extra couple
thousand, despite the facts that my insurance would have covered
the expenses incurred, and that I am a multimillionaire.
I pretend to reach out to the middle-class and small businesses
despite the fact that I have had the most privileged upbringing
imaginable, have never had to hold down a real job, and failed miserably
at my numerous attempts to run a company, knowing I always had my
family fortune to fall back on.
I claim to be a "uniter, not a divider," but by kowtowing to the
extreme religious right and corporate America, I have polarized
and harmed this nation more than any other president in recent history.
Record deficits, record job losses, loss of civil liberties, and
unnecessary wars still cannot stop me from saying America is stronger
than ever before.
I supported the Vietnam War, but used my father's wealth and influence
to avoid combat duty, and then skipped out on my National Guard
requirements. I now tacitly encourage the slandering of my political
opponents if they happen to be real-life heroes of that war, be
they Democrat or Republican.
I tell the world that I honor America's fighting men and women,
yet I refuse to attend one single funeral of the one thousand-plus
soldiers who have died in my quest for more oil. I also cut combat
pay and veterans' benefits.
I tell the world that I ordered the invasion of a sovereign nation
that had not harmed my country and had no means to harm it because
I wanted to make the world safe for democracy. Meanwhile the USA
Patriot Act is infringing upon democracy at home, at least for those
unfortunate enough not to agree with me.
I said that I support extending the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban,
but I sat idly by and let it expire without lifting a finger to
urge Congress to push the legislation.
I claimed to be genuinely concerned about education in America,
even going so far as to create the "No Child Left Behind" initiative.
Then I left a lot of kids behind.
I made popular the phrase "compassionate conservative" despite
the fact that as Texas governor I openly mocked Karla Faye Tucker's
plea for life on the eve of her execution. By the way, she was a
born-again Christian just like me. Was.
Ahhh, last but not least: my identity. I have built myself up
as a rough and tumble Texan, a frontier lawman turned humble public
figure. I have marketed myself as the Hollywood image of a true
Texan without having any idea what true Texans go through, all the
while mocking Hollywood's political influences. But Karl Rove is
the Best Director in my book. He made me a Texan. See for yourself:
- I was not born in Texas. I was born into a family of wealthy,
elite New Englanders.
- As a youth, I attended an elite private school in New England,
NOT a rural public school in Texas. My wife did though, and
that's close enough for marketing purposes.
- I went to Harvard. Texans distrust Harvard. Pretty neat,
- I unwittingly coined my own derisive nickname when, through
my ignorance of Spanish, I named one of my failed oil ventures
"arbusto", thinking it meant "bush". It translates into "shrub".
- When my dad got famous, I became a Texan, and my brother
became a Floridian. Now we are both favorite native sons somehow.
- I spend a healthy portion of my presidency at my "ranch."
I do not run livestock on said "ranch," nor do I have any clue
as to how to go about performing any actual ranching. I think
it might involve some sort of manual labor. I'm content to chase
armadillos with my dog.
- I play up my cowboy image, but I can hardly even ride a Segway
scooter, much less a wild bronco, or even a petting zoo pony.
I have shamelessly used Texas as a stepping-stone in my political
ambitions. It's easy, because all I have to do is throw them a one-liner
once in a while about my swagger, or get photographed in my pick-up
truck with my hat on, and most of them are placated. As for the
rest of Texas, well, I didn't get where I am today by worrying about
Rush Roberts is a 7th generation Texan and avid Bush loather.
His middle initial is "W" and he approves this message.