Super Duper George Bush
April 6, 2005
By Sheila Samples
A guy named Zack says he's been watching me, and I'm at it again.
He says the only thing I'm good for is just one ad hominem attack
after another on my "favorite of scorn" (whatever that is) - George
W. Bush. Zack says he'll give me $100 if I can write a piece on
Bush extolling a single aspect of his personality; if I can cite
just one credible attribute of his character or discuss even one
good point about Bush.
I rarely take homework assignments from Frights (Friends on the
Right), especially those who view any critical analysis of Bush
as a vicious attack, even if its backed up by extensive research,
facts and unimpeachable witnesses. Zack says it's a challenge and,
after reminding me that there must be "no name calling... no brow
beating... not even any criticism," he reminded me that my "mindless
bias, my overwhelming propensity towards indulging myself with ad
hominem attacks toward those with whom I disagree - and other character
flaws," literally make it impossible for me to do such a project.
Well. All righty then. In ad hominem jargon, this is known as
"poisoning the well." And, anyone brave enough to enter an argument
which begins with a well-poisoning should know that the stage has
already been set with insults and attacks upon his or her own personal
integrity. Therefore, at the outset, the argument is less likely
to be about George W. Bush than it is about me as an arguer.
So I accept. Not just because I can't resist things that are,
like, totally about me. And for sure, not because Zack brags that
he's famous for "scorching would-be literary giants" over at the
venerable Lew Rockwell site, where Zack says he says he sports a
reputation as a "lunatic - a Christo-Fascist Corporatist Warmonger
who delights in insulting writers." Not even because Zack questions
the ethics of any website that would publish a faux writer like
me, who is in reality "just a person with a case of vomitis maximis."
No, I accept the challenge because I am reminded of the delightful
Peter DePaulo, who won the 1925 Indy 500. A $100 bonus was paid
to drivers for each lap they led the race back then. DePaulo was
the first to crack the 100-mph benchmark that year; his hands were
covered with painful blisters, but a grinning DePaulo said all he
could think about each time he passed the flagstand was "hunnerd
bucks... hunnerd bucks... hunnerd bucks..."
I can't write about Bush's personality because, from exploding
frogs to branding frat pledges to taunting and killing prison inmates
to torturing detainees, Bush's personality seems pretty cruel and
vengeful. Perhaps it's not his fault, but a genetic thing. Not being
a psychologist, I can only wonder about a childhood so bereft of
parental guidance that it produced a mean-spirited junkyard-dog
adult who believes that inflicting pain is the only way to get attention
or to gain, and retain, control of others.
Ad-hominemly speaking, it appears that this sad and dangerous
man with the hyper-imagination of a cartoonish Buzz Lightyear lives
in his own Magic Kingdom where whatever he says is true must be
true because he's the leader. He cannot, or will not, admit that
there is more to spreading democracy than dousing people in purple
ink. He cannot, or will not, see that, rather than being on the
march, freedom in Iraq is on the run. A dead run.
And, unfortunately, I can't write about Bush's character because
each time I make the attempt, I turn into a modern-day Sam Kinison
on steroids. Actually, Bush has a lot of character, but one doesn't
have to read Aristotle's Poetics to recognize it is the embodiment
of twisted and perveted ethos. Sadly, our society is rapidly beginning
to mirror Bush's character - we are devoid of both sympathy and
empathy; we have no compassion for the vulnerable nor for the innocent,
we refuse to hear the cries of those who are crushed by our greed.
Bush's character is still evolving - he has created an unjust
society wherein he has been successful thus far in ruling through
fear, propaganda and violence, which he uses indiscriminately to
achieve whatever options are piled on that symbolic table he keeps
No. I cannot write about Bush's character. Wouldn't be prudent.
But surely, for a hunnerd bucks I can come up with a good point
about Bush. Maybe even more than one. For starters, he dupes folks
- from dishwashers to race-car drivers to university professors
to born-again Christians to the Pope.
Bush is a Super Duper. For example, in a congressional report
compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform
Committee and released in mid-March, Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld,
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice made "a combined total of 237
misleading public statements on the threat posed by Iraq."
Think about it. A veritable infestation of lies resulting in injury
and death for hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, far too
many of them women and children; and the unnecessary deaths of more
than 1,500 US citizens. Almost 17,000 US troops have been injured
or maimed - with a whopping 9,524 of that number evacuated because
Bush is getting away with it. That's a good thing. At least from
Bush's point of view and Zack's point of view and, of course, that
of the Frights, who are in over their heads - in way too deep to
back out now. Hey, with an election looming in 2006, that could
be a very good thing.
But the really really good thing about George Bush is that he's
the Robert Redford of campaigning. He's a Natural. The best that
ever was. Every time he comes back to the White House, Karl Rove
arms him with fresh talking points and sends him back out on the
stump. Bush never deviates from those points; he doesn't have to,
because his audiences are purchased wind-up toys programmed to cheer
each time he pauses for breath. Look at the three injurious tax
cuts he inflicted on the lower and middle classes in this country
over the past four years, the education, health and welfare budgets
he's cut with scarcely a whimper from those affected - the environment
Anything he can't get passed during the day, Bush passes all by
himself at night via Executive Order. Assassinations, coups, torture?
You bet. Faith-based initiatives? No problem. Violate Title 36 of
the US Code and fly the Stars and Stripes for a Polish Pope in Italy?
Hey, I've got yer separation of church and state right here - at
Bush is never better than when explaining his position on an issue.
His campaign on privatizing Social Security is nothing if not awesome.
When backed into a corner about his insistence that private accounts
would shore up Social Security, he slipped effortlessly into explaining
that African Americans should rush to get what had now become "personal"
rather than private accounts because black folks die so much sooner
than white folks, and that all younger folks should want personal
accounts because - well, because it's a better deal.
Of course, Bush has no clue as to what Social Security is. Some
might recall during the 2000 campaign when Al Gore kept hammering
on about putting Social Security in a "lock box," Bush, bored with
the subject, rolled his eyes and commented that the way Gore talked,
"you'd think Social Security was some kind of government program."
And, during a February campaign stop in Tampa, Fla., after Bush
had run through his talking points, a bewildered woman asked Bush
to explain again, in words that she could understand, how his plan
would fix the Social Security problem. Bush replied haltingly:
Because the - all which is on the table begins to address the
big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated,
for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based
upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of
parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you
couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -
changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what
has been promised more likely to be - or closer delivered to
what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's
kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause
the - like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon
the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices.
Some have suggested that we calculate - the benefits will rise
based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is
a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into
effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the
promised benefits grow, if those - if that growth is affected,
it will help on the red.
Wow. I have to admit if if his Social Security plan passes congressional
inspection, Bush is good. Damn good.
So give me my hunnerd bucks.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former
civilian U.S. Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular
contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.