Democratic Underground

Darwin, Dolts and Baseball
November 13, 2001
by Warren Pease

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Like most knee-jerk lefties, I cringe and cackle every time some doofus school board in some really important place like West Cretinsburg, Tenn. decides to give the Bible and Darwin equal billing.

But then again, when you consider that in a little more than 200 years our political leadership has degenerated from George Washington to George W. Bush, the concept of evolution becomes somewhat difficult to defend.

There was a time, just a couple of months ago, when we had the luxury of allowing fools, ideologues and nitwits to run our government. We told ourselves that they couldn't screw things up so thoroughly as to be beyond recovery in the next election cycle. So an endless stream of mediocrities came before us every four years - sucking obscene amounts of corporate money while feigning an interest in the peoples' business. A dwindling percentage of the electorate ratified one of them and we all went about our lives much as before.

We had the luxury of really believing that it's just the economy, stupid. And for the most part, it was. We could afford the myopia of voting our pocket books because nothing else really mattered all that much. The US ran the planet and the worst thing its citizens had to endure was the occasional mild recession followed by a bull market that enriched all but the poorest 25 percent, and Reagan taught us to stop caring about them way back in the early '80s.

I think we lost the cushion on September 11. We now need to pay attention and learn quickly. We're in desperate need of smart, innovative people to run the show and we're stuck with a cast of predictable dim bulbs, Reagan/Bush I retreads and reflexive cold warriors. I can't imagine a situation that calls more urgently for leaders to shelve the ideology that substitutes for thought, and I can't imagine an administration less willing or able to do so.

The fact is, whether anyone cares to admit it or not, Bush the Younger was an inflexible nitwit on September 10 and he remains one today. How anyone can emerge from both Harvard and Yale without any perceptible effect is astonishing, but the evidence is manifest. This intellectually lazy, incurious, verbally challenged incompetent ranks far below even the abysmal benchmark of contemporary American political standards.

Watch in horror as the Muppet-in-Chief blends mangled syntax, simplistic moral absolutes and historical hogwash into a cheap, pre-fab, Kindergartenish world view. "This is an evil man we're dealing with and I wouldn't put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it," he said of Osama bin Laden after a November 6 meeting with French president Jacques Chirac.

This from the unelected leader of the only country on the planet that has actually used nuclear weapons; that has stockpiled some of the more exotic and deadly biological and chemical agents on the lame pretext that it's using them to develop counteragents and vaccines; that has no apparent qualms about killing and maiming civilian populations in pursuit of its military and economic objectives; and is steadfast in its opposition to treaties limiting nuclear weapons proliferation, banning land mines, and ameliorating the effects of fossil fuels on the global climate.

Harming civilization as we know it, indeed. Bush's mere presence on the world stage is an affront to civilized people everywhere.

During the 2000 campaign, somebody wrote that Bush was so stunningly incompetent that he could tank the economy and get the country involved in a war within his first year in office.

As I watched him butcher the simplest sentences, gaze slack-jawed as questions arose for which he had no memorized answers, mouth the simple pieties that replace critical thinking in chronic underachievers... even after watching months of this truly stupid, irrelevant man at his witless worst, I didn't really believe anyone could be dumb or disengaged enough to dismantle a bull market and prosecute an unwinnable war. Silly me.

Fortunately for the Adolescent-in-Chief, he has the American mainstream media shilling and deflecting criticism in a near-universal love feast that would embarrass the most world-weary harlot. Recently, Chris Matthews - when he was able to tear himself away from fondling Karl Rove's thigh long enough to write a column - gushed about the Sportsman-in-Chief's ceremonial first pitch at the World Series:

"There are some things you can't fake. Either you can throw a strike from 60 feet or you can't. Either you can rise to the occasion on the mound at Yankee Stadium with 56,000 people watching or you can't.

"On Tuesday night, George W. Bush hit the strike zone in the House that Ruth Built...

"This is about knowing what to do at the moment you have to do it - and then doing it. It's about that "grace under pressure" that Hemingway gave as his very definition of courage."

So this is the yardstick by which we now measure our heroes: Above all, they need to be able to throw strikes in front of a packed house and a national TV audience. By that standard, let's put Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Mariano Rivera or Roger Clemens in the White House, maybe even Byung-Hyun Kim. Even though Kim's not a citizen, I'll happily take a Korean with a live arm over a Texan with a dead brain.

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