Monday, February 16, 2004

president bush: good times.

i've never been very interested in politics. the closest i came to political fervor was in the fifth grade, when i used only 12 markers to craft a portrait of the american flag as background to the peace sign. it was a protest against the gulf war, "peace in the middle east" cleverly inked in black block letters. i really meant it, though i was also terrified of saddam hussein, with his unforgiving mustache and love of whitney houston. i felt current, passionate, like a ten-year old diane sawyer with bad hair. however, with junior high came apathy, and clinton, and i fell into a deep news-free slumber. fast forward to 2000, when a fresh-faced me was out of my voting district during the election of infamy (i was studying 'the method,' which is ever so much more important than voting, just ask pacino!). nonetheless, i'd had a chance to take a few glances at the newspapers as i rushed by them in the mornings, and i had made the decision to vote for ralph nader, since he reminded me of bill nye the science guy and also one ian ruben, my classics professor when i was a freshman in college. i found both nye and ruben to be astonishingly sexy in their own pencil-y, smudgy way. therefore, nader was my man. somehow, i ended up in philadelphia on voting day, neither knowing nor caring about what was going on in my home state of florida. i was interested in the way i would be interested if someone said, "your brother is really hot." it pertained to me, but not directly. bush was elected, everyone hated florida. it was like the late 80's all over again! i was nineteen and i figured, how bad can a cokehead really be as president? some of my best friends were cokeheads, and they were always really on top of things, not to mention thin and attractive. i thought my hazy political knowledge would continue as it always had, on the periphery somewhere, quiet and unobtrusive. i was wrong.
how can i ignore my own president when he's so damned, well, awkward? dubya is much like the fabled ugly duckling, though the swan seems far far away. but there is a quickness about ol' bush jr., despite his rambling, squinty delivery. president george w. bush is a wit to challenge oscar wilde. tellingly, he claims that the two biggest problems in this country are the use of steroids in sports and the decline of marriage. here he's doing period humor, as nobody has really cared about baseball or long-term marriage since the 1950's. it was a toughie, but bush pulled it off, eyes twinkling. in the new york times the other morning, ol' w was quoted as saying, "there may be no evidence, but i did report [to national guard duty]." now, i don't really care whether he reported for duty or not (clinton was also a wussy), but the way he phrases his retorts is sheer larry david genius! there may be no evidence? how about this: there may be no evidence that there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq, but it doesn't mean that there aren't any. therefore, let's throw our country into record debt, alienate all of our allies except for tiny england, and kill a whole lot of innocent iraqi and afghan children based on, well, no evidence. meanwhile, bush kills with our old favorite, the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in iraq. mr. bush, both with and without irony, is employing the old peter pan, where if one talks and envisions something long enough, lo and behold, it appears, sparkling like a dripping hog on a spit.
speaking of dead animals, 'the bush administration,' or phi kappa, is pushing congress to drill for oil in the alaska refuge. i don't know about you, but i can't think anything more delightful than watching entire refuges of animals slicked black with oil, slipping and gasping their way to a quick, synthetic death.
now, despite the above one-sided, sarcastic subterfuge, bush has some admirable qualities. i like his unshowy demeanor (aside from the 'mission accomplished G.I. bush thing), as clinton would show up at the funeral of a bagel to cry sloppily into the camera. i was also comforted by bush's words after 9/11. i like laura bush; though she is MIA most of the time, she does a lot behind the scenes on her own.
here's what i think: bush is like that really trashed girl dancing by herself at the party, who will do anything to make the cool kids laugh and like her. i would like to think that bush is doing what he truly believes is right for this country, and that it's his advisors (rove, rice, rummy) that are telling him, "come on, do it. it'll be so cool" and bush, in his forlorn and unassuming dimness, does it. who doesn't like to be around that girl sometimes? she's unpredictable, desperate, shriekingly funny. yet inevitably the morning comes, and her thin and cracking glory drops away, and you realize that she's trashed your house. it doesn't even look like your house anymore.
i must say that though i do not agree with w's policies almost across the board, it still saddens me as i write this entry to be so down on him. all i want is to support and admire the leader of this country, with all the fierce blushing of a fifth-grader armed with crayola fat markers. however, since i am not in accord with the current administration, and therefore cannot support it, i will instead support what that administration is based on: democracy. i will vote and encourage others to do the same, and hopefully a change will occur. and if it's not too late, in years to come, we'll all look back at the past four years, that crazy night when we almost went too far, and be thankful that someone sent the drunken dancing girl home, and helped clean up her mess.

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