Osama bin Laden's recent video address to American voters on the eve of the presidential elections will likely have less impact on Bush's chances of re-(s)election than Ashlee Simpson's disastrous appearance on Saturday Night Live. If anything, the latter sends more chills down Republican spines since Ashlee (little sister to Bush supporter Jessica Simpson) seems to be following a career path almost identical to little George's short-lived and disaster prone presidency. In what appears to be a prophetic twist of fate, the parallels between the speech defective former governor of Texas and the vocally challenged Texas teen are as apparent as the telltale bulge on Bush's back during the debates.
If lip-synching in front of a live audience proved too much for the tone deaf pop singer, (sic) debating proved equally challenging for the unplugged President (sic) whose televised meltdown on live TV gave the nation a firsthand look at a floundering amateur ready to take his exit from the world stage. While Ashlee started her ill-fated set on SNL doing a human pogo stick impersonation with a series of jerky, ill-timed dance moves, the President's own jerky, ill-timed facial tics destroyed his chances early on of winning the debates.
And just as the hidden electronic device concealed in Bush's jacket, proved beyond a doubt that he was being fed his lines from an audio prompter, an equally flustered Ashlee slinked off the SNL soundstage once it became apparent that someone had cued up the wrong song for her to perform. With her own pre-recorded vocals mockingly trailing after her, Ashlee later pointed the finger of blame at her own band before her handlers came up with a better excuse: an excess of stomach acid had burned her vocal chords beyond recognition just moments before her doomed performance. After it had become apparent that he had lost the debates, George, like Ashlee, used a similar defense tactic. When confronted with indisputable evidence that he'd been cheating, his handlers were quick to blame his tailor.
Still, an excess of stomach acid may have explained Bush's irritable sphincter scowls in earlier debates until Mary Cheney, the Vice President's lesbian daughter, gave him the perfect “out”. And since then the president has spent the remainder of his days in office defending the honor of the veep's daughter, who may or may not have been “born that way” (depending on which way you vote), against the inoffensive remarks of rival John Kerry. In the meantime, Ashlee defends her own genetically pre-disposed “condition” as sales of her debut CD plummet off the Billboard charts as fast as Bush's diminishing approval numbers.
Like George Dumbya himself, the unfortunate by-product of connected and ambitious parents, the tragically untalented Ashlee is also the progeny of a venal patriarch, only this particular one started the cycle of upward failing for his daughters before they were out of their teens. The Senior George Bush has proved to be somewhat more patient with his dimwit son than Joe Simpson, who doesn't seem content to live off the earnings of one celebrity child.
Born with “a silver foot in his mouth,” GW will never be mature enough to wear the mantle of the commander-in-chief, even as he nears retirement age, while Ashlee, not even out of her teens is similarly ill-equipped to handle a job presented to her on a silver platter. If anything, her reality show has foreshadowed her failures by proving that stardom doesn't come with inborn talent, or hard work, but simply appears with a ready-made cast of producers and musicians to cheer her along as she goes through the motions of performing and “songwriting”.
From the early days of his presidency, it was apparent that the inexperience and incompetence of the non-elected Bush would eventually prove his downfall. Like the paid “help” on “The Ashlee Simpson Show,” Dick Cheney and his neo-con cabal are the ones doing the heavy lifting, while their puppet mimes the motions of leading the country.
Throughout “The Ashlee Simpson Show,” the diminutive star is haunted by the specters of her own shortcomings (she rarely manages to hit the right notes) although disastrous rehearsals suspiciously morph into polished and trouble-free performances. At some point, panicked producers must have put the lip-synching option on the table, which may explain Ashlee's sudden transformation from an off-key warbler with throat polyps into a platinum selling recording artist outselling her own famous sister. In a similarly short time frame, Bush has gone from a gaffe prone non-entity, shamefully occupying his country's highest office, to a fearsome warmonger, despised by most living things still left on the planet -- no small achievement for this one-time slacker sibling of Jeb Bush.
To her credit, Ashlee Simpson has never called on the military to illegally invade and occupy another country, although her position at the top of the charts, in retrospect, seems downright criminal in light of her fraudulent claims to be a singer.
If two words summed up this year's Republican campaign, they would be “shame” and “ruin”. With Bill O'Reilly's recent “female troubles” we can add the blubbery-mouthed talk show host and his “faloofel” to the growing list of conservatives who are no doubt feeling the oncoming tide of ruin. Already the signs are in place as Ashlee's plummeting star is already proving to be a harbinger of greater defeats to come.
Leilla Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo, Japan. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
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