As expected, Bush’s once--so good it couldn’t be true and probably wasn’t--lead over John Kerry in the polls has fallen back to neck and neck, which is when the best jokes get played. For example, this week Bush & Co. managed once again to stop the clock on efforts to get an investigation into his military service, or lack thereof, in the National Guard in the early 1970s. The ensuing “60 Minutes” brouhaha over the CBS report on Bush as a frat-boy deserter totally ignored the bulk of the already proven assertions that Bush was more or less drunkenly AWOL for about a year. Instead America’s enjoyed a referendum on how well Dan Rather apologizes about the two of the numerous military records on Bush’s poor performance which appear to be forgeries.
As Paul Alexander’s new Rolling Stone article, “Alabama Getaway: What Dubya was doing when he was supposed to be serving in the National Guard,” makes abundantly clear, whatever documents Dan’d rather or rather not have had his news-show show, the fact is that instead of fighting the Vietnam War like Kerry or getting deferments like Cheney or Tom De Lay, Bush took about one million of our government’s dollars to train to be a fighter pilot in the Texas National Guard, then ditched out to be a slacker in Alabama, ostensibly to work on a gubernatorial campaign, but actually to bag all the booze and babes he could find.
Not that there’s anything wrong with bagging all the booze and babes you can. It’s a lifestyle preferred by millions of American men … none of whom I want in control of my government’s budget, or its military.
Speaking of De Lay by the way, the House Majority Leader made news this week when an Austin grand jury issued 32 indictments against his three top aides for illegal campaign contributions, etc. The Congressional Ethics Coalition called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Delay himself, saying, "If these charges do not persuade the Ethics Committee … to … open an investigation … it is almost impossible to imagine what would.” But is there anyone in America who doubts that if there’s ever any justice in this case, it will, at best, be delayed.
One of the more interesting trends this week had political pundits from Bill Maher to Bill O’Reilly labeling Kerry as weak. They’re saying he needs to fight back. Don’t they read the papers? All week long the guy’s been saying Bush lives in a fantasy world, was wrong in Iraq, and is wrecking our federal budget. Today alone (Saturday, 9/25/04), Knight Ridder is running Thomas Fitzgerald’s “Kerry says Bush choice to invade Iraq a 'diversion' from war on al-Qaida”; the Washington Post “Kerry Blasts Iraq 'Diversion’,” and the New York Times has an article about Bush whining over Kerry’s condemnations of Iraq’s hand picked puppet, er, Prime Minister, Dr. Ayad Allawi. What does Kerry need to do, start accusing W. of pedophilia? Come on boys, if Kerry were fighting any harder he’d be charged with assault.
When Prime Minister Allawi gave that speech in the Rose Garden Thursday singing the praises of the Bush administration and the glowing progress of the “success in Iraq,” it became obvious why Karl Rove traded in former hand-picked Iraqi hand puppet Ahmed Chalabi. This guy projects power. According to MSNBC’s Lynn Duke, Allawi once broke his wrist pounding on a table to emphasize a point. Besides, Allawi is willing to use the same speechwriters as rest of the Bush team and there is no question who is pulling his strings.
You may have noticed, watching Allawi’s speech, that while he gave pretty much the exact same speech Bush had a few minutes earlier, the president’s lips never moved, though a US hand was obviously up Allawi’s rear manipulating the jaw. Perhaps that’s because Bush is not the true ventriloquist to Allawi’s dummy. Bush, a former slacker, obviously isn’t the one: it’s got to be someone even bigger with even more power. Chances are most Americans will think of that old reliable choice for Bush’s real brain, Dick Cheney. After all, like all good ventriloquists, he only speaks out of the side of his mouth anyway. But Cheney, being a Dick, is only capable of so much, and while it may be true about Bush and Cheney we’re still left wondering, who has his hand up Cheney’s ass?
Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the West Coast of Arizona. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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