The one enjoyable pastime of the last six years for many liberals has been making sport of George W. Bush. After all, if a cretin can be president, if a man as inarticulate as Bush can actually be the leader of the free world, at least we ought to get a couple of belly laughs out of it.
Unfortunately, it is beginning to look like the joke has been on us. In fact, it seems a strong possibility that while we liberals were thinking that the bus of government was piloted by Bozo the Clown, the bus was leaving the station without us in a big way.
No matter how desperately we want to think that Bush is an idiot or a small-minded puppet, the facts seem to be pointing in another direction entirely. To begin with, while nearly everyone can get a college degree these days, Bush went to not one, but two ivy-league universities, Harvard and Yale. And while money can certainly grease the wheels of academic progress, it is difficult to believe that both of these schools abandoned their standards wholesale for an average student.
Bush is often cited as having been at the helm of a number of failing business ventures; however, the undisputable truth is that regardless of how fast those ships sank, he came out of every one richer than he went in.
Bush may be a shill, a straw man to take the heat, but it would be a miracle if his net worth has done anything but skyrocket. His oil-business cronies are doing just fine, as are all of Dick Cheyney’s people over at Halliburton. Looking at the train of events since Bush took office, it is clear that a rising tide is indeed floating all yachts.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center Towers were destroyed by an attack, the source of which many people still question. Indeed, there are many people who dispute that the planes were actually airliners. Likewise, there are accusations that the towers should not have fallen. Immediately afterward, a new government department, Homeland Security, creating numerous government contracting opportunities, was born.
In the weeks following the attack, Americans were bombarded with commercials for new vehicles. Low- and no-interest loans made new trucks and SUVs attractive buys, and Americans bought millions of them. Then we invaded Afghanistan. It was well known that Americans could not bomb the Afghans back to the stone age, because the Soviet Union had beaten us to it 20 years before. The Afghani expedition offered very little in the way of excitement or economic impetus, so our next stop was Iraq.
Iraq had oil. Iraq had Saddam. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, but it was a useful fiction to get us over there. Once our forces were on the ground, the country was destabilized, and the real fun could begin. The price of gasoline doubled, and Halliburton and its child company, Kellogg Brown & Root saw their prospects get rosier by the hour. The value of Halliburton stock today is worth more than 4 times its value in December 2002. Exxon posted record profits, and its shares are now worth 3 times their December 2003 value.
Now, the powers that be are making noises about invading yet a third sovereign state, the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran also has lots of oil, and they are actively pursuing a nuclear energy program, which could be turned into a weapons program. The pretext is clear, but the mere buzz was enough to do the job this time--the price of gas went up nearly a dollar a gallon. Americans began to grumble.
Interestingly enough, there is a new spate of commercials flooding the airways, once again coming from the auto industry. The message now is: buy highly economical cars, both the small- and hybrid-engine varieties. Given that it takes 5 years to bring a new automobile model to market, things start to look awfully convenient.
It is possible that George Bush is a moron who got a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School, then ruined half a dozen ventures before rising to the level of his incompetence as President of the United States. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.
- ▼ May (5)