this guy Zack says he's been watching me, and I'm at it again. He says the
only thing I'm good for is just one ad hominem attack after another on my
"favorite of scorn" (whatever that
is) -- George W. Bush.
Zack says he'll give me $100 if I
can write a piece on Bush extolling a single aspect of his personality; if
I can cite just one credible attribute of his character or discuss even
one good point about Bush.
I rarely take homework assignments from Frights (friends on the right),
especially those who view any critical analysis of Bush as a vicious
attack, even if backed up by extensive research, facts and unimpeachable
witnesses. Zack says it's a challenge and, after assuring me there would
be "no name calling...no brow beating...not even any criticism," he
reminded me that my "mindless bias, my overwhelming propensity towards
indulging myself with ad hominem attacks toward those with whom I disagree
-- and other character flaws,"
literally make it impossible for me to do such a project.
Well. All righty then. In ad-hominem jargon, this is known as "poisoning
the well." And, anyone brave enough to enter an argument which begins with
a well-poisoning should know that the stage has already been set with
insults and attacks upon his or her own personal integrity. Therefore, at
the outset, the argument is less likely to be about George W. Bush than it
is about me as an arguer.
So I accept. Not just because I can't resist things that are, like,
totally about me. And for sure,
not because Zack brags that he's famous for "scorching would-be literary
giants" over at the venerable
Rockwell site, where
Zack says he says he sports a reputation as a "lunatic -- a Christo-Fascist
Corporatist Warmonger who delights in insulting writers." Not even because
Zack questions the ethics of any website that would publish a faux writer
like me, who is in reality "just a person with a case of vomitis maximis."
No, I accept the challenge because I am reminded of the delightful Peter
DePaulo, who won the 1925 Indy 500. A $100 bonus was paid to drivers for
each lap they led the race back then. DePaulo was the first to crack the
100-mph benchmark that year; his hands were covered with painful blisters,
but a grinning DePaulo said all he could think about each time he passed
the flagstand was "hunnerd bucks...hunnerd
I can't write about Bush's personality because, from exploding frogs to
branding plebs to taunting and killing prison inmates to torturing
detainees, Bush's personality seems pretty cruel and revengeful. Perhaps
it's not his fault, but a genetic thing. Not being a psychologist, I can
only wonder about a childhood so bereft of parental guidance that it
produced a mean-spirited junkyard-dog adult who believes that inflicting
pain is the only way to get attention or to gain, and retain, control of
Ad-hominemly speaking, it appears that this sad and dangerous man with the
hyper-imagination of a cartoonish Buzz Lightyear lives in his own Magic
Kingdom where whatever he says is true
must be true because he's the leader. He cannot, or will not, admit
that there is more to spreading democracy than dousing people in purple
ink. He cannot, or will not, see that, rather than being on the march,
freedom in Iraq is on the run. A dead run.
And, unfortunately, I can't write about Bush's character because each time
I make the attempt, I turn into a modern-day
Sam Kinison on steroids.
Actually, Bush has a lot of character, but one doesn't have to read
Aristotle's Poetics to recognize
it is the embodiment of twisted and perveted ethos. Sadly, our society is
rapidly beginning to mirror Bush's character -- we are devoid of both
sympathy and empathy; we have no compassion for the vulnerable nor for the
innocent, we refuse to hear the cries of those who are crushed by our
Bush's character is still evolving -- he has created an unjust society
wherein he has been successful thus far in ruling through fear, propaganda
and violence, which he uses indiscriminately to achieve whatever options
are piled on that symbolic table he keeps pointing to...
No. I cannot write about Bush's character. Wouldn't be prudent.
But surely, for a hunnerd bucks I can come up with a good point about
Bush. Maybe even more than one. For starters, he dupes folks -- from
dishwashers to race-car drivers to university professors to born-again
Christians to the Pope.
Bush is a Super Duper. For example, in a
compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee
and released in mid-March, Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin
Powell and Condoleezza Rice made "a combined total of 237 misleading
public statements on the threat posed by Iraq."
Think about it. A veritable infestation of lies resulting in injury and
death for hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, far too many of them
women and children; and the
unnecessary deaths of
more than 1,500 US citizens. Almost 17,000 US troops have been injured or
maimed -- with a whopping 9,524 of that number evacuated because of
Bush is getting away with it. That's a good thing. At least from Bush's
point of view and Zack's point of view and, of course, that of the
Frights, who are in over their heads -- in way too deep to back out now.
Hey, with an election looming in 2006, that could be a very good thing.
But the really really good thing about George Bush is that he's the Robert
Redford of campaigning. He's a Natural. The best that ever was. Every time
he comes back to the White House, Karl Rove arms him with fresh talking
points and sends him back out on the stump. Bush never deviates from those
points; he doesn't have to, because his audiences are purchased wind-up
toys programmed to cheer each time he pauses for breath. Look at the three
injurious tax cuts he inflicted on the lower and middle classes in this
country over the past four years, the education, health and welfare
budgets he's cut with scarcely a whimper from those affected -- the
environment he's desecrated.
Anything he can't get passed during the day, Bush passes all by himself at
night via Executive Order. Assassinations, coups, torture? You bet.
Faith-based initiatives? No problem. Violate
Title 36 of the US Code
and fly the Stars and Stripes for a Polish Pope in Italy? Hey, I've
gotcher separation of church and state right here -- at half mast...
Bush is never better than when explaining his position on an issue. His
campaign on privatizing Social Security is nothing if not awesome. When
backed into a corner about his insistence that private accounts would
shore up Social Security, he slipped effortlessly into explaining that
African Americans should rush to get what had now become "personal" rather
than private accounts because black folks die so much sooner than white
folks, and that all younger folks should want personal accounts because --
well, because it's a better deal.
Of course, Bush has no clue as to what Social Security is. Some might
recall during the 2000 campaign when Al Gore kept hammering about putting
Social Security in a "lock box," Bush, bored with the subject, rolled his
eyes and commented that the way Gore talked, "you'd think Social Security
was some kind of government program...." And, during a February campaign
stop in Tampa, Fla., after Bush had run through his talking points, a
bewildered woman asked Bush to explain again, in words that she could
understand, how his plan would fix the Social Security problem. Bush
-- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For
example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table.
Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases.
There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And
when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those --
changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been
promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been
promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look,
there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits
are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the
increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits
will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a
reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In
other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow,
if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."
Wow. I have to admit if that
plan passes congressional inspection, Bush is good. Damn good.
So give me my hunnerd bucks.
is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former civilian US Army Public
Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of
Internet sites. Contact her at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2005 Sheila Samples
Other Articles by Sheila
-- The Roads They Travel
Prints in the Sand
* A Kick in
* Oh Lord,
Ain't it Hard...
* The Last
Man to Concede
* Bring Them
Home . . . Sooner Rather Than Later
* Best Way
to "Support the Troops" is to Bring Them Home
President” de la Mancha
Stinky and the Vulcans
* The Last
Pre-emptive Pie-Hole Policy Not an Option
* Freedom to
Fascism -- A Bumpy Ride
the Fiends Cry "Kill"
* Like Dogs
in the Night
* Blame the
Terrorists Behind That Tree!
Letter to CNN
* I Know
You Are But What Am I?
It's the Questions Stupid!
* Truth and
Freedom, Slip-Sliding Away
the CYA Game
Royko Were Here . . . On Going Nowhere With the 9/11 Commission
* It Takes a