Of the expressions one can use to describe the legacy of The Current President, the most apt also is also somewhat ironic. It is the Bush Administration, not its predecessor, to which the phrase “caught with his pants down” is most utterly apt—even though the phrase unfortunately applies literally to President Bill Clinton.
President George W. Bush was a downright performance artist in the genre of getting caught pantsless—figuratively, anyway. America and the world were quick to give him a pass for September Eleventh, although it was the first demonstratable proof that we’d been saddled with a careless incompetent as our chief executive. Even if the dots were actually unconnectable, even if the August 6 PDB was merely a “historical document,” there is one conclusion I can’t escape on this: Never did I suspect I’d ever see such a day. Not here. I always assumed one couldn’t touch The Pentagon without being evaporated in fire by a secret weapon that vaporizes not only your body and your hair but your very immortal soul; or that a protocol might exist, dots notwithstanding, for even an accidental rougue jet airbus in this airspace, that, perhaps we might have “imagined” such a possibility due to our own experience in, oh, I don’t know, World War II? Banzai, anyone?
The Pentagon. The frakking Pentagon. And Bush and Cheney and Rice and all the rest of these idiots had their thumbs up their asses while 19 people turned it into a square. And, the thing about having one’s thumb up one’s ass: No pants. Busted.
One would think this would be the only time a President would need to get caught tripping over his own waistband. It wasn’t, though. America gave him a pass for The September The Eleventh, partially because he came out with green bloodshot eyes and he was all growly and weird, overcompensating madly for his abysmal failure; and partly because, well, you really wanted to be behind the President then. Even I did.
That’s the second overwhelming characteristic of this Presidency: Rather than just hoisting trou and rezippering once caught with said pants down, this one starts jumping around madly, grunting and swatting and shooting bazookas off and shit. The complete apeshit crazy response to The September The Eleventh was to invade Iraq and occupy it for the next several years, egged on by his cadre of Bizarro-Utopian Anarchists. This reaction to the attack wasn’t just wrong. It was abnormal.
This impression first began to dawn on me on July 22, 2003. I was in the bank and looked up at the television monitor, which was flashing pictures of two dead bodies. The bodies, those of Uday and Qusay Hussein, were lying side by side. They were clearly mangled beyond recognition by gunfire and then carefully reassembled for the cameras. It was gruesome. It started me to thinking: It’s not just that I disagree with these people. It’s that there’s something really wrong with them.
There really is. When you lack the humanity to even pretend to have learned anything from Hurricane Katrina, when even in the face of such overwhelming evidence that your most basic philosophical rocks are completely wrong as a 7.2 percent unemployment rate and bad news with every other economic indicator around the bend, when you find legislative action completely appropriate to interfere with a young woman’s unfortunate but inevitible march into twilight, when you and your friends actually think the song “Barack The Magic Negro” is funny, there is really something wrong with you.
I’ll watch Bush’s speech tonight. I’ll have to; he’s preempting my stories. I have a suggestion for him. Don’t defend your legacy tonight, President Bush. In fact, don’t even write a new speech. I think you ought to just get up there and read Eisenhower’s. I’d just like to see which would be more ironic; Gen. Eisenhower warning us about the military-inudstrial complex, or George?