The current president is infamous for mangling and abusing language, sometimes to comic effect, sometimes in a way that plunges a cold martini right into your heart, glass, olive, and all. One of his recent smooshings of a phrase, though, may be the dumbest thing the man has ever said, though I haven’t discerned if it’s funny ha-ha or funny like Major Kong plummeting to Earth on a fat man bomb.
“You’re not the only dissident. I too am a dissident in Washington.” he told Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a leader in the resistance to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as quoted in The Washington Post. Later in the conversation, Bush told Ibrahim that, if it hadn’t been for his horse, he wouldn’t have spent that week in college.
For the record, Saad Eddin Ibrahim actually is a dissident. He was imprisoned for political reasons. He was critical of a sitting government. He spoke out on behalf of minorities and in favor of democracy. And, oh, yes: He is not the President of the United States of America. The current president calling himself a “dissident” is like the current president calling himself a “uniter.” No, wait. It’s like the current president calling himself “a war president.” No, wait. It’s like the current president calling himself “the president.”
A president, any president, cannot be a dissident, by definition. Like a lion is not a peach. Like Richie is not Fonzie. Because a president holds the keys to the national armory, a president, any president, cannot even aspire to be a dissident. Dissidents do not have the guns. They have the numbers. But THIS president? Discussing the irony him claiming to be a “dissident” is nearly a waste of keystrokes. He is not a dissident. He creates dissidents. He is a dissident factory.
Of course, if you give the current president long enough, he can always outdo himself.
He can get up in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (haven’t all wars save two been “foreign,” btw?) and somehow suggest that the Iraq Morass is like Vietnam, and that it’s a good thing, that the lesson to have been drawn from Vietnam was that we should have kept at it, by golly!
And those damned kids at Kent State were just asking for it!
This current president, he certainly is something. He’s no dissident. But he’s something.