In Praise of Bush
Some readers accuse me of having nothing good to say about President Bush, but I can hardly help that. He swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, and even his defenders dont seriously say he has done so. I can easily imagine a movie called Mr. Bush Goes to Washington and America Goes to Hell.
Bushs judgment is also open to question. It isnt just Iraq, where, according to him, we are winning, there is no civil war to speak of, and democracy has succeeded inspiringly, with the rest of the Middle East to follow suit shortly. After gazing into Vladimir Putins eyes a few years ago, he praised Putins good soul. Since then, everyone who has crossed Putin has wound up on a meat hook.
But just to show you I also see the positives, I think Laura Bush is one of our foxier first ladies. She looks smashing in a red sweater. Not to be confused with Mamie Eisenhower, if you follow me! Man!
And yet I wonder what, as a librarian, she saw in George. Well, they say opposites attract. But is their marriage in trouble? The tabloids keep insinuating that he is playing around with Condi Rice, but I dont buy it. For one thing, look at her teeth. If she gave you a hickey, how would you explain it to your wife? (Oh, that? Er ... a space alien bit me.)
I admit Im a crabby type. Whenever I watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, hoping to cheer myself up, I get annoyed by Jefferson Smiths proposal to create camps for kids. Where does the Constitution authorize Congress to do that? Babysitting is neither a duty nor a prerogative of the Federal Government, according to its own fundamental law.
You can go mad if you take politicians words seriously. Most people sensibly ignore them. I cant. Im obsessed with the gap its an abyss, really between word and deed. And it can be funny to be aware of yourself as the only one whos really listening.
People use words so loosely and irrationally that they think you must be downright nasty if you use them with care. When I say Lincoln was a disastrous president, they think Im making a personal attack. Im sure he was a charming and gifted man; but after all, he was willing to sacrifice more than half a million young men to save the Union. By that, he meant preventing the allegedly free and independent states from being independent! Its really that simple. I dont care if he was a saint; if he did that he was a disastrous president. Pardon me for being objective.
Jews are generally more intelligent than gentiles, because they have the gift of concentration, but they can also be just as silly when they dont use the minds God gave them. In the November issue of Commentary, for example, Gabriel Schoenfeld says I have made the charge of dual loyalty against American Jews who support the state of Israel.
Not so. And why would it even be a charge? Most people have more than one loyalty: multiple, divided, complicated loyalties, in fact. You can hardly blame the Jews for being like everyone else in that respect.
Schoenfeld has it backward. In fact, I wish some of Israels supporters (including Bible Christians) would exhibit dual loyalty, by occasionally putting Americas interests ahead of Israels. Instead, they have favored two wars against Iraq for Israels sake. Actually, I think both wars have been bad for both the United States and Israel, not to mention Iraq. But now these people want war with Iran too! The same issue of Commentary urges both another war and another regime change.
That is like saying that what we need right now is a good tragedy. A tragedy with a happy ending, of course.
Those who are eager for a war always tend to forget that its likely to be executed by someone like Bush, after which they will complain that though it was fully justified and could easily have been won, it was needlessly botched. They are caught by surprise when the tragedy ends unhappily. Then comes the old refrain, Dont blame us!
I wont say America is the greatest country on Earth, but its got to be one of the funniest. And Ill give Bush part of the credit for that.
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