I’ve thought of that title a zillion times, but I hadn’t had the audacity till July 10th when George Bush himself officially took the words right out of my mouth. He so summed up everything I had to say about him. And if you voted for him, especially twice, his quip says something about you too. Do you know the story?
Well, it was at this year’s G8 summit. What with “Global Warming,” being this year’s favorite international boogieman, the other 7 of the G8, being the national leaders of the group of the other seven mightiest “industrialized” powers on the planet, held their annual meeting in hopes of nailing down some serious environmental restraint from the US. You know the numbers—every since Bush trashed their Kyoto Accords in the early days of his presidency, these environmental alarmists have tried to draw attention to the fact that the US is but 6% of the world’s population yet using 25% of the resources, making more pollution and planet threatening greenhouses gases than most of the others combined, second only to China which has six times the people. Yet, no matter what concerns his citizens have claimed, the president of our country holds a long loud record of condemning environmental concerns in favor of energy company profits.
So, as you might expect, this year’s G8 meeting hadn’t gone particularly well, with President Bush resisting concessions to his ‘what, me worry?’ energy policies. Then, as he was leaving, he turned and waved goodbye with the following quip, duly reported in the British press: “’Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter.’ [Bush] then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.”
See? You can’t make this sort of thing up. It would be wrong. It would make our supposedly elected leader look like too much of a smug jerk to even tolerate. It would be like depicting him swaggering up to the mike and telling the terrorists who were beginning to attack our liberating soldiers in Iraq to “bring ‘em on!” while he was nestled comfy in the White House thousands of miles from the front. Oh wait, that happened.
Well, it would be like trying to make it seem that Bush was so shameless a propagandist that he would make a Thanksgiving photo-op trip that was so bogus Bush would even pose with a fake turkey. A fake turkey? It would surely be a character assassination to suggest our president would stoop that low. But wait, he did that too.
These shameful moments of Bush lore are not the kind of thing we as a people want to think about, having spent so long giving our faith and our reputations to him to wantonly trash. As Brad Reed newly released AlterNet report demonstrates, “The 10 Most Awesomely Bad Moments of the Bush Presidency,” there’s always been plenty to complain about if Americans had cared to listen.
But be careful, it might make you wonder how he got in office in the first place. Were Americans truly so ignorant of his misdeeds and blinded by his propaganda that they followed along; or did he really cheat his way through those two elections just like so many have always complained he did?
Is there still time to join the complainers who have been out there warning us all along, or has Bush been shoved down our throats for so long that we are just no longer even capable of being sick of it? We’ve been repeatedly told that “fear of wasting time chasing a lame duck” is why Congress won’t get behind Dennis Kucinich’s recurring efforts to impeach Bush for his many documented high crimes and misdemeanors.
No longer do his supporters claim him innocence, or even good will; no longer do they deny that Bush has committed an even longer train of abuses than an earlier monarchial George; not that he hasn’t lied, cheated, stolen, tortured, and sold out America, only that the timing is wrong for complaints.
In a way, one almost envies the rest of the G8 their relationship to Bush. This was indeed their final sign-off with the self-proclaimed world’s biggest polluter. The next time they meet, a new American president will have a new chance to represent our interests. Meanwhile, a year from now, and for much, much longer, we Americans will still be struggling to clean up his many, many messes.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of Arizona.