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Escape to Crawford

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Message Missy Beattie
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George W. Bush took the oath of office on January 20, 2001. During the first few months of this stolen presidency, his approval rating roamed between 50 and 60 percent. Six months later, when 9/11 shook our psyches and Bush had his bullhorn moment, his support soared to 90 percent. "Lucky me," he said to Budget Director Mitch Daniels, "I hit the trifecta." Hahahahaha. Isn't the president funny???? Frequently hamming it up, George to some (his base) can be a laugh riot. That he would wisecrack in reference to a national tragedy is no big surprise. So much about Bush is inappropriate. He has his mommy's cutesy and tactless wayward way with words""an assault on the ears. As the old joke goes, he's about as funny as a funeral.

And he's the cause of so many.

Seven US soldiers were killed in Iraq on Wednesday. Seven families have either heard the doorbell ring or will soon. Seven families like mine.

Iraq is in civil war (if the mainstream media says 'brink,' that means already there) and it's a given that attacks on Americans will intensify. But George says, "Stay the course." He's honoring my nephew, Chase Johnson Comley, killed in Iraq on August 6, 2005, by maintaining troop levels. After all, to leave now would be to "dishonor the fallen." I have a strong feeling, based on Chase's phone calls home, that he would like us to "dishonor" him by pulling his comrades out immediately.

In a letter he wrote to his sister that came home with his effects, Chase said, "No parent would want their child over here."

September 11th did, indeed, empower George Bush. That's always boggled my mind since papers warning of the attacks crossed his desk before he left for a long vacation at the Crawford Compound. This is public knowledge, as is Condi Rice's remark, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

Bush must have done some serious whining that day when those papers hit his consciousness, "Heck. I wanna go to my ranch. I need some downtime." Karl Rove smells an opportunity even before he sees one. Every single time.

I'll bet Bush is craving more than downtime right about now. He's being spanked over Portgate and new polls show he's not trusted by a majority of the population. Shaking in his ostrich, cowboy boots, he needs the comfort of his home along with the comfort of Southern Comfort. Is he having a little nip or two or three to take off the edge or to make the edge of the precipice feel a little softer? We know Cheney is. Someone should explain to Vice that alcohol mixed with quail hunting shouldn't be on the menu. I'm sure Lynne has told Dick never to combine the two again even if he learned a lesson without her tongue lashing.

But, then, if experience is the greatest teacher, we'd never have reelected George W. Bush. Don't blame me though. I didn't vote for him.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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