Friday, December 5

Friday Bush Farewell Tour Blogging

I'VE been going through my Bush archives.  Okay, so that makes me sound more organized than I'll ever be able to pretend to be; it's a political dump file that dates back to Whitewater. or, roughly, whenever it was I got enough storage to actually keep stuff (ask your parents), with a mind toward giving the man a proper send-off, as opposed to the Bush Farewell Tour hosted by the likes of Charlie Gibson. By the way, the thing I find fascinating about that--not fascinating enough to watch, mind you, beyond what clips Jon Stewart decides to use--is that mass market "news" has been excusing itself for nigh-on thirty years now for its tabloid-worthy coverage by claiming the dictates of the Free Market. So, okay, who th' fuck wants to hear from George W. Bush any more? I can't imagine that yet includes even that portion of the audience which believes the presence of Laura Bush adds something (other than her creepy, Mother's Little Helper vibe; we're about to suggest that a certain event in late 2000 C.E., pictured above, should have caused America to pack up its 0.9 shootin' irons per capita and surround the Supreme Court, demanding Al Gore win Florida. But the simple fact is that no man's immediate family, let alone extended Crime family, ever argued more convincingly that he had no business being President of his local Jaycees, let alone a developed country, and we should have realized it long before Election Day).

Anyway, it's been interesting to note that practically everything I have dating to Campaign 2000 comes from Salon, or from some USENET (ask your parents) poster who laboriously stole someone's copyright for the greater good. Weren't no blogs in my day, sonny! It's also interesting to note that there was considerably--considerably--more criticism of George W. Bush, the man, the campaign, and the record, than I recalled. This may in part be because of what I was choosing to save, but there is a real sense that through 1999 and into the primaries Bush was being held reasonably accountable for his positions and his record, and not just his unfamiliarity with the most-common language used in America. There's actual anger in some Republican circles at South Carolina; there's Molly Ivans ridiculing Bush's campaign expense/ vote count ratio in Michigan; there are claims, from Republicans, that Democratic crossover votes are buoying Bush, and assurances that after his sliming of the Media Darling in SC the Press will be all over him. And then there's nothing. Nothing except Bushisms, the apparent suggestion that George W. Bush was lagging behind in the critical Grammatically Correct Americans demographic.

Then Al Gore invented the Internet.

It's difficult, maybe impossible, to accurately describe the campaign of 2000, let alone its culmination, without employing the word "theft". And, pace Kevin Drum and his readers, Bob Somerby is not a crazy old coot who's gone 'round the bend because of it; he's dead right. Once you've caught your leg in a bear trap, moving on may still be a concern, but there are others. The great majority of the people who committed fraud in the nation's Press in 2000 are still at their jobs, still disseminating, trivializing, juvenilizing, forcing everything to fit into their comfortable upper-class scripts. They don't apologize for helping put Bush in office; hell, they awarded themselves Gold Stars for the coverage. Campbell (Mrs. Dan Senor) Brown boogied the night away at Bush 2000 headquarters; once 2008 was clearly a Democratic year she went from baking cupcakes to throwing them.  She's suddenly a Feminist, the sort of Feminist who slags the President-Elect because he won't play the Hillary Clinton Is A Drama Queen game with her. You have to be an embarrassment on the order of Judith Miller to even receive a demotion. In fact, you have to be Judith Miller; there are enough other embarrassments at the Times alone to fill two new Tina Brown vanity websites.

Okay, so how Bush got there, and what he did once he was there, are two different things, but it can be a little difficult for the seasoned dyspeptic to sort them out, or care. And I'm sure I mentioned this before, but in the horrible month between the Election and the Selection, George W. Bush, the Man Who Would Be Exponentially The Worst President Ever, not only ducked the Press--appearing, I believe, exactly twice--but who, when he did turn up, showed evidence that his own skin was trying to reject his body. And while we may not be the most politically savvy, or informed, nation on earth, we are, hands down, that nation which, alone among countries whose primary language has an alphabet, believes quite literally in angels, demons, visitations from Beyond the Grave, extraterrestrials, card readers, palm readers, tea-leaves readers, entrails readers, table tappers, phrenologists, planetary omens, appearances of the Holy Family on baked goods, backwards messages on records, and half-off coupons. How th' fuck we missed that boil is forever beyond me.


Uncle Omar said...

The penultimate sentence is worth the price of admission.

Brendan said...

As is the ultimate.

Hattie said...

As is the second to last sentence.
What about Koreans? And Filipinos? And Italians? We're a pretty ignorant lot, all right, but to claim that we are the most ignorant people in the world is just another example of how we always think we're #1.

Anonymous said...

An example of our first-rate press corps: On 60 Minutes tonight, a TV crew, and an alleged reporter/journalist goes to Saudi Arabia and asks the oil minister (the first question on the report), "What will be the price of oil in six months?"

Brendan said...


As much as I share your impression of the MSM as vacuous, I actually think that is not a bad question. It's not so much that one would expect the answer to be a number that we could count on, but there is the potential of learning something from how someone answers a question like that.

Of course, everyone has media training these days, and so knows perfectly well how to give non-answer answers, so it was probably a long shot.

Anonymous said...

Arabic has an alphabet, and though I don't know if any of the Arabic-speaking peoples have a tradition of divine or prophetic personages putting in appearances on the sides of garages, or (a recent hot one) on prints of brain scans, I'm sure they can produce a good selection of non-rational beliefs, including several of those you list. There are a lot of them, too - - Arabic-speaking people, that is.

Damn straight they wouldn't have passed on the boil. Neither did I, though my reasoning was more along semi-Reichian lines (like your skin-rejecting-body line, DH), with possibly a little atavistic input from the old Celtic belief that no blemished man can be a king, because Sovereignty - the goddess of the land - will reject him as a consort. Too bad it didn't work out that way until 8 bloody years dragged agonizingly by.

Li'l Innocent