Monday, January 12, 2009
One Last Time, With Feeling
Congratulations are in order to George W. Bush, who today managed to sign off on his catastrophic Presidency without accidentally stuffing his trousers full of hot dogs or choking on his footwear. By the slapstick standards that have been the hallmark of his Benny Hill administration, Bush's demented toddler routine this afternoon was a triumph.
It's impossible to predict how history will remember W. - most likely as the man whose disastrous fiscal and foreign policies delivered such a stiff boot to the testicles of the mighty American Empire that it may never recover, or maybe as an efficient, if comical, mechanism for legalising the larceny of his royal court.
Heller said of Kissinger that he will not be recalled in history as a Bismarck, Metternich or Castlereagh, but as an odious schlump who made war gladly.
Well, Bush wasn't even a Kissinger, and more of a buffoon than a Bismarck; more a moron than a Metternich and more a clown than a Castlereagh. Nonetheless, his supporters couldn't fault him for the gladness of his warmaking or the odiousness of his schlumping. Between them, the religious loons, the Risk-playing professorial war nerds and the deregulatory thieves who put him in power have seen their creeds leave half the planet in flames and the other half in open revolt against the system that their predecessors so carefully constructed.
In the end, I think the Americans can count themselves lucky that they didn't all wind up living on canned food and radioactive cockroaches while renting their orifices to the Russians, but I doubt that will cheer them up much.
Watching George W.'s limousine putter off down Pennsylvania Avenue just might, though, especially when the doors fall off, seventeen Exxon Mobil executives pile out clad in bright shirts and red noses, then start honking little horns and kicking each other up the arse.
So cheerio George... I think I can speak for ninety percent of the planet's population when I say that your departure hasn't come a moment too soon.