Bike Bites Bush - Ford Redux?

President Bush suffered an embarrassing collision and fell from his beloved mountain bike during a ride on the grounds of the Gleneagles golf resort today. He was in Scotland with other world leaders to attend the G8 Conference. Why he was riding a bike at a golf course instead of antagonizing world leaders was unclear at the time.

This isn't the first two-wheeled mishap for Bush. It continues a proud Bush family tradition of embarrassing pratfalls. Who could forget His Majesty Bush I's projectile vomiting on the Japanese Prime Minister, His Majesty Bush II's deadly encounter with a pretzel or Court Jester Jeb Bush's repeatedly ill-advised interference in the Terri Schiavo case? The President's last bike fall occurred in May when he took a tumble at his Texas Ranch. Bush handlers blamed that fall on the terrain. "It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," Trent Duffy said at the time. "The sun was in his eyes too. You know this president. He likes to go all out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes," Duffy said, though many believe that the simultaneous whistling and peddling were indeed responsible for the accident that left Bush's nose looking strikingly like that of acquitted child molester Michael Jackson.

The incidents remind many inside the Washington Beltway of former President Jerry Ford's seeming inability to chew gum and walk at the same time. Ford tripped, fell, slid and oopsed his way into America's heart with his charming ability to take a fall like a professional stunt man, yet bound back up smiling and waving as if nothing had happened. "The trouble with Jerry Ford is that he used to play football without a helmet," former President Lyndon Johnson once said of the accident-prone Ford. (The same might be said of Johnson's performance in the White House too.) Hell, Chevy Chase made himself a career - and broke his arm - imitating the gravity-challenged President.

The importance of these events is that, if anything, history always repeats itself. In the best cowboy tradition of falling off a horse (something else he's probably done), let's hope that Mr. Bush gets right back up and jumps back in the (bike) saddle. With threats from terrorists, global warming, a damaged economy and other social ills to cope with the American people can ill-afford a leader who might appear out of control or incompetent.

I say, "George, let's roll!" And by the way, put on a helmet before you hurt yourself.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, July 06, 2005

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