George the Fireman

I've never voted for Bush and it's fair to say I've never been fond of him or his policies. Pre-911, I viewed him as a bumbling fool who, at worst, was a harmless fellow who didn't have grand designs about changing the world. Until that gruesome day, his biggest policy decision was over stem cell research, an important decision to be sure, but probably not the greatest issue of the times.

In the days immediately after 911, I thought Dub did a reasonable job. He rallied the country, showed righteous indignation, and vowed to bring those responsible to justice. Sure, he loved the camera a little too much (who could forget him on the pile of rubble, megaphone in hand and arm thrown over a fireman's shoulder), but it was the rare time when photo ops were actually useful.
Like a majority of the country, I didn't balk much at the invasion of Afghanistan. After all, one could make a reasonable argument that the lawless country was a certified terrorist breeding ground. Besides, I figured the military could handle it and despite Dub's speechifying against nation-building, we'd probably clean the place up and be able to walk away rather handily.

Then Came Iraq

But then came Iraq.

From the beginning, I thought the administration would go to war come hell or high water. I a steady stream of news accounts discussed cherry-picked intelligence and neo-con advisors pushing the reasonable out of the way. Dub's transparent talk about imposing deadlines became more bellicose by the day, so it didn't surprise me when shock and awe appeared right on schedule.

Although I thought the war was stupid even then, I wasn't particularly worried. Sure, there were a handful of military analysts who took pot shots at Dub and his generals, but I figured the military would respond well enough to carry the day. I mean, how incompetent could the Crawford Wonder be?

Boy, did I misjudge.

The first signs of real trouble came when the looting started. It was readily apparent RummCo had no plan to win the peace - a peace they believed was assured by simply dismissing the massive looting as a mere blip. After that, it was downhill all the way. The slight slack I'd been willing to give him rapidly faded as civil rights eroded and stories of gross incompetence emerged with distressing frequency. In response, Team Bush began rapidly smearing their opponents like they were cleaning windshields with a Hershey bar on a hot day.

From Tepid Tolerance to Full-Blown Alarm

By the time we reached the second election, my view of him and his cabal had changed from tepid intolerance to full-blown alarm. The sidetrack I thought we'd embarked on after the first election now appeared to be shuttling us onto the mainline at full speed pointed directly toward a washed out bridge. I was distressed by the country's willingness to return him to office again. How could people be so blind, I wondered?

Indignation piled on affront until the Katrina debacle. By then, I believed Dub was dangerously stupid, but even I was unprepared for watching people drown in the wreckage of the Gulf Coast. I found it appalling that he took several days to rouse himself from vacation and photo op his way past the flood - proving photo ops aren't always helpful. By the time he proclaimed Brownie doing "a heck of a job", it was clear the wheels were well and truly off the Presidential limo.

Since then, nearly every day brings a scandal, screw-up, or pronouncement so loony I wait for the man in a white suit wielding the butterfly net. King Dub's popularity has steadily eroded to numbers so low that, if they were temperatures, would induce frostbite. Today, Dubya doesn't even bother to make believable excuses. He just stands at the podium, reads the Teleprompter (poorly), and waves bye bye to the audience and his shredded credibility.

Fireman George

And yet, there are still true believers, those who believe this is all a huge, left-wing political putsch aiming to punish their virtuous man for all his good works. Although I'm greatly troubled by many from my own side of the political spectrum, I'm truly baffled by these believers. When it comes to their President, they don't believe in three strikes you're out, they believe in 3,000 strikes and you still get a walk. They defiantly stand in a straw house, surrounded by smoke and flame, waiting for Fireman George to come rescue them.

I fear it'll be a long wait. Fireman George is still on vacation, the fireplugs are on the fritz, and fire truck crapped out long ago.

Sometimes it's a virtue to doggedly stick to a single-minded quest, even if it does seem futile. But sometimes, that firm belief only leads you deeper into the burning building where you can rest assured Fireman George will abandon you.

If this is you, I advise you run - don't walk - to the nearest exit.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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