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Jon Stewart hit the good news right on the head: the George W. Bush presidency is now officially more than halfway over.
Believe me, by the time Bush is done invading Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Cuba, privatizing social security, passing Patriot Acts 3-7, and declaring Jesus Christ our One True Lord and Savior, we’ll be looking for the tiniest silver lining, now matter how tarnished.
Although they didn’t get much news coverage, I was very proud of the widespread and the more
Reading Bush’s inauguration speech makes my head hurt. It’s like you put a US history book in a blender, fed it to a monkey, and then smeared its feces on a teleprompter. It reads like a drunken war whoop written by Thomas Jefferson to inspire Conan the Barbarian. In short, Bush pledges that the way to make America safe is to defeat evil (and/or tyranny) everywhere in the world. Not that we’re doing it for our own sake, of course, we’re doing it cuz it’s the right thing to do.
Tyranny is the new terrorism, which was the new communism (which was, I believe, the new “get em, they’re foreigners!”). Tres convenient.
Of course, all this would be great, if the US had the resources, manpower, support of the rest of the world, and if Bush’s every spoken word wasn’t a total lie. US foreign policy has always been, and will continue to be, “do as we say.” If the foreign government in question happens to be a democracy, great. If they happen to be a tyranny, great. If they happen to be a tyranny that pretends to be a democracy, well hot damn!
This is not to bash the US too badly, this is just how governments are. They are amoral institutions who’s main tools are the threat of war and the threat of prison. No matter where you live, if you think that your government is “good”, you’re probably being suckered. All nations have committed their share of crimes, and should be judged accordingly. Let’s just say that if put on trial, Uncle Sam would be mighty sad that he’d supported the death penalty all these years.
And of course, what Bush speech would be complete without mentioning his main man, G-O-D? David Neiwert points us to this op-ed, which analyzes the frequency and character of past presidents’ religious rhetoric. They find that not only does Bush invoke his own personal Almighty more frequently than his predecssors, but that he does so in a different way:
Presidents since Roosevelt have commonly spoken as petitioners of God, seeking blessing, favor and guidance. This president positions himself as a prophet, issuing declarations of divine desires for the nation and world.
If Bush is portraying himself as the spokesman of God, can’t we just nail him to something and be done with it?
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