Do Bush and I agree?Let’s count the ways
I stopped by the newspaper in Vail the other day and one of the crusty conservatives who run that rag saw me coming and announced to the newsroom in general, “Here comes Andy Stone … museum-quality liberal!”Now, before I go any further, let me note that: 1. Visiting the Vail paper is part of my job (I don’t do these things for pleasure); and, 2. There really are some hard-core conservatives in positions of responsibility over there.Anyway, I answered his introduction by saying that, in fact, the perfection of my liberalism had been destroyed by my realization that some things are true despite the fact that George Bush believes them.I don’t mention this exchange because I want to share the witty newsroom repartee with you. (How much true wit can you expect from people who base their humor on bodily functions?) My point is that I have realized that George W. Bush and I agree on some things.For example, this week I found myself shouting about “those ignorant arrogant jerks over in Europe!”To be honest, the jerks I had in mind were Swiss, not French – and I know that George’s hatred is really focused on the French – but, hey, most of the Swiss speak French and they all eat cheese, so what’s the difference?And the Swiss in question were truly being ignorant, arrogant, self-centered, pompous jerks. OK, I guess those terms can be applied to us Americans too – but right now it’s the Swiss. They’re wrong and I’m going to jump on them with both feet while I have the chance.What inspired all this was an editorial in La Tribune de Geneve attacking Lance Armstrong – Lance Armstrong! – after his victory in the Tour de France.The editorial said, “Mankind is not fond of those who gorge themselves on success without suffering.”Arrrgh!How dare they? Those cheese-eating draft dodgers! (What? You say Bush, Cheney and Clinton are draft dodgers, but not the Swiss? Hey, the Swiss dodged the whole darn war!)What, having your skull sawed open so they can scrape the cancerous tumors off your brain isn’t enough suffering? I could feel my insides twisting into a pretzel of loathing for those people with their cowbells and leather shorts.So I agree with George: They’re hateful. That’s one.Here’s another: I agree with George W. that it’s acceptable to shout obscenities if it makes you feel good.I’m referring, of course, to the Dick Cheney incident, in which George’s vice president got into an argument with a Democratic senator, on the floor of the Senate, lost his temper and used language that I cannot reprint in this family newspaper.As one very polite newspaper reported it, he “used a sexual term, suggesting the senator perform an anatomical impossibility.” You have to love that delicate reference. It lets us know that the vice president didn’t suggest that the senator should touch his ear with his elbow – an anatomical impossibility, but (in my experience) totally nonsexual.On the other hand, in their reluctant delicacy, the newspaper might not have really been clear. I seem to remember, from my high school days, a similarly insulting phrase that included sexual terms and anatomical impossibilities and ended with a reference to “a rolling doughnut.” I won’t go into details, but let me say that, had one actually been able to perform that impossibility, it would have given a whole new meaning to Krispy Kreme.Anyway, I thought Republicans would have been shocked by Cheney’s language, but they didn’t blink. And Cheney’s main comment was that he “felt better afterwards.”That apparently was good enough for George. If it feels good, do it!Which brings us to Whoopi Goldberg.Very recently, the entire Republican Party expressed horror, dismay and shocked outrage after Whoopi made some unacceptable, obscene remarks about George W. at a Democratic fund-raiser.The screeching could be heard from one end of the country to the other. Conservative radio hosts demanded that John Kerry give back the $7.5 million raised at the event just to show that he rejected Ms. Goldberg’s loathsome remarks.Wow! What did she say?Curiously, it is extremely difficult to find out what she actually said.I spent a long time searching the Web, because I figured it must be really evil – based on the new Cheney Standard for Acceptable Political Discourse. All I could find were statements that she had made “lewd puns based on the president’s last name.” (No mention of anatomical impossibilities.)It took almost an hour, but I finally found a story by Matt Labash, a writer at the conservative Weekly Standard, who quoted Whoopi directly.Here – with the really vile words masked with the traditional asterisks – are her actual words:”Nothing has given me more pleasure than b**h. … Someone has tarnished the world in the name of Bush. We went to war in the name of Bush … attempted to amend the Constitution in the name of Bush. … Keep b**h where it belongs, not in the White House.”Arrrgh! How dare she?I am shocked!Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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