W continues to dig a hole | AspenTimes.com

W continues to dig a hole

Paul Andersen

Liberal angst creates plenty of doom and gloom these days. For a peace-loving, egalitarian idealist like me, the grim specter of Bush’s second term is enough to provoke irritable bowel syndrome. In the immortal words of Tom Lehrer, I feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.Middle East oil is our energy equivalent of heroin. Iraq al-Qaida Inc. has opened a branch office in Jordan. The death toll of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq has exceeded 2,000. The ozone hole is growing. Global warming is accelerating. The Arctic Wildlife Refuge may be our next energy sacrifice zone. And, worst of all, I was not invited to prostrate myself at Hunter’s funeral pyre.Rather than becoming suicidal, I try to look on the bright side. Perhaps it’s better I was not in Woody Creek to observe the bombastic elegy sponsored by a Hollywood celebrity blowing $2.5 million to blast Hunter’s remains from Woody Creek into my back yard up the Fryingpan. Gonzo compost, anyone?Is this a crazy world, or what? People are starving in Africa by the millions and Johnny Depp spends millions to make an ash out of Hunter. People are dying daily in Iraq, and Bush is riding his mountain bike with Lance, who is now under doping allegations, probably for hanging out with one of the biggest dopes of all.Republican or Democrat, you’ve got to shake your head about Bush. While grieving moms form prayer circles with Joan Baez outside his scrubby old Texas dude ranch, Bush flits off for Donnelly, Idaho. Nobody even knew where Donnelly was until the president “put it on the map” just so he could show off his quads on a mountain bike ride with Republican Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.In Donnelly, the media reported that Bush was holed up at the “exclusive Tamarack Resort while participating in activities that could include fishing for wild rainbow trout (how sporting!) or riding a mountain bike on forest trails (how manly!).”The Commander and Dude is on permanent vacation, squandering his second term in a Neverland euphoria of down home, y’all-come-back hospitality with Lance, and buffing his bod at a swank mountain hideaway in remote Idaho. And I love how the media reports that Tamarack was “carved out of a mountainside,” an image more applicable to a strip mine.Meanwhile, the poop is hitting the fan as the long-awaited Iraq constitution calls loosely for federalism while ignoring the rights of women, disenfranchising the Sunnis and laying the groundwork for an ugly civil war. But don’t worry, it’s nothing that a decade or two of roadside bombings won’t solve.A New York Times editorial last week concluded that not only were WMDs a hoax, “Now the United States seems ready to walk away from its fine words about helping the Iraqis create a beacon of freedom, harmony and democracy for the Middle East.”And this at a cost of how many lives? U.S. tabulations don’t take into account Iraqi dead, so we just keep score with our boys, and that score is getting up there. But rather than take the death toll as a liability, Bush is using it to bolster his sliding popularity.In Salt Lake City last week, Bush stoically called upon Americans to “honor the dead” and “support the mission” in the “campaign against terrorism” and slogans to that effect. Bush wants to dig the hole deeper by heaping mistakes upon mistakes until the crushing mass of mistakes makes for a monumental historic blunder from which Bush and his Republican cohort hope to galvanize the unremitting love of all loyal Americans.”We owe them something,” drawled Bush, in reference to the dead. “We will finish the task that they gave their lives for … by staying on the offensive against the terrorists, and building strong allies that will help us win and fight – fight and win the war on terror.”Win and fight … fight and win … win and fight … fight and win. The mantra of the Bush administration is falling on deaf ears. And now that Joan Baez has sanctified the protest vigil in Crawford, not even Lance Armstrong can save Bush from the ugly road rash of a long, slow crash.Paul Andersen thinks Bush might have a cracked helmet. His column appears on Mondays.

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