Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Progressive: Ivins, "The Whim of a Hat"
Hey, the sun is shining, the bluebonnets are out, our big music festival, South by Southwest, rocked, and the puppy wants to play. You expect me to write about Terri Schiavo, Iraq, and Paul ("There is no history of ethnic strife in Iraq") Wolfowitz?
Instead, let us celebrate spring with a roundup of the President's verbal gaffes, boners, grammatical errors, and immortal contributions to logic. Remember, this is a contest between George Bush père and George Bush fils, with the old man still well ahead at this point, though I think you will agree, after reading the latest, that our boy is gaining on him.
These are, as always, taken straight from life and from W.'s mouth.
First of all, there's the ongoing situation in Iraq, where, as he put it, "it is a time of sorrow and sadness when we lose a loss of life." Our enemies in Iraq are very resourceful, he adds. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we," says the Prez.
Don't worry, the President understands the financial implications of Iraq. He said, "I want to remind you all that in order to fight and win the war, it requires an expenditure of money that is commiserate with keeping a promise to our troops."
Then there was Bush's spluttering in the first debate: "In Iraq, no doubt about it, it's tough. It's hard work. It's incredibly hard."
If ever there was a man who understood hard work, it is our President. He was fully prepared for it by his time as governor of Texas. His former chief of staff, Clay Johnson, stated that in those days, Bush's workweek consisted of "two hard half-days" broken only by his two-hour midday break. We can tell that Bush still misses being governor because he said: "One of the most meaningful things that's happened to me since I've been the President, governor--the governor--President. Oops. Ex-governor."
On general strategery, the President said, "The best way to find these terrorists who hide in holes is to get people coming forward to describe the location of the holes, is to give clues and data." And he uttered these profound words of wisdom: "Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat."
He added, curiously, "Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."
Bush is not into process. "Oftentimes, we live in a processed world--you know, people focus on the process and not the results."
His focus on results led to this doozie on slavery: "It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left there to go to America, because their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom helped change America."
Last year was a period of high stress for George W., who once again had to struggle with the education issue, observing that the "illiteracy level of our children are appalling."
President Bush also informed us during the campaign that God speaks through him. This disappointed many who thought the Almighty knew how to pronounce the word "nuclear."
Bush himself has noted, "I'm also not very analytical. You know, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things." But still, he is capable of deep self-awareness, as when he observed, "I am the master of low expectations."
End of recap. You must admit "kill at the whim of a hat" is almost worth the price of admission. Just try to remember, folks, this is historic times.
Molly Ivins, co-author of "Bushwhacked," writes in this space every month.
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