King George in Decline: Misadventures of an Aging Prep-School Cheerleader: Volume 4: Heir to a Fantasy World

Sep 08, 2008

The good thing about Republicans is that they’re always ready to give you a complete list of their faults. All you have to do is listen to what they say about their opponents. For instance, take the GOP presidential nominee, John Sidney McCain III. McCain had the nerve to release an ad comparing his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, to Paris Hilton. Can there be any doubt that the Paris Hilton of American politics is George Bush Jr.? Let’s see how well Bush and Hilton’s key traits match up. Airhead? Check. Spoiled rich kid who never had a real job? Check. History of substance abuse? Check. Uneasy relationship with the English language? Check. Doesn’t even know how many houses he/she owns? Well, actually, I’ll bet Bush and Hilton could both tally up the number of homes they possess. McCain is the one who can’t.

But the answer is clear, Senator McCain. The Paris Hilton of the political world is in the White House right now and you stood in line to be his stooge. The word “stooge” may not even adequately describe McCain’s devotion to Bush, given the events of the 2000 presidential campaign. Back when the two were running against each other in the Republican primaries, Bush’s surrogates put out rumors that McCain was mentally ill. The stories helped George W. to a crucial victory in South Carolina, and if it bothered McCain to be called a mental case by a dimwit’s lackeys, he got over it quickly. Since then, McCain has resolved his few policy disagreements with Bush by caving in and adopting W’s line. In some cases, he’s even gone farther than the president: not only does he want to make Bush’s irresponsible tax cuts for the rich permanent, but he’s come up with new loopholes for the happy few in the top brackets.

The Republican nominee has also been receiving campaign advice from Karl Rove. Nicknamed “Bush’s brain,” Rove was one of those who ran the show in George Junior’s absentee-landlord White House, until he left the administration in 2007. He is also widely regarded as the source of the insanity rumors that were aimed at McCain in 2000. But the Republican nominee is apparently too interested in gathering Bush’s team around him to worry about that.

Of course, McCain still has to get elected and, with Bush’s approval ratings hitting record lows, the Arizona senator is trying to distance himself from the president. For example, McCain criticized W’s response to the 2005 Katrina disaster, saying that, had he been president then, he would have landed “at the nearest Air Force Base and come over personally.” If McCain regards Bush’s handling of the catastrophe as flawed, then maybe he should have mentioned that to the prez at the time, seeing as the two men were eating cake together while New Orleans drowned. That episode makes an interesting contrast to the administration’s current response to Hurricane Gustav. This time, Bush and Cheney tried to look busy and kept the fancy desserts out of sight. You can bet that their new-found concern has more to do with election season than hurricane season.

But natural disasters aren’t the only instances where Bush and McCain are unable to see a problem. In fact, Senator Cakeface and his staff often appear more ignorant than Incurious George. In July, the Republican nominee’s economic adviser, Phil Gramm ignored a mountain of evidence and said that the country is only suffering a “mental recession.” Despite the documented rise in poverty, debt, bankruptcies, and homelessness, Gramm remarked that America is just “a nation of whiners.”

Gramm quit McCain’s circle of advisers soon thereafter, but the senator’s team remains a home for all sorts of sheltered, over-privileged buffoons. John Goodman, one of the authors of McCain’s health-care proposals, recently talked about those who don’t have health insurance. “I have a solution,” Goodman stated.

“The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American--even illegal aliens--as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.”

Wow, even Dick Cheney didn’t try that one (yet). While Goodman’s at it, maybe he can identify the 22,000 Americans who died in 2006 because they couldn’t afford needed medical treatment[1] and reclassify them as “alive.” With each new policy pronouncement, McCain and his assistants take Bush’s fantasyland thinking to a new level. Since McCain and other clueless GOP fat cats are obsessing about Paris Hilton, why don’t they do their country a favor and follow her example? From now on, they can stick to jet-set parties (with or without cake) and leave politics to people who live in the real world.


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