Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The George W. Bush Legacy, Part I

A Thread Dedicated to One of My Favorite Bloggers: ContraTimes!

Contratimes believes that Bill Clinton was the worst president of all times:
I am guilty, very guilty. I did vote for the worst president in history. Didn't anyone else? You mean, I am the only person here who voted for Bill Clinton?
By that standard, on Contratimes's scales, George W. Bush must be the best, or at the very least, among the best. Others are thinking along these same lines, or speculating on Bush's legacy and place in history.

As luck would have it, morning's email brought this in - most unexpectedly - from a close and treasured relative of mine, who happens to chair a brand new non-profit. I attach his email below:
Dear friends and relatives:

I have the distinguished honor of being on the committee to raise $5,000,000 for a monument to George W. Bush.

We originally wanted to put him on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for two more faces. We then decided to erect a statue of George in the Washington , DC Hall of Fame. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, or beside Richard Nixon, who never told the truth, since George could never tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Republican of them all. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, decimated the well-being of the majority of the population while he was there, and did it all on someone else's money.

Thank you,

George W. Bush Monument Committee

P.S.: We have raised $1.35 so far.
Contratimes, if you leave your email in the comments below, I'll see that my cousin adds it to his mailing list. In the meantime, allow me to conclude with observations from Garrison Keillor:
What's worse is the likely fate of the Current Occupant, who is contending with Pierce, Buchanan and Warren G. Harding for the title of All-Time Worst President. He's got a good shot at the title if only because he's had so much more to be worst with. (Any young persons who have been inspired by Mr. Bush to take up public service should be watched very closely.)

I propose that we change Columbus Day to Bush Day, a cautionary holiday, like Halloween, a day to meditate on the hazards of ambition. We could observe it by going through the basement and garage and throwing out stuff we don't want or need. Also, by not mortgaging the house to pay for a vacation, and not yelling at the neighbors, and not assuming that the law is for other people.
Graphic embellishments were added to the email.

Halloween? I Don't Think So!!

Halloween always brings out the worst in people.

At least it has in me. Years ago, instigated by my kids, I went all-out on Halloween. Each year was an escalation on the previous. Until one year, when I perhaps had more Coors than I shoulda, I scared some trickin' and treatin' father off the end of my porch who then proceeded to sprain his ankle on a sprinkler head. As he rose from his grass-stained knees he said, "So, you're Vigil Lante, huh?" (Only he used my real name, of course.) I never forgot the words I saw tattooed on his forehead which said, "I'm suing." At that point I dropped Halloween from my holiday calendar. From then on, the routine became to turn the sprinklers on, turn the lights off, leave the Dobie in the front hall and either go to bed or go out of town to the Long Beach Boat Show.

Never dressed up for office parties. (I guess I also developed a fear of being stopped by a traffic cop or traffic accident and not being taken seriously when I tried to give my side of the story.) I just don't like Halloween, Mardis Gras, New Orleans and people walking around in disguises and burkas and stuff like that. Not that I couldn't think up great get-ups for myself, of course, but I never broke that promise I made to myself that night I referred to above.

Not until last year: I dressed up as the scariest person in the world. When I came home, Redoct confronted me as soon as I got out of my car, blocking my path with the most angry, unearthly sound I had ever heard from him. Not until I unmasked myself could I 'come home'.

So, I say, 'never again', again. Last year, I put that mask in a very safe place to preserve it for a reprise this year. I'm sure that location is also safe from my memory. It's all to the good. This persona is just not funny any more, in any way.