The Goring of President Bush

On January 31, President Bush will stand before the nation and offer his thoughts on the State of the Union. In all likelihood, we, the humble citizens of this once proud country, can expect to be fed more horse manure than all the flies from here to Golgotha. I, for one, will decline this putrid repast. I do not have the stomach for it. Nor the calm or patience. Besides, if I wish to be informed, in an honest and erudite fashion, of the actual state of the union, I will turn my attention to others more suitable than our less-than-esteemed leader to provide such. For example, Gore Vidal has recently written an excellent, albeit lengthy, piece on the current state of affairs in this country, entitled President Jonah. I highly recommend it. Here’s an excerpt:

While contemplating the ill-starred presidency of G.W. Bush, I looked about for some sort of divine analogy. As usual, when in need of enlightenment, I fell upon the Holy Bible, authorized King James version of 1611; turning by chance to the Book of Jonah, I read that Jonah, who, like Bush, chats with God, had suffered a falling out with the Almighty and thus became a jinx dogged by luck so bad that a cruise liner, thanks to his presence aboard, was about to sink in a storm at sea. Once the crew had determined that Jonah, a passenger, was the jinx, they threw him overboard and—Lo!—the storm abated. The three days and nights he subsequently spent in the belly of a nauseous whale must have seemed like a serious jinx to the digestion-challenged whale who extruded him much as the decent opinion of mankind has done to Bush.

Originally, God wanted Jonah to give hell to Nineveh, whose people, God noted disdainfully, “cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand,� so like the people of Baghdad who cannot fathom what democracy has to do with their destruction by the Cheney-Bush cabal. But the analogy becomes eerily precise when it comes to the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at a time when a president is not only incompetent but plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before. Witness the ongoing screw-up of prescription drugs. Who knows what other disasters are in store for us thanks to the curse he is under? As the sailors fed the original Jonah to a whale, thus lifting the storm that was about to drown them, perhaps we the people can persuade President Jonah to retire to his other Eden in Crawford, Texas, taking his jinx with him. We deserve a rest. Plainly, so does he.

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3 thoughts on “The Goring of President Bush

  1. Vidal’s piece is essentially a review of Morris Berman’s new book “Dark Ages America�, in which Berman, based on the review, argues that the ineptitude and corruption we’re witnessing under the Bush administration is a manifestation of the inexorable decline of the American Empire. Research by Shellenberger and Nordhaus previously featured on these pages (see “Moral Yardsticks� posted 01/20/06,) seems to support Berman’s theory.

    It’s ironic that both the above articles are ostensibly pro-liberal, yet on closer examination, they support the view that progressive ideology is at odds with larger cultural and historical forces. Can we think the unthinkable? Is it possible we liberals have been left standing at the curb of history?

  2. It’s a good question. Does this fall into the “nice guys/gals finish last” problem of human evolution? Was the democratic party basically a kind of government-sponsored niceness that has, in the current political climate of every man, woman, child, invalid, and mentally deranged war veteran for him/herself, fallen into disfavor?

    I’m really not sure. To be honest, I don’t know too many liberals who look much beyond the end of their own nose most of the time. This is arguably why we are on the curb. We are, like the Republicans, a fairly hypocritical lot, except we’re hypocrites with a lot less money.

    Me, I prefer to be an unaffiliated hypocrite. This makes me feel special. I like to think it reduces my hypocrite-to-supposed-party-beliefs ratio, since I don’t actually have to espouse any party beliefs.

  3. Kiersten,

    Thank you for that bit of self effacing wit and wisdom. Historical forces be damned. We must follow our conscience.

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