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 andâ€”Lo!â€”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, â€œcannot discern between their right hand and their left hand,â€? 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.