The Rant 


I really have tried. I really have. I have tried to change my broken record on George W. Bush. People have written letters to the editor telling me to chill out about him. Friends have told me to find new material. And the Lord only knows how much I agree with them. I am sick of it myself. But I have had an extremely strange revelation about him. I never thought in a million years that I would think this, but, to tell you the truth, my heart kind of goes out to him right now. I would actually like to sort of, almost, pat him on the shoulder and tell him it's all somehow going to be okay. It must be the Buddhist in me. Or something. Whatever it is that makes me believe that everything happens for a reason. At this moment, I really do feel sorry for him in a strange way. He has a job he was not really elected to do. It was handed down to him. All of a sudden, there he was: president of the United States. And that is a pretty damn big and stressful job. I wouldn't want it. But he took it. And he was probably pretty psyched at first. Had a big office in the White House. His old frat brothers were probably calling him like crazy to congratulate him. Laura was probably thinking she could finally get out of Texas and get some decent clothes. His daughters were probably thinking they could finally get away with whatever they wanted to because their father was now the president. Who wouldn't eat that up? I really don't blame any of them. Not even George. After all, he had recently been the butt of a million jokes for trading Sammy Sosa from the Texas Rangers baseball team he owned. Okay, so that's a low blow and tiresome to boot. Back to his years as president: It would have been frightening for anyone who was president when 9/11 happened. It was bad. Really bad. And what could be worse than learning about it while you're reading a book about a pet goat to some elementary school students? I don't have any qualms about the clueless look on his face and his continuing to read the story to the kids for a good while. If I had been in his position, I would have been really freaked out, too. I wouldn't have wanted to scare the kids by jumping up and running out of the room. I really wouldn't have. I probably would have done the same thing. I can't even drive over the bridge to Harbor Town without having a fear-of-heights panic attack that renders me unable to function. Some time ago, I had a conversation with a good friend about someone at his firm who had been given a job about which he knew little to nothing. I kept saying that I felt sorry for the guy because he was just thrown into a position for which he was totally unqualified. My friend did not feel sorry for the guy, and his reason was that the guy shouldn't have taken the job in the first place if he knew up front that he was not qualified for it. He had a good point. But I still feel a bit sorry for Bush. The last I read, he was going to veto a Senate vote that outlawed the torturing of prisoners captured by the United States in the "war on terror." This, of course, breaks the rules of the Geneva Convention. Bush made a speech last week that included the comment, "There's always a temptation in the middle of a long struggle to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder." I thought maybe he was planning another much-needed vacation, but I suppose he actually was talking about not bringing the troops home from Iraq anytime soon. And in the same speech he said that "the militants believe that controlling one country [Iraq] will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia." Wow. Spain to Indonesia? A radical empire? That's pretty big stuff. I wonder why over the past couple of years Iraq has become such a place.

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