Bush as Belichick – The Progressive, 1/17/2008

In his first Presidential summer, with the Crawford split-rail, photo-op fence behind him, George Bush, the science guy, squinted into the sun and announced his Just Say No to embryonic cells in stem cell research. It was kind of lame.

In fall, 2001, he was forced to take off his lab coat and put on his bombardier jacket to deal with terror cells, not stem cells.

Now, due to the enormous progress in Iraq (i.e., everyone has fled or is dead), our favorite political scientist has donned his white coat and wraparound safety glasses again and claims responsibility for the latest discovery in cell technology.

Picture a young Frankenbush surrounded by bubbling, billowing beakers in his secure lab down in Nixon’s old bowling alley. With his trusty Mr. Wizard chemistry set, he adds four pluripotent genes. Eureka! Thanks to him, instead of using human embryo cells, researchers can now use cells from human skin, especially if the skin is straight, white, and Republican. Researchers are already prospecting around plastic surgery sites in Palm Springs.

In Colorado, this discovery will free up the embryos needed for the Embryonic Personhood Ballot Initiative just approved by the state supreme court there. The arduous task of going door-to-door collecting thousands of signatures means they are going to need more blastocyte boots on the ground.

The New York Times, an inch and a half narrower and yet still wide enough to carry Dowd, Brooks and Kristol columns, reported and seemed to believe that the President had modest goals for his last year in office. I heard that snort. What? You think they are going to attack Iran? Apparently you did not read David Brooks’s assurance, “The Bush Administration is not going to attack Iran. Trust me.” That “trust me” thrust me into a frantic search for my passport. It has not expired. I have pages left.

The Bush policy of unintended consequences has taught us one thing: one person can change the world. In just seven excruciatingly long years, Bush’s arrogance has destroyed the United States as the last remaining superpower. It’s OK. I was never comfortable with all that unseemly messianic, empiric, chest-thumping.

When you’re a haughty, unbeaten number one, everyone resents you.

It’s a lot of pressure, and you become like Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Spying on other teams, getting caught and denying it, piling on, running up the score, taunting, glowering monosyllabically at press conferences, and wearing whatever old cut-off hoodie you want.

Bush and his buddies have greased the skids of our decline and finally lost one for the Gipper. Guantánamo and torture made our national symbol the American spread Eagle. Welcome to Post-America. When not slightly heartbroken, I’m oddly relieved.           

Kate “There’s a thinkers’ strike in the White House” Clinton is a humorist.

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