Monday, September 26, 2005

Kid Gloves

One of the latest rumors to recently gain strength on the web is that President Bush is hitting the bottle again. I hope this isn't the case. The main reason is that, well, it's just a terrible thing to happen to anybody, even someone I'm not terribly fond of. It would be particularly tragic that his willpower would have finally broken after nearly 20 years of sobriety. Second, it would be a tremendous loss of morale for the country if it were true, and we all have enough on our plate right now.

Finally, I have to say, that I fear the tremendous spin that Karl Rove would engineer (through pundits like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter) if it comes out. I can see the talking points as clear as day: "You see? Do you see what you've done to him? You bastard liberals in the media and the Congress and in the general public have driven him to this with all your pointless protests! You should be ashamed!" (They would say all of this despite all the reports that his aides filter his news for him and have made efforts to distance protestors via "Free Speech Zones").

My fear of this kind of meme is that there will be little we can do to defend ourselves. Whatever we do, we're going to look like schmucks. The chief argument (i.e. that Bush brought all this on himself) will not wash with the easily-swayed public. Especially since, as with 9/11, they will be looking for a large and easily attacked target onto which to focus all aggression. Could the reason behind his renewed alcoholism be that unprovoked war he botched which has killed nearly 2,000 American soldiers and countless civilians? No, It must be Dan Rather!

This all reminds me of a David Cross comedy routine where he describes how Bush's supporters encourage and protect him like he was this fragile child. "We're all treating him like he came in third place in the Special Olympics," Cross says. "As a nation we're like, 'Hey, good job! You're doing a great job there buddy! ... Look here's a reporter who wants to talk to you, wants to ask you a question ... DON'T ASK THAT QUESTION! DO NOT ASK THAT QUESTION!'"

Let's hope that Bush is not as susceptible to criticism as his supporters' actions may suggest. If this really is the case, then we have a much bigger problem than Dubya falling off the wagon.

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