Thursday, July 31, 2008

#39 Bush, Jefferson, God

Before July slips away, I need to go back to the 4th one more time for a little more Bush-bashing. So easy. I almost feel guilty--as I must admit I sometimes do when I watch Letterman's sadistic excerpting of Bush's verbal ineptitude in the nightly segment, "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches." Some of it is quite unfair of course: a twitch, an awkward pause, misaligned syntax usually in an impromptu situation (though SMART presidents like Clinton had no such trouble)--these can't really be scaled next to the prepared and storied speeches of the luminaries that precede Bush's clip.

But on second thought aren't these gaffes and glitches symptomatic of the larger problem?-- Dubya is a complete idiot. But no, here's the larger problem: he's just smart enough to do evil. And in the name of God (see earlier post). This is why he had to expurgate and eviscerate the words of none other than Thomas Jefferson in a speech at none other than Monticello on Independence Day last. The stench of it still lingers. Jefferson wrote a letter of commemoration a few weeks before the Declaration's 50th anniversary (and with a preposterous rhetorical flourish DIED on that very day). Bush appropriated it (how in-appropriately!) for a group of newly-made citizens and quoted the godfather of "Wall of Separation" as follows:

"May it be to the world, what I believe it to be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves and to assume the blessings and liberty of self-government."

But wait. This isn't quite what the fresh-faced citizen/immigrants heard. Bush BOWDLERIZED that entire italicized passage! Just cut it right out and cauterized the sentence, thus effectively quashing Jefferson's anti-religious point. And his WHOLE point, really. For his revolutionary fervor, like all our Founding Fathers', was directed at Kings AND Priests, working in tandem to oppress the people. This is why, as we all should know, he was so adamant about the Establishment Clause. The ignorance and superstition inherent in organized religion (L. religio="to bind") are the perfect devices of the Tyrant. Don't even think of the George W. and George III parallels. OK, go ahead. If I may use a religious term, Bush's performance was tantamount (no, not that one) to SACRILEGE. Jefferson's grave is almost within spitting distance of where he was dys-quoted, and don't you know he'd be spinning if he could. OF COURSE Bush had to excise the anti-religion from Jefferson's letter; it was religion (along with some twisted Oedipal impulses that I'll leave for others to figure out) that got him into office... and us into Iraq... and all kinds of other trouble (fill in the blanks).

The brave little tailor Dennis Kucinich (et. al.) tried in vain to swat this execrable President with impeachment, but Bush survives maggot-like, beneath the flesh, unswattable for now but ultimately subject to Constitutional ex-term-ination. Whoa. Enough of that...although the Smirking Cowboy is INFURIATING enough to inspire some hate-filled metaphor. How about this: he's a festering wound, a suppurating sore on the body politic, a bilious boil to be lanced and blanched with the blade of some masked avenger from south-side Chicago. (Hey, that's where I grew up.) But I do go on.

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