Of all George Bush's negative traits -- and they're far too numerous to list -- I'm not sure that any bothers me more than his uncanny ability to render otherwise bright people unforgivably stupid. We've come to understand that Bush has the IQ of a lemon and accept that he'll never be able to approach any situation, no matter how significant, with anything but the most rudimentary of motor skills. He's a dumb, lumbering jackass, and we know it.
But it's this very fact that makes it all the more inexplicable, and all the more painful, that he seems to have a preternatural gift for bringing those around him -- the ones who, simply in a relative sense, have nowhere to go but up in terms of IQ points -- down to his brain-cell basement level.
Typically, this phenomenon is merely unfortunate: I was never one of those people who believed that Condi Rice was a genius to begin with, despite a doctorate and her admittedly masterful skill at concealing her secret life as a hardcore lesbian; her mindless repetition and defense of Bush's nonsense never convinced me that it was a long fall to the bottom for her.
Other times though, the effect is downright criminal: like a young girl who'd been sexually assaulted, it took some time for Colin Powell to recover his sense of personal honor in the wake of being debased and made a fool of by the White House -- this, despite being surrounded by supportive voices which constantly proclaimed, "It wasn't your fault." Powell was an impressively untarnished soul until the Pimp of Pennsylvania Avenue wandered onto his block and somehow conned him into giving the U.N. a lap dance then spreading his legs for Halliburton.
And the pollution of Powell was nothing compared to what the Bush clan did to a man who was once one of the world's most popular and respected heads-of-state.
This morning, after ten years in office, Tony Blair announced his intention to resign his position as the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
It marks the somewhat anemic end to what was once considered to be a stellar political career. Blair goes out -- in the words of the oft-quoted expatriate Brit T.S. Eliot -- not with a bang, but a whimper.
The fact that someone like Tony Blair is forced to dispiritedly walk off the field as opposed to being lifted aloft and carried away by a grateful nation is nothing less than tragic. Blair rode into office ten years ago on a wave of optimism in the U.K. which delivered him and his Labour Party a landslide victory; he was less politician and more rock star, and he revitalized Britain in indescribable ways. Blair was, and still is, extraordinarily bright, articulate, charming, focused and passionate.
In short, he's everything our own leader isn't -- which is what makes it so thoroughly baffling that he willingly followed George W. Bush down the road to oblivion.
If others found their better judgment merely victimized by the White House, Blair's was literally thrown around the room and gang-banged, then dumped in an alley somewhere as Bush and the rest of the frat boys high-fived and drove off into the night. Tony Blair's good name and excellent reputation were utterly defiled, then left to die.
And remember, Bush considers Tony Blair one of his closest friends; no matter one's own stubborn willingness to do so, enabling another to go down in flames is reprehensible.
Whether through fabrication, suggestion, intimidation, coercion or some combination of all, George W. Bush -- the dumb, lumbering jackass -- managed to do what at one time would have seemed impossible: make Tony Blair look incredibly stupid.
I have no doubt as to what Bush's legacy will be.
I wish better for Tony.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Posted by Chez at 6:13 PM