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January 20, 2009
America Sends Bush Off, Guilty of the Ultimate Sin: Bothering Us
Two things happened in the driving world on a snowy day in Michigan. For
a pundit looking to explain the record unpopularity of a president whose
record is really not all that hard to defend, these two events just
might do the trick.
Event 1: 8:50 a.m. Eastbound Gezon Parkway, approaching Clyde Park
Avenue. As I come around the curve just before the Target store, a
wailing ambulance approaches from the other direction, prompting me to
pull over to the right and stop. While I wait for the ambulance to pass
so I can continue on my way, I spy a car in my rear-view mirror. He is
coming up on me fast. As soon as the ambulance has passed me, I feel
compelled to start moving as quickly as I can because the dude in the
back isn’t about to stop for anything, although he seems to have
satisfied his own weak sense of civic duty by taking his speed-demon act
the right lane – the very lane in which I have pulled over.
Event 2: 1:30 p.m. The parking lot at Meijer. On a day with heavy snow,
Meijer is packed with shoppers trying to stock up on essentials – so
packed that you can’t get a parking spot closer than the very back of
the lot. This is simply too much of an inconvenience for about 15
motorists, who have lined the fire lane with their SUVs and minivans. In
most cases, someone sits behind the wheel while a companion “runs in.”
If a fire truck had to get through, the person who stayed behind
figures, he would just move – as if a fire truck has the luxury of
waiting for 15 blockheads to move.
Now you understand why America hates George W. Bush, don’t you? He
bothered us. We hate that.
have become a nation that can’t be bothered to think things through. We
don’t feel compelled to respect simple societal expectations – even
those designed to aid in civic response to an emergency – because it’s
too damn inconvenient. Why should I stop? The ambulance is over there
and I’m over here. Why should I walk from the back of the lot? We’re
just running in. There won’t be a fire!
America hates Bush without any real idea about what he did or why. Much
of America was convinced we were in a recession long before we actually
were because it believed agenda-driven news headlines and political
rhetoric. Much of America believes the nonsense that we have “squandered
the world’s goodwill” just because it hears that all the time – without
the slightest idea what this even means or how it would be demonstrated
if it were.
Much of America thinks Bush and Dick Cheney spied on Americans
illegally, and has no idea what was really done, or why, and surely
isn’t interested in the court ruling just last week that affirmed
all of this was legal and proper. Much of America thinks there wasn’t a
single good reason to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and hasn’t the
slightest clue about all the mayhem Saddam perpetrated both before and
after the first Gulf War. They think Bush just made up a bunch of
nonsense about WMDs, and that’s the whole story.
But I think the biggest factor is that America doesn’t like to be
bothered, and Bush kept bothering us. We tired long ago of hearing about
terror threats, and Bush kept talking about them. We just want to pull
out of Iraq and be done with it, and Bush sent more troops
America kept telling Bush it didn’t like his answers, but he kept giving
the same answers nonetheless.
2004, when America was actually forced to think about these
policies, and about the consequences of abandoning them, it re-elected
Bush by a fairly healthy, if not overwhelming, margin. It gave him
stronger numbers in Congress too. America’s disdain for Bush is a
relatively recent development, although it would bother us too much to
have to remember that.
Today, an excited America inaugurates a new president who fills us with
hope because he is different and doesn’t bother us. We’re getting
“change,” whatever that means.
Bush goes home to Texas having failed on some notable things, but having
gotten a lot more right than wrong – all in service to a nation that
can’t be bothered to think and understand why certain things have to be
Thanks for your steady and faithful service, Mr. President, thankless
though it was. We should all pray for the health, safety and success of
And if he knows what’s good for him, he won’t bother us. We don’t like
© 2009 North Star
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