Bush Is Lost in a Tongue Tied Time Warp

The U.S. government has recently transported itself back in time. This unusual cosmic event first became evident when, in the 36 days following Nov. 7, it was increasingly obvious our public leaders had entered some kind of Twilight Zone. The Republican Party, for instance, adopted strange stances out of touch and even opposing their proclaimed principles. Since that dizzying time, it has only become more apparent that Mr. Bush, the nominal leader of the free world, is in need of an ’83 Delorean to get him back to the future. I’ve been on the lookout for Studebakers, air raid drills and other Cold War relics, but it seems only the White House has been afflicted by this disorienting sequence of events.It had begun to seem, over the past eight years like Mr. Bush’s favorite punching dummy, President Clinton, had made real progress bridging diplomatic divisions between America and our former arch-enemies: the Russian Bear and those dastardly Chinese Communists. Even that unpredictable rogue North Korea had been visited by arrogant Americans on our own terms. Washington’s rhetoric, after 50 years of deep freeze, had warmed, lost its imperial, self-righteous edge and allowed a little good-old 60’s hope to shine from “the world’s greatest democracy” via Bill Clinton’s big…smile.But no sooner had the bizarre events in Fla. unsatisfactorily concluded that Mr. Bush begin using a harsh and mean tone echoing from a time long past.I thought the long count may have temporarily upset his modest reasoning capacity or that boil must have clouded his vision. I was wrong. It has only gotten worse. We have fully entered the Age of Forgetting. Mr. Bush cannot remember the things he said during the campaign. Our guileless time traveller seems to believe that he can just read whatever people give him, smile, get elected, have everybody like him and agree with him and generally be followed around by a halo of sunshine without having to take responsibility for anything. He raises naievete to a new level of incomprehensibility. And we can’t really blame him exactly because he really is that stupid. The most priceless example is carbon dioxide emissions. In a campaign speech he promised to regulate CO2 emissions. Last week he reneged on that promise. Bush’s aide said it was a “bad speech.” A Republican Congressman actually said that Mr. Bush shouldn’t be held to promises if they’re “bad promises.” Good logic. Honorable and dignified too. And bipartisanship was more than dead on arrival, it never lived to begin with. Mr. Bush hasn’t learned the lessons of the Cold War because he is lost in the irrational, oblivious mindset that caused it. He is living, breathing, thinking(?) proof that old habits, bad habits die hard with a vengeance.50 years of the threat of imminent annihilation? Well, nothing happened did it?Mr. Bush thinks the prudent thing to do is to make comments that incite our allies to opposition over our insistence upon a missile shield that will provoke our adversaries (and those who would not necessarily be our adversaries) and create a global climate of mistrust, tension, and fear. Of course, Mr. Bush thinks that’s what we have already, being lost somewhere in the distant past. Because of Bush’s rhetoric, China, North Korea and Russia have taken steps away from cooperation, towards a heightened confrontation. Should we not be backing away from the abyss by which we have stood for 50 years instead of fortifying our position there? Why court extinction when we have the fleeting chance to create a safer, saner world? I’ll tell you why. Because, as Mr. Bush says, “we don’t know who they are, but we know they’re out there.” I think it’s the 50’s that he’s stuck in, because he doesn’t seems to recall Johnson’s remark that a president’s words can topple governments and start wars. Mr. Bush is not careful with language. He can’t even use the future tense; and that gives you an idea where his head is: in the past, like I’m trying to tell you. He can’t even conceive of the idea of the future!But behind the mist and fog of falsehoods and strategic misrepresentation though, lies something hard and cold and terribly dangerous. Human beings have a tendency, in the absence of conflict, to create one out of nowhere. Mr. Bush, stumbling through a nightmare haze of fear and trembling and ignorant of the world and the consequences of his actions, is the perfect man for the job. He wants to sweepaway whatever lessons we could have learned from the past 50 years, pretend that there is no such thing as progress and act as if the world was born yesterday right along with him.Hold your breath for the next four years, because the train has left the station and the conductor is looking in the wrong direction.