08 October 2004

Dissent into Madness

"You hear all that and you can understand why somebody would make a face."
--President George W. Bush


Dissent is a natural and acceptable aspect of any democracy. The framers of our Constitution understood this when they penned the First Amendment. Apparently, they just accepted that the line between dissent and cry-baby antics was understood. Yet, as events of late prove, that line is one that has not been drawn into the sand.

The descent from valid “petition for redresses” into the blame game began shortly after the Supreme Court gave their final answer, when the Clintonistas suddenly and fervently pointed their knuckles at George W. Bush for daring to be elected, and its only gone down-hill from there. When I asked a friend which candidates she was following during the recent Presidential primaries, she responded with the now-popular catchphrase: Anybody but Bush. “Why?” I asked. “Because our economy stinks and the whole world hates us.” Many of my liberal friends were frustrated through the primaries, supporting front-runner Howard Dean until even the Democrats couldn’t hide his lunacy anymore, then supporting John Edwards for that three-day lag-time until John Kerry got back from windsurfing to slide right into that empty slot titled “Not George W” to soak up the fanfare. It’s six months later and we still don’t know what Kerry’s platform really is, but we sure know what it’s not, and its fashion-season apropos, flip-flops and all.

Unfounded blame got a guy nominated for President, who, it seems, will proceed to ride the blame-train into the election. Along with all the usual electioneering jargon, Kerry has been so kind as to inform us that even though 254 his fellow Swift Boat Vets have taken it upon themselves to denounce Kerry’s self-touted Vietnam record as nothing but a pack of lies, George W. Bush himself is to blame. You see, the President recently signed into law legislation commanding all Veterans to tell the truth about liars in their midst. (Bill Clinton need not worry about this one, but he should watch out: next up is legislation commanding Oxford buddies to tell all.)

In fact, according to recent news reports, Bush has also personally authored and ratified (without the approval of Congress or a call for Judicial review) legislation that requires female musicians to bare their breasts in public in order to take news-media attention away from the War or Terror. Also, in a carefully crafted publicity grab, Bush has decided to join forces with Dr. Evil in banning the employees of the Starbucks in Midtown Manhattan from unionizing.

Of course, what I’m writing is satire, but the blame-calling is very real. Janet Jackson cried wolf when she had to pay for her own performance faux-pas, and yes, somewhere in Manhattan, Starbucks employees are blaming Bush because they can’t get at least four fifteen minute breaks into every working hour. Bush-blaming is so rampant and undefined that its like the latest catchphrase in some lame comic strip. If one were to believe the complaints of all these nutcases, they’d think Bush was giving Marmaduke a run for his money.

So, it’s ridiculous. So what? Just ignore it and it’ll pass, right? Wrong. Novelist Nicholson Baker recently released Checkpoint, a book in which the two protagonists ruminate over the pros and cons of assassinating President Bush for 115 pages. In a new one-man show in New York City, “Brian Dykstra: Cornered and Alone,” the performer rattles off the usual liberal list of complaints against Bush 43 and declares, “I totally understand assassination now.” In fact, the show is so chock-full of his hatred for Bush that there’s no time for intermission. More considerate of a cabaret audience’s need for restrooms than the President, however, Dykstra encourages his audience to feel free to take a leak while he reads the Declaration of Independence.

But you haven’t heard the best part yet. Apparently, the Bush-bashers are re-living the Vietnam years to such a hilt that they’re even willing to proclaim that the 250,000 anti-Bush protestors who gathered in New York City this weekend represent the majority opinion in this country of 300 million people. Suddenly, Pauline Kael’s gall pales in comparison to the sheer pomposity of this newest generation of pop culture elites.

Charles Krauthammer recently quipped that if Bush were to be re-elected in November, the Democrats would need therapy. I say we put them in the straight-jackets now. Their madness has evidenced itself in ungrounded accusatory lunacy, and their musings are not only stupefying, they are treasonous. No trial is necessary; by their own acts they have been convicted, and I submit this wise observation for undeniable proof of my claim: “Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does.”

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