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America Through The Looking Glass

by David McGowan Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2002 at 6:17 PM

The truth even though hard to get at these days, is worth the effort if we are to have a future for our children.

David McGowan


by David McGowan ---

If there has ever been a more bizarre presidential team in place at the White House at any other time in U.S. history, it doesn't immediately come to mind.

Consider, if you will, that we have a vice-president (and I use that term rather loosely) who has all but disappeared from public view without any kind of credible explanation having been given to the American people. It appeared at first as though Cheney's vanishing act was a temporary and cynical ploy that would allow George the Younger to appear as though he were actually running the show.

But six months have now passed and Dick has only been whipped out for a few passing photo-ops (and to do some arm-twisting in the Middle-East). Never before, even during times of World or Civil War, has such secrecy and security ever been deemed necessary. What possible explanation can there be for this? What credible threats is the vice-president facing?

The only possible danger that Cheney could find himself in would be facing impeachment proceedings for, among other things, his involvement in the Enron scandal and his questionable dealings with Iraq (1). But that of course could only happen if we had a Congress that wasn't as fully corrupt as the White House team that they are supposed to provide checks and balances on.

Consider also that we have a president (and I use that term even more loosely) who is so intellectually challenged that before even losing the election he had already issued enough verbal gaffes to fill a book or two. He seemingly cannot open his mouth to utter an unscripted response without lapsing into almost complete incoherence, as though he received his English instruction via home-schooling by his dad.

On top of that, he has appeared in public no fewer than three times now with noticeably large bruises/contusions on his face. First there was the enormous bandage he sported in the dark days of the 'hanging chads.' Then there were the obvious contusions late in the year that would have gone without mention were it not for a reporter's question; only then did the White House hurriedly issue a claim that Bush had had lesions removed from his face.

And then we were treated to the sublimely comical story that our fearless leader lost consciousness while snacking on a pretzel and fell face-first into a coffee table (I could make a cheap joke here about the 'leader of the free world' being unable to watch TV and chew pretzels at the same time, but will refrain from doing so). And we were told that this is actually a very common occurrence.

Say what? In what parallel universe is this a common occurrence? What exactly is going on behind closed doors on Pennsylvania Avenue?

Is Poppy Bush trying to slap some sense into his brain-addled youngster? Is George hitting the bottle a little too hard ... just before hitting the floor? Is Stepford-wife Laura a closet dominatrix who sometimes gets a little carried away ("Goddamnit, Laura! How many times do I have to tell you? ... stay away from the face!")? Something is obviously not quite right here.

The media though doesn't seem to find anything unusual about the George and Dick Show. Nary a question has been raised about what exactly Cheney is doing in his 'secure' location. Bush's incoherent mumblings, brain-deadening jingoism, and stunning lack of knowledge about any issue of any significance are somehow presented as though the man has magically assumed presidential stature unequaled in U.S. history.

What the hell is going on here?

For the most part, just business-as-usual as the media performs its time-honored role of covering-up for the inadequacies and crimes of our 'elected' leaders. Yet it has become bizarrely surreal as the press struggles mightily to continue performing that function even while faced with an administration both arrogant and criminal almost beyond human comprehension.

How are we to digest the events of the last year?
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