It’s a fine mess you didn’t get us into, Dubya
January 16, 2009
(Image by Sorel, Vanity Fair, 2008)
George W. Bush is gone. There are those who might say he was gone for a long time, even for his entire presidency. Never has a US President had such a low rating as he leaves office, a notoriously low rating period for any presidency. But does he deserve it? Probably not, as he didn’t seem to have anything much to do with his period in office.
Surrounded by his henchpeople (Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, George Senior, et al), Dubya was surely just a public face expounding in his twisted vocabulary what they wanted him to say. It was their words, not his, that issued forth in his quasi-Texan accent, though he had a way of messing them around in his imitable way. ‘Like a puppet on a string,’ goes the song.
To be fair, though, my use of the politically correct ‘henchpeople’ above implies that Bush was the head of something. Forget that implication: his head must have been as empty as his words.
Enough has been said in the world’s media -and certainly that of Spain, which held him in pretty minimal regard- about his mandate. Criticism of his presidency and of the people around him has been constant from anyone holding opinions anywhere left of Radical Right. The list is as endless as countless are their victims.
Then again, he always made it clear that you were either with him or against him – but these would have been Cheney’s words. Someone else’s, anyway. In the end, though, he, or his wordsmiths, managed to divide his country so deeply, to wrought such profound injuries to the rest of the world as well, that enough voters turned against him anyway.
Is it any wonder then that Barack Obama was swept into office? Can anyone truly be surprised that the US’s first African-American President is being given a chance to make the fundamental changes that are so sorely needed for that magnificent country?
Would anyone be honestly puzzled if they saw a photo of Obama in the Oval Office scratching his head like Stan Laurel (of 1930s comedy fame) when he muttered to Oliver Hardy: “It’s a fine mess you got us into!”