Monday, August 07, 2006

Good rant

“… and take your BOY with you.”
By Nancy Greggs

From the minute the Republicans decided to run George Bush for the presidency, they have collectively acted like the preening parents of a ne’er-do-well son finally on his way to being someone they could brag about, instead of being embarrassed by, when cocktail party conversation turned to a discussion about everyone’s kids.

They knew his past better than anyone – the alcohol and drugs, the failed business ventures, the fact that he always had to be bailed out of trouble. They had watched him wreak ruinous havoc in past leadership roles, but relegated all of the warning signs that this was just one bad kid to the indiscretions of youth. “He was just finding himself,” as such parents say. “All kids make mistakes.”

When George finally made the big time, his proud parents dismissed the charges of cheating and string-pulling as the prattling of those whose more qualified son didn’t manage to snatch – or steal – the sought-after prize for himself. “Have we told you what OUR boy is up to? He’s the president of the United States now.” Once spoken, it was a phrase too full of sweet one-upmanship to be tainted by debate on how he got there, no less any serious discussion on how he would fare when faced with the responsibilities that came with the job.

Once in charge, it became all too clear that George was not about to grow into the position. He was still an immature adolescent, easily-led by the bad crowd he had fallen in with, constantly reminded that he could do whatever he wanted and get away with it because mom and dad would always back him up.

Again, as such parents have a wont to do, they gave their boy whatever he asked for, and simply honed their excuse-making skills for the inevitable poor outcome. They gave him the keys to the new car no matter how many he’d totaled in the past; they handed him the credit card without ever asking for an accounting of how or why the money was spent.

After all, it was other people’s money the kid was playing with, along with other people’s lives. So if his latest scatterbrained idea didn’t pan out, what the heck? A loud round of cheerleading, coupled with some wrap-yourself-in-the flag posturing, can drown out the naysayers and divert attention away from the most obvious of failures.

Eventually it became one long litany of excuses. “Our boy didn’t mean to get your boy killed, didn’t intend for Iraq to go this badly, never thought that his policies would cost you your savings, your home, your job.” As the Republicans soon found out, when you’ve got a kid who is this incompetent, parenting can be hard work.

So they clung to the ever-dimming hope that a few billion more dollars would eventually buy something they could call victory in Iraq, that maybe a few billion more diverted into the pockets of George’s friends would finally satiate their greed and make them go away. Maybe a few more conflicts, a few more deaths, would miraculously end in something that could be passed off as peace. Maybe it could happen.

But it didn’t happen, and it isn’t going to happen. And the mommies and the daddies are now being forced to face the obvious; little Georgie is a total failure. Everything he has touched, from the economy to foreign policy, has been disastrous – and there isn’t a person alive anywhere in the world who doesn’t know it.

His embarrassing antics on the international stage can no longer be viewed as anything other than childish buffoonery. His inability to articulate a single rational thought can no longer be passed off as down-home charm. And the consequences of his failure – economic disaster, an upsurge in worldwide chaos and carnage, the loss of American rights at home as well as international respect – are far beyond the excuse-making abilities of even the most blindly devoted parent.

So now the humbled GOP moms and dads simply change the subject whenever the discussion turns to, “And how is YOUR boy doing these days?” They’ve cut George’s picture out of the family photos, and hit the campaign trail insisting they have always scolded him when he did something foolish, tried to reason with him when he voiced a plan they foresaw to be fraught with flaws, tried to talk some sense into their erstwhile child, and can’t be blamed for the fact that their stern warnings fell on deaf ears.

But it’s too late for those once-proud Republican parents to be believed, much less forgiven for the ill-advised, ill-tempered, self-centered idiot they have encouraged junior to be.

He’s your boy, GOP, and the disaster our country finds itself in is now, and always will be, part of your legacy as well as his own.

Soon enough, a lot of you will be sent packing, shrouded in disgrace, no longer welcomed guests at the gatherings you once disrupted, loudly and proudly, with the braggadocio of your child’s status in the world.

If only you hadn’t created such a petulant vindictive monster, you might have had a shot at talking some sense into him; you might have had enough influence to talk him down from the lofty position he is so clearly too incompetent to hold.

If only you could undo some of the damage you have contributed to, and take your boy with you when you go.
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