President Bush has been on the proverbial rollercoaster ride throughout his entire presidency. At times we loved him; more often, we didn’t. And now, with approval ratings as low as they’ve ever been, it seems as though Bush has come to terms with the fact that the American people are ready for a new president, giving himself license to do basically whatever he wants.
So these days, he stops updating himself on issues that aren’t so important, like gas prices; he dances for the press as he waits for John McCain; and he gets angry at the press for having the audacity to ask him questions and expect him to be able to answer them.
But his latest form of mockery has taken this presidential nonchalance way over the line. The New York Times posted a link to a video of Bush singing about his presidency. (To see the video, go to YouTube, and type “Bush farewell, gridiron club dinner.” It will be the only video to appear on the screen.)
And while this in itself seems little more than Bush actually recognizing his own short-comings, what he jokes about is not funny in the least.
“.. there’s Dick Cheney, with documents he’s been withholding.” was one line that engendered a lot of laughs from the crowd, which was made of mostly well-known media officials (so much for objectivity, guys). Though I’m glad the president has a sense of humor concerning the unreasonable amount of secrecy of his administration, I’m sure that if the doors were open, the public would find little to laugh about.
Though the line about Cheney wasn’t too bad, what Bush said next was so ridiculous I thought for a moment I may have heard him wrong: “I awake and look around me, at the oval walls that surround me/And I realize I was only dreaming/There’s Condi and Dick, my old compadre, talking to me about some oil-rich Saudi.”
Thousands of American men and women have died in Iraq in the years since the initial invasion, and their deaths fall directly on the president’s shoulders. Without him, our troops would have stayed where they had a right to be: Afghanistan. The little quip about “Condi and Dick . talking to me about some oil-rich Saudi” is so incredibly inappropriate and offensive to any man or woman wearing a uniform, I can’t believe he even thought to use it as a lyric. And the military personnel standing behind him throughout the song had every right to just push him off the stage.
And while the president reiterated several times in what was the chorus of this appalling song that “You’re all going to miss me. The way you used to quiz me,” he can rest assured that we won’t miss him that much. So, if he wants to “.touch the brown, brown grass of home,” as he so often states in the song, there won’t be many people standing in his way.
Even if the public dreamed of re-electing Bush to a third-term, I’m pretty sure the president has had many occasions to touch the brown, brown grass of home, as he’s been on vacation more than I have in my four years as a college student. According to the Washington Post, Bush has been on vacation for a part or all of 879 days since he first took office. Since I first started attending college in 2004, I’ve had roughly 450 days of summer vacation, and I haven’t been trying run a country.
In reality, President Bush is not going to go down in history as one of the top five presidents of all time. He’s more likely to be at the bottom of that particular barrel. And while I acknowledge and admire his ability to take a step back and laugh at himself, that admiration is tempered by the subjects which he chooses to joke about.
Fortunately, there won’t be too many people who miss Bush when he’s gone.