Being in politics means never having to say you’re sorry. No group of people knows this better than President George W. Bush and his administration.
For four years, the Bush administration has had a love-hate and sometimes downright abusive relationship with the American people. During these four years, we’ve had so many ups and downs with this presidency that our political atmosphere is beginning to feel like something of a soap opera. Only in this case, instead of trying to guess who’s the father of whose baby, we were left guessing about whether Saddam Hussein actually had weapons of mass destruction.
And now, finally, the American people have a choice – either to continue to believe Bush’s broken promises and keep the relationship going, or to finally break up with him and pursue something with the brooding, dark and off-putting John Kerry. It’s tough for us though. On one hand, Bush is egomaniacal and stubborn, but hey, we had some good times, right? And this Kerry guy, maybe he means well and says good things, but are we really ready to leave Bushie? Is this really the end of the affair?
Looking back now, it’s not tough to rationalize our relationship with Bush. Sure, he’s been a jerk, and like any bad relationship, it’s been filled with lies and abuse. But, let’s face it – he’s a charming guy. His southern drawl and butchering of the English language made him seem like he was one of us. His Texan swagger made him sexy. He was a badass cowboy with a heart of gold, and he promised us he’d treat us real good. After Clinton’s infidelities, we wanted to feel loved again, and he made it clear that we could trust him in Lincoln’s bedroom.
At first, the relationship was rocky. He kept on abandoning us to go on extended vacations. But then, 9/11 happened, and he rushed to our aid. For an instant, through the smoke and the debris, a strong and decisive leader emerged to protect us. For a moment, he was the valiant cowboy we wanted him to be.
Then it all went to hell.
First, he got paranoid and started to spy on us. He was afraid that some of us might be flirting with terrorists. The PATRIOT ACT was passed, giving his lackey John Ashcroft the ability to keep tabs on us at all times. We felt kind of violated, what with him invading our privacy and all, but we were willing to accept that it was for our own good.
Then he began to lie to us. He told us that Saddam was looking at us funny, that he was pointing his weapons of mass destruction at us, and that he needed to be taken out. The thought of Saddam firing his big hard nukes at us proved to be too disturbing, so we let our man beat the living tar out of Iraq. When we didn’t find any weapons, he insisted they were still there, and then started to stonewall us. And once again, he told us it was for our own good.
He began to cheat on us. He went behind our backs and gave a $20 billion, no-bid contract to Halliburton for the reconstruction of Iraq. Every night, he’s been sharing his bed with a different special interest, and no two-bit lobbyist was too dirty for him. Aretha Franklin sang songs about this sort of crap.
He tried to break up the American family by suggesting that our homosexual brothers and sisters were second-class citizens. Perhaps his most egregious sin was his mortgaging of our children’s futures by spending our savings like a drunken sailor. A whole generation of workers will need to take that extra shift and that second job to pay for Bush’s billion-dollar-a-day war and tax cut habit.
Perhaps the saddest thing is that despite all of the heartache he’s put us through, Bush still refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing. The truth is, being in a relationship does mean having to say you’re sorry. For us, let’s hope that we’ll be saying just that to George W. Bush on Nov. 2.
Neil Visalvanich is a senior history and political science major.