Wednesday, August 03, 2005

outvacationing the gipper

I have mixed feelings about the fact that de facto president Bush will on his current vacation pass Ronald Reagan's record for the most vacation time taken by any president. On one hand, Bush doing nothing may well be less harmful than when he's doing something, because usually when he does take action, 95% of us are screwed. On the other hand, it might have been nice if he'd been paying attention to the CIA in August 2001, when they were trying to warn him that something nasty was in the offing, instead of clearing brush.

And speaking of clearing brush -- what the fuck is that all about? Surely there can't be a shrub left standing on that dude ranch of his. Maybe it is some sort of subtle signal to his corporate paymasters that he won't let environmental concerns get in the way of making a buck for businesses, and to prove it, he'll singlehandedly defoliate his entire stupid property. Or maybe the Rapture will begin when the last trace of cedar has been uprooted. He's like human Agent Orange or something. At least when Reagan took vacations, he rode horses and went to shows and occasionally chopped wood in the more comfortable California climate, instead of sweating his ass off in 100 degree Texas sun and falling off of mountain bikes.

But between spending 20% of his time in Crawford AND taking daily two-hour exercise breaks in the middle of the day, this guy really isn't working that hard, is he? Why should he? Bush has always had everything handed to him anyway - a gentleman's C and a cheerleader's uniform at Yale (where he only gained admission because he was a legacy). Admission into the special unit of the Texas Air National Guard reserved for the sons of privilege, whose mission was to avoid Vietnam at all costs (and hell, he didn't even finish that). The chance to run for Congress, because Daddy was an ambassador and head of the CIA. Various sweetheart oil deals for his failing companies from Saudis because Daddy was vice-president. The chance to buy into the Texas Rangers for $600,000 (including borrowed money) which just a few short years turned into $15 million, because Daddy was President. The governership of Texas, which was a perfect gig for Bush because that's only a part-time job anyway. And then the White House, courtesy in 2000 of five Republicans on the Supreme Court, and in 2004 thanks to various crooked election officials in Ohio and to the manufacturers of electronic voting machines.

The only time he ever has to break a sweat is when he's clearing brush. A charmed life, and a curse for the rest of us.