The Hightower Report

Bush tries branding his critics as unpatriotic, wailing that it is 'deeply irresponsible' to question his motives


DANGEROUS PRESIDENTIAL SILLINESS

The White House has gone from slippery to silly.

First came the stunning news that George W. has ordered his own staff to undergo mandatory refresher courses in ethics. Ethics! Good grief. The Bush White House is to ethics what a New Orleans levee is to flood control: porous to say the least. Exactly who is George W. trying to convince of exactly what with this silly stunt?

Far more damning, however, is the White House's second act of desperate silliness, which, ironically, was launched on Veterans' Day. Apparently oblivious to the key liberties that America's veterans have fought and died to preserve, Bush lashed out at those who dare to dissent from his war rationalizations. In particular, he's assailing critics who maintain that he – along with Cheney, Condi, Rummy, Colin, and gang – misled the American people into going to war with Iraq.

Shamelessly trying to brand his critics as unpatriotic, Bush wailed that it is "deeply irresponsible" to question his motives, asserting that such criticism hurts America's war effort. "The stakes in the global war on terror are too high," he cried, "and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges."

Uh ... excuse me, George. Not to point out the obvious, but weren't you the politician who threw out the Big One? You know, the false charge that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Then there was your false charge that Saddam could hurl his WMD all the way to America and whap us with a mushroom cloud. And don't forget your false charge that Saddam was a backer of al Qaeda and was involved in the 9/11 attack on America – a charge that you apparently took from an informer known to be an unreliable drunk.

The only thing sillier than a president who lies about the reasons for taking our nation to war is one who then tries to label as traitorous those who point out his lies. That's not only silly ... but dangerous.


THE ABSURDITY OF PAT

Satire is dead. When a society's reality becomes so inherently absurd that it cannot be satirized, satire is dead.

In our society, Pat Robertson's maniacally bloated ego has become the dark hole of absurdity ... and the death of satire. This Republican televangelist sucks in all surrounding reality, contorting and condensing it to an impenetrable mass of his own pseudo-religious pomposity, which he occasionally spews forth to the faithful as the veritable word of God. Recent spewings have included his call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, his assertion that the State Department would be improved if a nuclear bomb were to explode within it, and his prediction that Orlando would be hit with a meteor because it allowed a gay pride event to take place.

Now the apocalyptic absurdist has struck again, this time promising God's wrath on Dover, Penn. This township recently found itself at the hot center of the campaign by a group of religious creationists to impose their belief in "intelligent design" on America's science educators. These creationists took over the local school district and, last fall, put their religious notion into the science curriculum. Parents, however, were less than grateful, and this fall the voters summarily dumped the creationists from office, reinstating (o, progress!) science-based science in the classrooms.

Robertson sucked all of this reality into his head, declared that it had infuriated God, and ominously suggested that divine wrath could soon visit Dover. "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God; you just rejected him from your city." Instead, speaketh Pat, the people of Dover should try praying to Charles Darwin.

If secular humanists tried to invent an absurd religious protagonist, they could not in their wildest dreams invent one as absurd as Robertson.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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