By Jonathan David Morris
George Bush needs help. Fast. And I’m going to give it to him.
I am thoroughly convinced that if things keep going the way they’ve been going, the end is near for this president. All signs are pointing directly towards impeachment. His poll numbers are sinking faster than a ship off the coast of the Isle of Lies. Every aspect of his war on terror is falling apart. Republicans are now joining Democrats in calling for troops to come home from Iraq. Left and Right are uniting in their criticisms of Gitmo. And just last week, House Republicans helped vote down a part of the Patriot Act.
Bush is now a lame-duck president. Republican legislators have nothing to lose and everything to gain by tossing his rotting skull and bones to the fire, if public opinion suggests it’s timely to do so.
Here’s the problem: After four and a half years in office, Bush is suffering from creative complacency. Simply put, it’s been a while since the man had a bright idea. Americans don’t like that. We want strong leaders—leaders committed to finding new ways to obscure old problems.
Lucky for Bush, I’ve got more bright ideas than I know what to do with.
So let’s start with Gitmo. Opponents of Team Bush’s “enemy combatant” prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are complaining that hundreds of “people” are being held there indefinitely, without access to the usual privileges of the American criminal justice system. Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican, has challenged the administration to define the detainees’ rights—whatever they may be. Amnesty International calls Gitmo a gulag. And many opponents are demanding the administration simply shut the place down.
But the White House says Gitmo is necessary. Giving detainees due process might expose valuable national security information. And simply releasing them into the wild means they’d go back to fighting America again.
So what to do? Compromise, Mr. President. The name of the game is compromise.
Here’s your solution: Nuke Gitmo. That’s right. Just nuke it. Detainees included. This way, you won’t have to worry about releasing the prisoners, and your opponents won’t have to worry that you’re denying the prisoners their rights. After all, they’ll be dead if you nuke them. And dead people don’t have any rights.
See what I mean? Leadership is all about having bright ideas.
Next, let’s talk about the Patriot Act. The provision the House curtailed last week was the one allowing the FBI to seize library records. Opponents of this particular police power say it’s a clear violation of civil liberties. Proponents, however, say that to rescind it is to make libraries a “safe haven” for terrorist research activity.
Once again, let’s look at the true heart and soul of the problem. Let’s get creative. Did you ever think maybe the real issue here isn’t terrorists, or civil liberties, but the simple act of reading? Think about it. We put such a premium on reading in this country. Reading is fundamental, we say. But why? The only thing reading is good for is making people smarter. And as any smart person will tell you, the fewer smart people, the better—less competition.
So there’s your solution. Repeal the No Child Left Behind Act. Get rid of RIF. And above all else, Mr. President, stop teaching kids how to read. Who needs the Patriot Act? In five to ten years, terrorists will be the only ones even entering libraries. At that point you could simply arrest ‘em, ship ‘em to Gitmo, and nuke ‘em to a 451 degree crisp.
Bright ideas. I’m telling you, it’s all about having bright ideas.
Finally, Iraq. The London Times recently published British intelligence memos from 2002, which suggest the Bush administration never intended war in Iraq as a “last resort.” Indeed, they planned to invade from the very beginning, and “facts were being fixed around the policy.” Many of Bush’s closest associates openly advocated Iraqi regime change in the late ‘90s; they claimed they needed a “new Pearl Harbor” to make it happen, and on September 11th they got it. The administration used the fear after 9/11, cemented by the anonymous anthrax mailings, to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein might give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Yet Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, and he apparently didn’t even have weapons—the “facts” were “fixed around the policy.”
Anyone with a functioning brain can plainly see this war was a sham now. Even if you still support it, even if you still think good things will ultimately come from it—the original reasons for going to war simply don’t hold up.
And this is bad if you happen to be the president.
So now critics are saying we should end the war. People are dying for no good reason. Things are a mess. It’s not worth the costs. But the White House worked very hard to make this war happen. They’re committed to it. They say we should stay till we finish our objectives.
So what’s the solution? Easy: Outline our objectives. Plain and simple. Let people know what the hell troops are dying for.
See? Bright ideas. That’s what I’m talking about.
Good luck, Mr. President. Go get ‘em!
Jonathan David Morris is a political writer -- and sometimes satirist -- based in Pennsylvania. A strong believer in small government, JDM often takes aim at oppressive taxes, entitlements, and laws, writing about incompetence at the highest levels of culture and government. Catch his weekly ramblings at readjdm.com.