George W. and the White House Troupe
Sometimes I think that the Bush Administration is conspiring to feed me good material. Maybe there are prankish gnomes inside the White House -- or even inside George W.'s head. This bunch just keeps reaching out and slapping themselves with silly sticks.
Their latest slapstick schtick came when Jimmy Carter went to Cuba and called for an end to our government's ineffectual, 40-year embargo on the Cuban people. Carter's overture to Cuba was like dropping a big beachball into a group of circus clowns, prompting the White House to flail furiously and comically at Castro.
Just before Carter left, one of Bush's operatives tried to taint Castro as a global terrorist, alleging that he was developing and distributing biological weapons. The problem is that there was not the slightest proof of this, and Castro not only flatly denied the charge, but gave carte blanche to international inspectors to examine all of his country's biotech facilities. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was then reduced to whining that, while they had no actual evidence, "we have concerns."
But the most comical White House routine on Castro starred George W himself, who sputtered that Fidel ought to "have free elections ... ought to have a free press ... and ought to free his prisoners."
The problem with W's orchestrated outrage is that as he spoke he was sitting in the Oval office with the longtime autocratic ruler of Malaysia at his side. At the time, the White House happened to be wooing Prime Minister Mahathir to use his military to help Bush chase suspected terrorists. So there was George castigating Castro while sitting next to a guy his own state department has labeled a human rights abuser, including charges that Mahathir does not allow free elections, represses the press, and imprisons his political opponents -- the very charges Bush was making against his friendish foe, Fidel!
This is Jim Hightower saying ... Who needs Leno, Letterman, and the rest when we've got George W and the White House troupe doing satirical routines like this?