The Rare Double-Pronged Red-Footed Bushie

There are a lot of things President Bush would rather do than give a speech to the nation. Play golf with his dad. Fall off a mountain bike. I even think clearing brush wearing nothing but boots at high noon in the middle of an August rattlesnake migration would win hands down over the speech thing. But this week, America was treated to a rare double dose of the President talking out of both sides of his mouth. Happy and sad that is.

The early part of the week we were presented with his sad, serious side. The one without the Texas accent. Where "having learned the lessons of nine-eleven, our mission is clear, we must stay the course, and advance freedom in what has become a terrorist's paradise." A situation for which neither we nor the people of Iraq have ever properly thanked him, and being the simple humble man he is, for which he takes little if any of the credit, when truth be told, it is a single handed accomplishment that he need not share with anyone. Bravo, Mr President! Bravo!

In less than 25 minutes, Dubyah managed to slip in 5 references to 9/11, at a time when over 50 percent of the country believes he misled us into Iraq. Does the term "stop beating that horse, he ain't breathing, and is starting to smell funny already" have any meaning here? Recognizing the fact that national recruitment is so low, the slogan "An Army of One" is destined to soon become a reality, he also threw in: "there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces." Which apparently is a plea for the privileged sons of politicians to join the Alabama National Guard.

That was the tough one. He only gave it because his poll numbers are skewing lower than snake belly futures. And he gave it in front of 750 soldiers who could only work up enough enthusiasm to interrupt the speech with applause once and that was for the joke applause that always comes when a politician says "in conclusion." You think we're frustrated with a policy in search of a mission, imagine having to to defend it against desperate zealots who think you're the devil.

But then, on Friday, it was another story altogether. We got to see the very same George W Bush squeal with girlish delight as he broke into daytime television soap operas to deliver the news that Swing Vote Sandy was retiring from the Supreme Court and now he finally, finally gets to make an appointment and his accent was so thick I half expected the word "hornswaggle" to slip out at any minute.

And oh yeah, the nation thanks whatshername for her longtime valuable service and blah blah blah and hee hee hee. The excitement shone in his eyes, with an interior dialogue clearer than branch water poured over distilled ice. "Watch out you Senate Dems because here comes the wrath of Rove. And he is going to smite righteously down on you liberal panty waists who only want to give the terrorists backrubs." Determined to announce an appointment in time for Advise and Consent to finish up before the Supreme Court reconvenes in October, you might want to replace the filter in your air- conditioner, because this looks to be one of those long hot summers.

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