Friday, September 01, 2006

My Life in the Ghost of Bush

Brilliantly tone deaf to popular culture as always, the right's going to get its red-white-and-blue panties all in a bunch over the new film Death of a President which

uses archive footage, actors and computer effects to portray the president being shot dead. UK broadcaster Channel 4, who made the mock documentary, said it explored the effects of the War on Terror on the US.

For just one example, The Anchoress titles her screed "The Day 'Bush Hatred' Jumps the Shark." First, what are the quotes around "Bush hatred" all about? Is it just so reprehensible to her that the notion has to be held at punctuational arm's length? Perhaps it's a hint she knows she's created a classic strawman argument. Look, I dislike Bush's policies as much as the next lefty. I don't think he's fit to be president and am embarrassed he is. Do I hate him? That's kind of strong, and what's worse, couches my voluminous disagreements with him in emotional terms. Call me funny, but I like to think we should make political decisions--both as voters and politicians--with our brains and not our guts. Of course, doing that sort of rules out the "swaying the public through fear" approach so beloved by Karl Rove.

Second, "jumps the shark" as a phrase has sort of jumped the shark itself--it's so late-90s. Beyond it not really being the hippest way to put something anymore, it's not what she means to say in the first place. Something has to have some value to begin with to get to the shark jump moment, and one assumes that nasty Bush hatred never had much value to the Anchoress, ever eager to point out how hate consumes the hater. (I'm going to assume that Happy Days had some value originally, ok?)

Third, as she preaches love to those of us rankled at her dear president, she gets to this sentence so myopic that using the lens from the Hale Telescope at Palomar wouldn't help her:

Those were just little appetizers to the great hunger of Bush hatred which has been fed for five years on forgettable books, tired jokes and Bill Maher.

I'm sorry, dear Anchoress, but here's what feeds the anger at Bush:

Ignoring the PDB that might have stopped 9/11 from happening
Reading My Pet Goat and looking paralyzed
Cutting taxes for the rich and bloating the budget
Messing around with a ridiculous Social Security plan
Leading us into the Iraq War
Not being able to get us out of the Iraq War
Whittling the First and Fourth Amendments away
Running an economy where real wages stagnate
2,500 dead U.S. soldiers, 75,000+ dead civilian Iraqis
Abu Ghraib

List incomplete due to rising ire. But if you're really going to preach about how hate breeds hate, it isn't that far a leap to consider how all the things that Bush has done could come back and bite him personally, as opposed to just killing thousands of American soldiers braver than he ever was.

Of course, I'm asuming those on the right can make mental leaps. For in the BBC article linked to above, we get this moment:

John Beyer of UK TV pressure group MediaWatch said the film was "irresponsible". He said it could even trigger a real assassination attempt and told the Daily Mirror: "There's a lot of feeling against President Bush and this may well put ideas into people's heads."

Yep, nobody ever killed anybody till the advent of movies. After all, it was in a theater that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, as if we need further proof.


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