Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jumping the Bush

So I'm robbing this idea straight from Peter David who had this discussion last week. However, I thought it might be interesting to get an outsider view of the subject. There's now officially less than two weeks until the our long international nightmare is over and George W. Bush will no longer be president. If possibly pelting him with tomatoes as he leaves would be perfectly all right as well.

I'm a believer that you respect the office, if not the man. However, once he's no longer president, any tiny, itsy-bitsy bit of decorum and restraint I might have had regarding Bush goes right out the window.

Anyway, the discussion is "When did George W. Bush's presidency Jump the Shark?" That is to say when did his presidency become absurd and when did the American people finally clue into the fact this "show" was a lost cause?

Now, there are several ways of looking at this. First, when did his presidency Jump the Shark with you, personally. Secondly, when did he Jump the Shark with the American people? And finally, when did the international community lose faith in him. Because for me, there are three different answers to each of those questions.

When did he jump with me? I'm tempted to say during the 2000 election fiasco in Florida. However, realistically it was when it became absolutely clear that there were no weapons in Iraq and they were just making this shit up. And furthermore, they weren't even smart enough to make up fake evidence to cover their ass. There's all kinds of levels of ineptitude involved right there.

For Americans, I think it was Katrina. Remember, despite the complete colossal fuck-up in Iraq, they still re-elected him in 2004 by a comfortable majority. But once most of them say the incredible and disastrous response to Katrina, that was it for taking him seriously. America looked like a third world country at that moment and that was something many simply could not handle.

For the rest of the world, I think it was the start of the Iraq war. Hard as it is to remember, American had a tremendous amount of good will and international support following the September 11th attacks. And rushing to invade Iraq destroyed most of that. That was the beginning of the end of Bush's international reputation.

But those are my views. And really, there are so many disasters during these past long eight years. What's your Jump the Shark moment?

Last Five
1. St. George's Lane - Matt Mays and El Torpedo
2. Redemption Song - The Chieftains with Ziggy Marley*
3. All sparks - The Editors
4. The old laughing lady (live) - Neil Young
5. Love is all around - Sloan


Karin said...

Its really hard to pick a specific moment especially since we've had to live through the whole nightmare. Florida was a mere sign of what was to come.

I felt especially broken when Bush won the 2nd election. I honestly felt that a majority of my fellow countrymen thought I was un-patriotic for not supporting Bush or his war. We had just moved to Omaha which is one of the most conservative cities in the nation. It was a huge low for me. Katrina was the nail in the coffin. It was painful and heartbreaking to see how low our country had sunk.

How we stayed down here is beyond me. It does make me a little sad that we're leaving while the good stuff is happening. I will say that I'm a prouder American today and feel good about fighting the good fight during this last election. It will be interesting to see how we heal our image in the world. Hopefully the U.S. and the rest of the world will be a little brighter starting Jan. 20th.

Mireille Sampson said...

The day I first saw him and heard him open his mouth. The guy actually looks like a lost deveopmentally challenged kid.

Completely unrelated: remember that really funny photo you posted with the cardboard sign being held up on Wall Street...the one that read "Jump You Fuckers". Well, they are. Just read about suicide number three today, a real estate big-wig. German billionaire topped himself a few days ago and one of the money managers who fell for Madoff's scam a few weeks ago. I guess that makes the photo not so funny. I don't understand, some or all of these guys still had rather a lot of wealth (I think, sometimes these things are murky)...even if their businesses went to ruin they would probably still have been able to take care of their families.

I'm sure the quiet suicides of people impoverished by this crisis won't (aren't) make the new in the same way.

ThePerfectStorm said...

Shark-jumping has to crystallize the complete abandonment of one’s (imagined / declared) motivators, principles, and ethics. Ask not, why the jumper decides to jump said shark. They just do, and pick their moment for us to watch in amazement.

The Florida scam could have been that moment for George, but honestly, I think that's just American politics. Elections have been scammed there before, and they will be again (sadly, our neighbours can't imagine themselves removing the very mechanisms that make it possible).

As for the real shark moment however?

It has to be the night of March 19, 2003 when the W announces: "My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."

Up to that point it had been absurdly obvious to those outside the suffocating blanket of American "media" that Iraq resembled only a shadow of the descriptions the Bush administration tried attaching to her. To see nevertheless such war-mongering ineptitude laid bare in that evening’s broadcast, foretelling what was to come, is a seminal moment in George’s sharking career (to date).

Ineptitude alone however? That's not really enough for quality shark-jumping.

It's the added craven self interest, wrapped in utter disregard for what they were straining to unleash, and its attendant suffering to come. That was no President running America any longer. George Bush was jumping his own personal shark, live on national TV for all of us to see. The motivators, principles, and ethics of the office of the President of the United States were scattered there and then.

Listen through to the end in the following clip carefully, and then reflect on how Bush and Co. knew the real truth, from the beginning.

Brutal, and frightening.