A florid goodbye to the president

George W. Bush and his coterie of operatives, most of whom have been either unusually avaricious or brazenly incompetent, will be the subject of countless media scrutinies, judgments, and reviews in the weeks to come. Jim Kunstler’s kicks off the party in entertaining fashion.

A prankish fate put George W. Bush in the oval office to keep America stupid. The nation was far from ready to see where it was going in the 21st century, and he was just the figure to keep it that way, with his void of curiosity, his allergy to reading, and his panderings to wealth-worshipping, Ponzi-loving, science-hating Jesus cultists. He goes out of office broadly regarded as an object of horror and loathing while the nation, now facing wholesale bankruptcy, struggles to imagine a plausible future, like someone who has just awakened from a cheap red wine drunk into the grip of a vicious hangover…
GWB won reelection in 2004 — running against the weak John Kerry, “a haircut in search of a brain,” as Kevin Phillips put it so memorably, who was not smart enough to pander successfully (though he tried) to the dominant, Jesus-soaked Nascar fans who inhabit the Moron Crescent that runs from West Virginia south through Dixie and then west into Idaho…
GWB will remain the perfect representative of his time, place, and culture. During his years in Washington, America became a nation of clowns posturing in cowboy hats, bethinking ourselves righteous agents of Jesus in a Las Vegas of the spirit, where wishing was enough to get something for nothing, where “mistakes were made,” but everybody was excused from the consequences of bad choices.

A read through the whole essay underscores the fact that Kunstler is an equal-opportunity critic; he makes numerous sober comments about the Left’s weak and ramshackle response to Bush’s series of bungles and his habit of behaving like an absentee landlord when the nation needed him to do something competent or at least definitive, as in the aftermath of Katrina, .
Reading Clusterfuck Nation rarely offers reason to have hope in America’s future, but the resigned yet crass way in which Kunstler swats at his various targets more than compensates for any bleak visions his writings may inspire, at least if you happen to be a passive nihilist.

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