Sunday, December 31, 2006

Some Thoughts on the Final Two Years of George W. Bush’s Presidency

A guest post by Mark W. Bradley

Like nervous passengers on a roller-coaster carelessly assembled by a toothless carney bearing a broken crescent wrench in one hand and a canning jar full of homemade amphetamines in the other, the American people are finally starting to notice, with growing alarm, every fissure in every bolt that holds the rickety structure together, even as they fly helplessly past each one at breakneck speed. Perhaps they should have paid a little more attention to the fine print on their Diebold “optical scanner” ballot stubs that reads “Bush Brothers / Barnam and Cheney - Ride at your own risk.” Oh well, three laps behind us now, one lap to go. Hold onto your cookies, and whatever you do, don’t look down. Here are a few random thoughts to distract you during the last few harrowing dips and turns.

1. First of all, I have some advice for all of you aspiring presidential “talent scouts” out there. When it comes time for you to make your obligatory pilgrimage to Yale University with an eye toward selecting the next Intrepid Leader of the Free World, this time around make sure you interview all potential candidates on the “short” bus, not just the guy who sits next to the driver reading comic books out loud, and regaling other passengers with his realistic sounding fart noises. Remember, just because someone starts out with an I.Q. of 72 doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay that high forever. A steady diet of cocaine and Jack Daniels, for instance, can kill brain cells at an alarming rate. So while it’s true that every presidential handler worth his or her salt knows how difficult it is to control the behavior of someone whose intelligence qualifies him as “gifted”, it’s also important to remember that this is equally true of Irish Setter puppies who have eaten too much lead paint, for precisely the opposite reason.

2. Secondly, in retrospect, it probably wasn’t such a good idea for Dick Cheney’s elementary school teachers to allow the other children to beat him unconscious with shoes, rocks, and coat-hangers every day at recess. While this may have been standard operating procedure in Wyoming schools at the time, it now seems painfully obvious that such treatment inevitably led to more, not less, anti-social behavior on the part of the future vice-president. In particular, the persistent beatings appear to have fostered in him a significantly diminished capacity for human empathy, coupled with a morbid (yet detached) curiosity regarding the ability of others to withstand the sustained application of protracted and excruciating pain. Perhaps imposing occasional “timeouts” on the misguided boy might have resulted in a less catastrophic outcome for Mr. Cheney in particular, and for Earth and its neighboring planets in general.

3. Thirdly, I have recently come to realize that once a person learns to operate a chainsaw safely and correctly, cutting brush can be a satisfying, manly career for anyone who likes the great outdoors and enjoys strenuous but stress-free physical activity. Assuming you have the requisite aptitude, you, too, could become an “expert” brush cutter in just a few weeks, thus filling up otherwise empty spans of useless time, even as you indulge your energetic mind in endeavors of a more contemplative nature - such as planning exciting bike trips, memorizing clever bits of bathroom humor, and crafting vacuous and unimaginative nicknames for people you barely know.

4. Finally, it strikes me as an unfortunate twist of fate that Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush were deprived of the opportunity to be friends as children. Had they grown up together designing explosive suppositories for hapless animals on the mean streets of Sao Paulo, for instance, they might have become nothing more dangerous than a couple of gun-toting pimps whose combined total of cowardly and ignoble homicides might have numbered in the mere dozens. What an untold blessing that would have been.

Unfortunately (barring any unforeseen good fortune), we’re stuck with these two festering pustules of distemper (Bush and Cheney, I mean) for at least the next two years (perhaps more, should they choose to avail themselves of the ominous machinery of martial law they have so painstakingly constructed over the past six years). Fortunately, we can draw some measure of comfort from the fact that we are all precariously cradled in the misleadingly anthropomorphized imaginary “hands” of an entirely fictitious pseudo-deity whose lack of actual existence, by definition, makes it impossible for him/her/it to give even the tiniest modicum of a shit one way or the other whether we pathetic humans thrive amidst plenty, or perish without a trace.

But try not to think about any of that, and have a nice day.

Mark W. Bradley is a history teacher and political satirist in Sacramento, California. He can be contacted at


Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

Well said, sir. Happy New Year to you and yours.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

Funny thing about those Diebold machines in the 2006 elections, they all seemed to work. No complaints about them not working or being rigged for GW or the Republicans.

p.s., funny how the "Diebold machines are rigged story" only applies when the Dems lose elections. Where are all the stories of Diebold machines not working in this cycle?

3:13 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

What is truely scary is Mark Bradley, the author of this post, is actually a history teacher, meaning he "teaches" students. If this is what passes as thoughtful analysis in Mr. Bradley's class then his students are not getting their monies worth. What an absolutely pathetic post. It is amazing that people such as Mark Bradley is actually a teacher given his 1st grade post consiting of name calling and nothing that passes for intelligent analysis.

Good God, I feel sorry for Mr. Bradley's students.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Actually, I believe the story is that the Diebold machines couldn't cheat by an outrageous percentage. Rumour has it the Dems really whupped the GOP this past November.

The NYTimes states there will be a major challenge of suspect votes in Florida. Republicans still won in districts where they were running behind.

Mr Bradley, if I'm correct, is a retired teacher and his post is meant as satire. And I report sadly that it is too close to the bone to be comical.

I read that Bush claims to have been asleep while Saddam was hanged. And yet it was only 9PM. How strange! However, I suspect he was really one of the hangmen wearing a mask.

Personally, I think Bush will resign if Congress gives him a hard time. And even Arlen Spector thinks he'll be given a hard time. Then we'll see a Cheney presidency that'll last as long as his heart --if he has one. And then his pick for VP, his own daughter, will become president. Now, wouldn't that be a satirical laugh.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Good read, thanks.
Minor point on item 1: It may be Harvard's turn to deliver a President this next time. (Oops, I should have said 'Wellesley', I think. But that would be a first, wouldn't it?)

3:45 PM  
Blogger jae said...

Mr Bradley-
Thank you for your astute (as usual) take on current events.
I wish you and yours every happiness in 2007. Take care of Mollie for us, we need her....and you as well!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous mark w bradley said...

To Jae and Kindlingman,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and for your kind words. Have a Happy New Year!

To David,

Thank you, as usual, for your thoughtful insights. Perhaps this was a bit close to the bone. I'm feeling a little raw these days when it comes to politics.

To drm,

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to level an anonymous cheapshot at my writing, describing it as a "1st grade post." I'm sure that from the perspective of a man of your intellectual stature, my writing must seem terribly juvenile. But just so that you don't think my "1st grade" education was completely wasted on me, I thought I would help you out with some of your spelling. The word "truly" has not been spelled "truely" since Chaucer's time, I believe, and "money's" (to my knowledge) has never been spelled "monies." Do you see?

"Consiting" is not a word (at least not in English), but I suppose you meant "consisting." By the way, "that people such as Mark Bradley is actually a teacher", should be "that people such as Mark Bradley are actually teachers." You see, the noun "people" is plural, so the correct linking verb to pair with it is the plural "are." Do you see?

Oh yes, about my unfortunate students. I would never think of using "satire" or "irony" on my students, as the fourteen-year-old mind (not to mention the minds of certain adults whose intellectual prowess never progressed beyond the early teenage phase) is incapable of grasping it. Do you see?

Thanks again. I look forward to more pleasant online chat with you real soon!

Sincerely, Mark W. Bradley

8:17 PM  
Anonymous whl said...

Mr. Bradley,

It is extremely difficult to attempt even a few lines of satire in an era when characters such as Bush XLIII & Darth Cheney are the elected leaders of the USA. This is compounded when people more stupid than they are can buy a computer & get on line without knowing anything--it used to take a minimum of moxie to ramp up, ayeh?

So you should be very pleased with entertaining more than half your readers on this blog. I think it's time now for another snort of booze, a laugh & pleasant thoughts about our 110th Congress. It suits me that Ms. Pelosi is in charge.

Now that's satirical.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

The thing about satire is it really should be funny. Try getting some new material. The "Bush is Dumb" line is quite stale, especially when compared to those 2 intellectual geniuses the Dems ran in 2000 and 2004, or the other genius from Wellesley. Can someone please explain why Miss Rodham refuses to release her thesis paper. It sure would be interesting to see here writings from here college days.

to David, gee what a surprise, in districts where the Dems lost they are pulling a "Sore-Loserman" and claiming fraud or "stupid voters who couldn't figure out how the ballot works" or whatever.

What I always find funny about liberal blogs is the complete lack of ideas that are presented. Just like the platform in the 2006 elections of "vote for us, we are not the Republicans". It is going to be a fun ride with Leader Pelosi. I cannot wait to see her running the most ethical leadership post while she gives her blessing to the Judiciary Committee Chariman with his newly handed down ethics violations. It should be real fun

11:12 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...


why are you people so confused - those of you who have decided your way of communicating is sane.

you're insane. i'm really sorry to be so rude to you because i don't have a clue as to who you are but it's better this way - i don't want to be in communication via the www with insane people.

i just can't help myself from taking this time to tell people like you that you have lost your mind. and, it's only going to get worse. as you come to realize the rest of us knew and have been preparing for what's coming now and you poor insane wretches have been in complete and utter denial - well please get ready to write your own swan song because you're clearly one of the people who'll howl at the moon loudest of all, victim of your own choice to be insane.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I'm sorry, drm, but you need to go back to school.

Satire does not have to be funny. I believe you are confusing parody with satire. Satire makes use of ridicule informed with a high moral standard. It can be wickedly funny, but often it is more shocking.

The tampering of electronic voting machines should be a concern for every citizen. It isn't a case of "sore-loser-dom". I have no doubt you'd be howling at the moon if some hacker had put a Commie candidate in first place over some bone-headed GOP candidate.

And perhaps you really should get out of the Rightwing blogosphere more often. Hillary Rodham Clinton's 1969 thesis at Wellesley, "Aspect of the War on Poverty", is not a secret document. (It was briefly kept from the press in 1992 when HRC wasn't running for anything.) The thesis can be read and has been critiqued by others. So stop perpetuating myths that made the GOPs of 1992 such sore losers.

Yes, it's the Republicans who are sore losers. What was Whitewater all about? The Clinton impeachment? The rumours about Vince Foster? The endless howling about the Lincoln bedroom and other non-scandals?

And then faced with a White House that lies America into a neverending war and hands out no-bid contracts like candy, the GOP doesn't make a peep. The double-standard is quite disgusting.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

...what david spades.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

like I said, after all the responses to my posts still no ideas. You all need to get over Clinton, it was so last decade. I for one am looking forward to the 110th Congress. It will be fun to watch. Having Ms. "Most Ethical Congress in History" Pelosi lead the way is just too much fun. Having "Mr. Ethical Violations" John Conyers gavel in the Judiciary Committee is definitely going to be an E-ticket ride.

I plead to all liberals/progressives, don't be shy, lead with your ideas and policies. Show some courage, start saying what you are for instead of what you are against. Stopping hiding and trying to be a "moderate", be who you are and join the battle of ideas. Stop the name calling and the conspiracy theories and start saying what you are for. Don't be shy and don't be afraid of your true progressive ideals.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

The left has been speaking, you have not been listening.Perhaps you have stood next to the Republican bullhorn too long and are temporarily deaf.
Spend a few days of quiet time and you will recover.

5:04 AM  
Anonymous rkelly said...


it's clear - you are one of the ones who has taken the position and the money to do what you do. in a word, pity.

it is you who does exactly as you write and you know it. thinking you are so smart and this is how it starts. karl rove was said to be a genius. so are many criminally insane.

this is your path, however, to continue seeking more of the same and pretending all the while that you're not.

good luck to you as you once again try to find the mind that you were born with rather than the one that's been totally brainwashed.

you'd best go speak with those who also thought they were going to be part of the in crowd (check out the death and dying of mr dirty bomb in London, one of the billionare mobsters), because you are not by any stretch of the imagination one of the people who are considered the "elite" else you wouldn't be a troll.

5:05 AM  
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