GEMINI JIVE: “Annals of History: Begging Your Pardon?”January 30, 2009
In the final fatal moments of his lethal Presidency, claiming he was acting to preserve his place in history as well as his legacy as a Compassionate Conservative, Bush-Wah pardoned a rough and ready gang of what his livid critics characterized as “some of the worst evildoers who ever existed in life as well as literature, on the planet, or on the page”– 1,549 past, present, and future villains in all, recipients of executive clemency.
Among the beneficiaries of GWB’s last-minute legalistic largesse, to say nothing of his reanimating the dead and revitalizing the (sometimes) barely living, were Lizzie Borden, Adolf Hitler, Dr. No, Josef Stalin, Goldfinger, Adolf Eichmann, “Papa Doc” Duvalier, Atilla the Hun, Sherman Adams AND his Vicuna Coat, Raskolnikov, Mussolini, Shylock, the Unabomber, Iago, Lavrentiy P. Beria, Margaret Thatcher, Leopold and Loeb, Falstaff, Cruella De Ville, the Iceman, Carlos the Jackal, Tony Blair, Al Capone, Lyndon Johnson, Jack the Ripper, Norman Bates, and yes, even Saddam Hussein and The Joker. But never Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, or anyone else who really deserves to be pardoned like most of those currently imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, you can bank on that.
And yet, revealing a surprising depth and breadth of insight long obscured by his image as a generic booze-coke-and-pretzel-loving-upside-down-children’s-book-reading-911 plot-machinations-country-hijacking-good-ole-boy, GWB’s solid, sophisticated deconstructive Shakespearean analysis of heroes and villains is worthy of a Lifetime Chair in Criminal Psychology at Harvard, let alone the last gasps of the Ultimate Lamer, er, Lame Duck:
“While a Hero represents ‘the perfect man,’ I don’t know any, except maybe my brothers and my father. Sure, Shylock’s an outsider not only because he’s actually Jewish and the rest of the town’s Christian, but also because he has a different value system. Like me, in Washington, only in reverse. Shylock makes it clear he enjoys his role as an outsider when he tells Bassanio. ‘I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you’ (I.3.33-35). In Shakespeare’s play, Shylock’s both victim and villain. Like, he’s a decider and a people person, like me. See, he gets betrayed by his only daughter when she elopes with a Christian and loots his house of all the gold and jewels. Although he’s angry about the loss of his prize material possessions, he’s devastated when he learns his daughter also sold a memento which was very important to him, you know, a sentimental thing. This shows Shylock’s definitely not just motivated merely by financial gain. Let’s face it, he could have been an ordinary Texas oilman, who ran a baseball team, and somehow, through an accident of fate, or family connections, or the right folks pulling the strings of the election machines, became President instead.”
However, Bush 43′s misplaced generosity with this deluded avalanche of pardons, exceeding even Bill Clinton’s megalomaniacal excesses, seems to have spurred a seriously contentious fissure in his own family, with his wife Laura tearfully calling a global press-conference at 3 AM on the eve of the Inauguration. “My fellow Americans, and our overseas friends, I’m here to tell you I’m creeped out,” she admits. “I know my George has a big heart. I know he secretly roots for the bad guys, I mean, underdogs. But the notion of all those freed miscreants roaming the defenseless streets of our afflicted nation, well, I swear I’ll never sleep again, so help me, Lord. And I don’t know how my dear sweet husband, who had his own two darling daughters to protect until they managed a flimsy pretext to escape his clutches, I mean, leave home, could ever do that to Obama’s little girls, exposing those adorable darlings to all that potential danger of a pent-up Norman Bates suddenly let loose. As for me, I’m afraid to take a shower ever again. Oh, George!”
Even as dissident ranks of Americans are calling for the Bushling’s immediate arrest, speedy trial as a heinous war criminal and dangerous liar, and eventual impeachment before he can permanently escape prosecution by vanishing into the wilds of Texas, other sectors of society, put off by Obama’s imperial multi-million-dollar Coronation while the rest of the nation writhes in grave financial distress, are already waxing nostalgic for Bush43′s troubled reign, making GWB seem like a “warm, fuzzy” leader in the process while sympathetically oohing and cooing how he aged in office, how his two conflicted terms in the White House wreaked havoc on his formerly boyish looks.
As for sinister outgoing puppet-master, uh, Vice-President Cheney, if HE thinks appearing at the Inauguration in a wheelchair will engender sufficient sympathy to keep him safe from future prosecution, well, he’s got another think coming. It won’t prevent a thing! Folks want Cheney’s scalp, too– you’ll see. And Halliburton? Aren’t they the true clandestine power behind the throne? Won’t it be fascinating to see if Obama’s their puppet, too. Kissinger loves him. McCain loves him. Hellary loves him. Chhhh-chhhh-chhhh-changes!
Somehow, this desperate farrago reminds me of how another despised POTUS who peevishly declared, when complaining of what he believed to be a press grossly biased against him, “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more.”
But we do. And we will. Again and again. It never ends. Witness the current movie, “Frost/Nixon.” Really, once you’re in the public eye — even so much as an infinitesimal dust-mote — no amount of rubbing and rubbing and rubbing will remove it. The more you rub, the worse the irritation gets.
© Copyright 2009 ML Polak/All Rights Reserved. DO NOT reproduce or disseminate in ANY form via any medium under penalty of beheading. Yes, you can link to me. But that’s it. Contact author for syndication rates and tell your local newspaper editor they need to run this column before actual newspapers go extinct like the dodo, the auk, the bison, and real men.
ML Polak — it’s not a pen-name, it’s a real person! – is an award-winning Philadelphia-based journalist, screenwriter, essayist, novelist, editor, spoken-word artist, performance poet, workshop leader, lecturer, cat-and-dog companion, Reiki channel, and occasional radio personality. With architect Benjamin Nia, she completed a short documentary film about the threatened demolition of a historic neighborhood, “MY HOMETOWN: Preservation or Development?” on DVD. She is the author of several books including the collection of literary profiles, “The Writer as Celebrity: Intimate Interviews,” and her latest volume of poetry, “The Bologna Sandwich and Other Poems of LOVE and Indigestion.” Her books can be ordered by contacting her directly via email: Langwidge (at) aol dot com.