Send him on one of those "international goodwill tours" Ike always used to get rid of Nixon for a few weeks...

>> Saturday, April 11, 2009

Would somebody please tell Vice-President Joe Biden to stop giving Karl Rove publicity?

Look, I don't know if the Veep is telling the truth or not about all the times former President George W. Bush ignored him, mostly because I really just don't care. Offering additional evidence that Mr. Bush was an incompetent, stubborn, incurious tool is a bit like going into the woods to collect soil samples and bearshit because, you know, you really need to prove where bears do their business. (Next project: assembling a collection of photographs of the Catholic pontiff's headgear.)

And Rove? I mean, Rove is a douchebag. If I wanted to read about douchebags, I'd go stand in the hygiene aisle of my local grocery store and study the packages of feminine hygiene products until the funny looks everybody kept giving me became unbearable. "Shopping for your wife?" somebody would finally ask me, and I'd say, "No, I just really feel like reading about douchebags today." And then the other person would just stand there for several seconds and stare at me before walking to the front of the store to talk to the off-duty police officer the store pays to deter shoplifters.

See the funny thing in this is that I don't really believe Mr. Biden, but I don't believe Mr. Rove, either. Mr. Biden is prone to exaggeration. Mr. Rove is a dou--well, we've covered that, haven't we? I trust Rove as far as I could throw him. With one hand. While I was standing at the bottom of a deep, narrow pit. While he was soaking wet. On a planet with a higher gravity than Earth's. You get the picture.

Mr. Bush, meanwhile, lives in exile. In death as in life, he's surrounded by a magical bubble in which people like him and care what he thinks, where he's more-than-safe should an inquiry by Spanish prosecutors extend feelers up the ladder. Residing in what has to be dubbed a "minority neighborhood," one of the least-successful Presidents in American history awaits history's verdict with an eternally hopeful air. He is surrounded by agreeable yes-men and neighbors whose voting habits are as predictable as a Diebold voting machine's.

Outside in the world, President Obama remains popular at home and abroad. Americans are willing to give him a chance to succeed, and if the future is uncertain, it at least remains hopeful. Aside from a few crazy people on television, the general sense seems to be that the President has returned from the recent G20 conference looking Presidential: a leader, calm, cool and collected, responsible. At a recent trip to Iraq, a soldier was heard shouting, "We love you" to the President as he stood before them to speak, a breach in protocol (I assume) that I don't remember hearing before (perhaps it's happened and the fault is with my memory); in any case, a good sign. Will Mr. Obama get the ship-of-state righted? I don't know, I have no idea, and failure is a possibility. But I'm guardedly optimistic, how's that? He looks and sounds like the man who could do it, if anyone can, notwithstanding the conservative pundits who increasingly sound with every weird utterance they make like the Grinch at his penultimate moment, his withered claw cupped 'round his ear listening to the waking Whos in Whoville on Christmas morning.

So, would somebody tell Mr. Biden to just shut up? Get him to talk about NASA or something Veepish. Make him be Vice-Presidential--which historically means to go abroad and stand around looking slightly rumpled in photographs where you're surrounded by local dignitaries and possibly a gang of small, photogenic kids. Hey, it's not a fun job, but somebody has to do it, right? Protect the space-time continuum like you're supposed to, Mr. Biden (it's in the Constitution--read the Constitution), but just stop pontificating about the exile. Every time Biden does that, it pulls the little string in Rove's back, and I am just tired of hearing that little plastic man chatter.

Just stop. Please?

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