The Madman of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

In the days, weeks and months following September 11, 2001, George W. Bush both surprised and impressed me with his handling of a national crisis.

Like many who watched Bush squeak into office via the Supreme Court’s intervention, I didn’t expect much of Dubya. Yet he appeared to grow into the job and handled 9-11 with an adroit mixture of compassion and anger. Maybe, I thought, this guy might be up to the job after all.

That was then. This is now. Now I’m not so sure.

As Bush prepares to lead us into war with Iraq, a war that even some of the uniformed hawks at the Pentagon still question, I wonder if Clem Kadiddlehopper has somehow gained access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Just a little over two years ago, Bush stood on the steps of the Capitol and took the oath of office, promising to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Now he seems hellbent on destroying the Constitution and, along with it, the Bill of Rights and just about every freedom and right that Americans starting fighting for after tossing several crates of tea into the Boston Harbor.

Back then, the 13 colonies faced the daunting task of getting out from under the tyranny of a man named George.

Now, 227 years later, we’ve got another madman named George saying it doesn’t matter what the majority of Americans want because, by God, he’s in charge and he will do whatever he damn well pleases.

Last week, Bush said he didn’t care if a majority of Americans thought he should wait and let the United Nations finish its work before invading Iraq. ‘Sometimes you have to ignore popular opinion and do what’s right,’ Bush said in a speech to a group of cheering veterans. ‘The President must govern, not be governed.’

Say what? Excuse me, King George, but this country was founded on the belief of ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Taking that Oath of Office didn’t suddenly endow you with great intellect or the ability to ignore the voice of the people you are supposed to represent.

As I recall, your grade point average in school wasn’t that hot anyway. A lot of people who know better have been telling you to cool your heels on this Iraq thing, to slow down and let all the cards fall into place before sending young men and women into harm’s way. Hell, even your father has stayed quiet on the issue but those who know him say he’s not all that happy with your cowboy attitude. I’d listen to daddy, George. He used to run the CIA and he has something you don’t – an election to President where he actually won both the popular and electoral vote.

And that Oath of Office also promised to uphold the Constitution. You know, the one you have left in the hands of John Ashcroft, the attorney general who never saw a wiretap he didn’t like, and Tom Ridge, the man whose Department of Homeland Security wants to lock ’em all up and let God sort it out?

And while you’re so preoccupied with getting Saddam Hussein and turning America into a police state, what are you doing about North Korea and its nuclear weapons program? Talking? Just talking? They are close to having the capability to deliver nukes to the West Coast and all you want to do there is talk? Why do you have such a pair of big brass balls when it comes to Iraq, which hasn’t developed nukes (but probably will one day) but turn into a wimp when it comes to be much more pressing threat from North Korea?

Doesn’t make sense, but then a lot of things that are happening at your end of the National Mall don’t make sense. Saddam Hussein may not be the only madman who threatens a place called America.