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Jewish World Review August 12, 2004 / 25 Menachem-Av, 5764

James Lileks

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Another Swing Vote: the Sufferers of Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome | Do you suffer from Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome?

It's easy to diagnose. It often strikes at a bookstore. You walk in looking for a breezy summer read, and piled near the door are stacks and stacks of angry tomes about the perfidy of Usurper Bush.

He's a tool of big oil, small minds. He's a scarily devout Jesus-freak Christian AND the dupe of Saudi Wahhabist puppetmasters. He led the country to war on bizarre and fabricated assumptions — sure, Clinton made Iraqi regime change standard American policy, but that was just a scarecrow to stick in the field. Plus, George W. Bush is Satan! Just look at the cover of Jim Hightower's book, where the author draws devil horns and scribbles a mustache and goatee on a Bush poster. Bush isn't just wrong. He's bad. Super-extra evil. Get it? GET IT? Oh, and buy this book.

You decline the opportunity. You wander over to periodicals and flip open the current Esquire. There's a story on stem cell research. The author's subtitle: "How the president is trying to kill my daughter."

Yes, of course, you think. (How weary your inner voice sounds.) That's precisely what he is trying to do. That is the president's specific objective in life: Kill sick people. It makes him happy. Every night he puts his cloven hooves up on the desk and thinks of the people he's offed today. Ahh. Life is good.

You put the magazine away. The bookstore almost feels like enemy territory, or perhaps the embassy of some neutral but vaguely brackish nation. Do you belong? You don't hate Bush. You may not love him, but your marrow doesn't bubble at the thought of his name.

Do you feel somewhat estranged when you enter a bookstore? Sudden Bush Hatred Fatigue Syndrome.

Of course, not everyone hates Bush.

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One can understand why Southerners like him, since they're all two-toothed crackers with gun racks and Klan sheets neatly folded in the trunk in case they drive by a good ol' fashioned flaming cross. Right?

It's harder to understand why putatively normal people like him. These creatures are frankly incomprehensible to any right-thinking person. Maybe they're just so full of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh they don't understand that their drinking water is now composed ENTIRELY of arsenic, or that we have completely squandered the goodwill of several hundred chain-smoking French intellectuals.

But ponder for a moment those who neither love Bush nor loathe him. Consider how that stack of anti-Bush books looks to them, how tired they feel when Will Smith pops up in the German press insisting that Bush lied. How weary they feel when Bruce Springsteen — the Boss! — joins a musical caravan to cross the nation and warn against the looming horror of another Bush term. "Gee, Bruce can both sing and strum a guitar. He must know something I don't."

It's hard to tell how SBHFS will affect the vote. This group could go either way.

They could so weary of the incessant hysteria that they'll be willing to reward the frothers, if only to shut them up. If I vote for John Kerry, will you be happy? Will that do it?

The answer would be Yes! That'll do it!

Well, that, and nationalized health care, tax hikes on small businesses, the Kyoto treaty, fealty to the United Nations, shipping nuclear fuel to the Iranians to make them act nice, leaving Iraq ASAP and ushering in what Kerry calls a more "sensitive" war on terrorism. (We will use marshmallow bullets, perhaps.) All that plus vast federally funded embryo farms, and they'll be happy. For a while. Then we'll have to do something about that "In G-d We Trust" nonsense on the coins.

On the other hand, SBHFS sufferers might hope that a vote for Bush would cap the geyser for good. His foes have said all they can say; could they possibly hate him any more?

Of course they could. If Bush takes out Iranian nuclear bomb facilities before the election, it'll be good for another 50 books. Now do you see how evil he is? First Iraq, then Iran — good L-rd, is no one safe?

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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


08/05/04: Is Kerry's Problem nuance? Or is it obfuscation?
07/30/04: Intimate liability
07/26/04: Sandy Berger's classified wardrobe
07/15/04: Pretty faces, ugly words
07/08/04: Genocide can't happen if we banish the word
07/01/04: Dropping political discourse level
06/24/04: Kerry's Science Buddies and the Silly Sanctity of Life
06/17/04: Behold the Summer of Bill Clinton!
06/10/04: Whatever happened to respect for the presidency?
06/03/04: Tales at the intersection of war and popular culture
05/20/04: Athletes on Notice: Strive Unflaggingly
05/13/04: America likes Rumsfeld, and the Dems can't take it
05/07/04: Kerry Supporters Have a New Take on Vietnam War
05/05/04: New cell phone does everything, but there's a problem...
04/29/04: John Kerry, prisoner of symbolic politics
04/22/04: Shall we grovel? Kerry Plan to Restore America's Place in the World
04/08/04: Sept. 11 Might Have Been Different If ...
04/02/04: Slinging slime or citing facts?
03/26/04: One War, One Enemy
03/22/04: Bloodied Spain Rejoins Old Europe
03/12/04: Why All Those Foreign Leaders Want Kerry to Whup Bush
03/08/04: Introducing the Kerry Doctrine
02/27/04: Introducing the AWOLs: Angry White Outraged Libs
02/20/04: Sifting the headlines of election year 1992
02/18/04: Guess Which Candidate Our Enemies Want to Lose in 2004?
01/29/04: Every Laptop a Truth Squad
01/27/04: When the battle over artistic freedom goes over the edge
12/31/03: For the Left and Right, Some New Year's Resolutions
12/22/03: Dean's black helicopters
12/15/03: Dems Are Mainstreaming the Extreme
12/08/03: Does Dean Really Want to Be President? One Wonders, When He Opens His Mouth
11/24/03: The real story: Most Brits see U.S. as force for good
11/19/03: The Trouble With Al Gore's Screed on Civil Liberties
11/11/03: Can a fellow win with the Confederate Metrosexual vote?
10/22/03: Let's make Greenpeace pay
09/29/03: Ah-nold & Clark may be on different sides of the aisles, but their supporters are cut from the same cloth
09/19/03: All Hail the Ninth Circuit Court of Surreal
08/26/03: This time, the record industry doesn't stand a chance!
08/18/03: Assessing the Schwarzenegger Factor in Republicanism
08/08/03: No wonder Howard ‘Two Covers’ Dean gets all the buzz
08/04/03: Expect bad news for the foreseeable future
07/28/03: Despot's Deserts
07/21/03: No winners in this game of gotcha
07/14/03: Doing the right thing in Liberia may not be the right thing to do
06/27/03: On feet in Democratic mouths
06/16/03: The real story behind Hillary's book
06/09/03:America's new mission was and remains: Extirpating the flaming nutballs and the societies that nurture them
06/03/03: The Constitution as gag order
05/23/03: Sometimes the theme of world events is chaos itself
05/16/03: Newspapers are only human, after all
05/13/03: What McCarthy messed up
05/06/03: Still think the International Criminal Court was a good idea?
04/03/03: The world is ending, the world is ending! Doesn't anybody care!? Why won't anybody listen!?
03/14/03: Kerry and the Dems are banking on American electorate's tendancy to forget history
02/28/03: Roadmap to peace?
02/13/03: We live in an age where the poet has been cast out from the halls of power --- sob, sob
02/10/03: Found: League for International Justice and Peace talking points
01/30/03: The US can go to war whenever it likes for its own reasons, and all the UN can do is pass more worthless paper
01/23/03: People who'd volunteer for the Iraqi army if they saw Saddam wearing a "Free Mumia" button
01/16/03: One of those head vs. heart things
12/27/02: Whistleblowers?
01/06/02: The second year of this jangled millennium
11/16/01: Attack of the 'Patriotism police' and other Hollywood fare
11/12/01: From the bleats of dismay
10/30/01: Osama and the Genie
10/08/01: "We can stop the Bush Death Juggernaut"
11/04/01: America, loathe or it leave it
09/25/01: Do the Europeans actually think that the war on murderous zealotry will be furthered by undercutting America?
08/27/01: If the economy is in a funk, why aren't we dancing?
08/14/01: Dubyah's embarrassing presidential vacation
08/10/01: Hail to our co-chiefs?
08/03/01: Constitution: George the Uniter picked a doozy to unify detractors
07/25/01: The real reason why we need missile defense (What those uppity policy wonks won't tell you!)
06/18/01: Paining the egalitarian soul
06/01/01: One of the stranger indexes you'll ever hear about
05/21/01: One man's toke is another man's snort
05/08/01: Republicans want poisoned water
04/23/01: We bleat as we're sheared
04/10/01: Boys will be boys. And that's the problem
04/06/01: Pity the anti-American Left, they're gonna have a hard time on this one
03/26/01: You've been warned
03/16/01: The GOP's inexplicable desire to fold
02/23/01: Will the Jeb Bush administration attack Saddam in 2011?
02/09/01: In search of the the first ashtray thrown by a member of the First Family
02/06/01: Can you say 'Ayatollah Bush'?
01/24/01: The new Executive Orders
01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2003, James Lileks