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.
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.