Mixed Messages

George W. Bush’s Snake Oil & Medicine Show rolled into my hometown of Memphis, TN on Friday, where the affable, self-styled champion of the Wondrous and Amazing Effects of Freedom and Democracy did his best to scare the bejeezus out of a hand-picked crowd of True Believers.

Having shown the world you can, too, spread Freedom from the barrel of a gun, Mr. Bush is now steeped in the mystical infallibility granted the nation’s very Founding Fathers.

Afghanistan and Iraq are shining examples of Democracy’s promise in the Middle East.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon quiver, but seem willing to accept Freedom’s inevitable flowering in desert sands.

Osama bin Laden is the answer to a trivia question. It’s over.

We won again.

Death and carnage, and the brutal uncertainties of Life, of course, will not soon diminish for the Iraqi people, nor for the American military personnel who tend the garden of Freedom’s noble struggle. But we’re now in what’s called, in the world of sport, Garbage Time.

Never one with a nose for battle himself, Mr. Bush is happy turning prosecution of the War on Terror over to professionals like Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez, and the nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who will ensure the entire business runs inexorably in the background, while the President chases 2nd term dreams of reweaving America’s social and economic fabric.

To that end, Mr. Bush is these days steadily barnstorming the land, pointing out the people’s deadly association with laws and policies crafted for a different America.

And touting, too, his Patented Remedies, chief of which, currently, cures the nation’s “unfunded liabilities” in the administration of Social Security by handing 25% of the program to private financial professionals and Wall Street.

Believe what you will, my fellow rube, but I can say this: The S&P 500, possibly the broadest measure of the value of American enterprise and industry available, stands today exactly where it stood in March of 2001. Unfortunately, the dollars in which that measure is expressed have lost 27.5% of their value since then, so the ascent to pre-9/11 levels of value is …pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

This week the nation’s Trade Deficit reached a new all-time high.

The White House last month submitted a Budget leaving all expenses for the Spread of Democracy -currently running at some $160 Billion annually- off the books.

The man driving the coach has presided over the bankruptcy of every company he’s run; his best friend presided over the second largest bankruptcy in American history.

Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.

Happy Days are here again.

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