THE VAULT

A Man Apart
July 11, 2007 by Julius Serpentine

The President is no Pacifier, that's for sure.

We think something might be wrong with President Bush.

It may come as a surprise, as these kind of things often do, but we thought you would want to hear the news from someone you trust. Slantmouth is like the terrifyingly trustworthy tandem of your mother sitting atop the shoulders of our ever-truthful Government. Think Master Blaster. How could you not trust that, even with the violent urges?

We are not really sure when it all started, when the weirdness with Bush became obvious. A good place to start would be the most recent popularity polls.

The polls are the lowest they have ever been for Bush. Though, even before the declining numbers came out, there was a noticeable decrease in the sale of “George W. Bush Is My Personal Saviour” t-shirts. Perhaps an ominous look into the future of the President, a future where no one would really trust him. Well, that future is now, and probably yesterday. Also, the day before that.

It started with the polls, then the growing lack of faith spread to some of Bush’s more ardent supporters in Congress, many of whom do not have any brain damage whatsoever. After spending the better part of this presidency defending Bush, they have had trouble summoning the stamina necessary to continue. Even Barney, the President’s faithful dog, has taken to leaving a pungent nugget in his owner’s dress shoes every now and again. Maybe it was the warm, moist feeling President Bush felt when he put on his shoes that sent him careening off the edge.

Bush decided at that moment of odd discomfort that, despite what anyone says, he would do whatever he damn-well pleased. And really, why not? Would people stop liking him… more?

How could people not like me? I look so hot in this flight suit.

When an individual realizes they have nothing to lose, they can do anything. Suddenly, Bush became the Superman of questionable decision-making, impervious to nearly every attack, whether well-reasoned or otherwise. And let us not forget the heat vision.

In the last few weeks, Bush has gone full-throttle with doing whatever he damn-well pleases. He has used the mysterious and vaguely defined power of “executive privilege” to deny Congress access to two aides in the ongoing investigation of the firing of several U.S. attorneys, which was seemingly authorized by Attorney General Roberto Gonzales. Allegedly, the firings occurred to make room for attorneys more sympathetic to Bush’s political agenda. Frankly, with a decreasing minority supporting his political agenda, he could use all the sympathy he can get. Yes, sympathy, a hug, and, probably, a clean pair of shoes.

It does not stop at executive privilege, though. Bush has used another power, commutation of criminal punishments, to reduce the sentence of Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Libby was convicted of obstructing justice in the investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity. The root of the leak could go as deep as Vice President Dick Cheney, for whom Libby served as Chief of Staff. It is not likely that the Cheney’s weak heart could handle the horrors of incarceration. He is the Vice President of the Unites States of America. He gets HBO. He has seen Oz. Cheney may accidentally microwave a burrito too close to his pacemaker before he sees the inside of a prison cell.

What do you mean you won't massage my feet? We had a deal, Scooter! We had a deal!

Bush found Libby’s thirty-month sentence to be excessive for the crime, so he used his magic presidential powers and made the punishment go away. All of it. Libby had yet to serve a single day of jail time. The President decided that being on trial, where it is generally decided if a defendant should be punished, was punishment enough. Hopefully, this kind of policy can be applied across the board and help alleviate prison overcrowding one old, rich white man at a time.

Generally, Presidents have the courtesy to wait for the very end of their final term to release wanton criminals from prison or pardon them all together. It seems this only applies to Presidents who have some sort of legacy to protect. Thankfully for Scooter Libby, the President has little to lose at this point and very little in the way of a legacy, unless we include his legacy of being overwhelmingly disliked, which would put him in such fine company as Jar Jar Binks.

The White House has used Bill Clinton’s controversial pardon of financier Marc Rich to deflect criticism of the Libby pardon, leaving out that Marc Rich was not a member of the White House administration, nor was Rich in position to finger other members of the administration, including the Vice President, in connection with a punishable offense. It looks less-than-sparkling that Rich’s attorney during his pardon was, in fact, Scooter Libby. These are facts that are apparently not that important, best swept under the rug, like dust and wiretaps.

Before, when Bush and his administration did something that was borderline criminal, he had the common decency to do it secretly like every other president. After more than six years of being in charge it seems maybe the pressures of the job have gotten to him, or maybe the pressure of being disliked. Either one.

Is it hot under these lights or is it just me?

His lack of caring is disturbing because he still runs the country, and will foreseeably continue until January 2008. More time spent running the country with this self-destructive attitude might not only have a negative effect on the nation, but more importantly, on the mental health of, not the President, but the man, George W. Bush. These low poll ratings are not helping the matter and Slantmouth would never spend time piling on. We are only interested in solutions, an attitude which has made us excellent at crossword puzzles and Sudoku.

Slantmouth will be starting a new campaign to cheer up the President and let him know that we still like him. It doesn’t even need to actually be true, because the Slantmouth Department of Glee will be doing the honors. They get paid very low wages for these kinds of things and this is the perfect opportunity to wheel them out. They sing and everything, and have even brought smiles to the faces of men without lips. We would normally send the Slantmouth interns to assist, but we have heard that mixing interns and Presidents is like mixing fire and gunpowder; something is bound to blow. At the end of the day, we just want to help. Hold tight, Mr. President! The DoG is on the way, and they will definitely not crap in your shoes!

~Julius Serpentine