Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but tonight I'd like to take a step back and evaluate the former oilman who just 83 days ago took on the awesome responsibility of running our huge, complicated nation. And, if we have time, I'd also like to talk about President Bush.

Now, the rap on George W. Bush is that he's lazy, takes naps in the middle of the day, and would rather be watching television than focusing on what average Americans want for their lives. Hey, that is exactly what average Americans want for their lives.

President Bush took office promising to change the tone of the White House. Where Clinton looked presidential and acted like a kid, Bush looks like a kid and so far -- acts presidential. And while he has turned off the wocka-wocka 70's porno guitar of the Clinton years, so far he has yet to replace it with much more than the fuzzy hissing of a patriotic late-night sign-off on a local television station.

You can't talk about George W. without addressing the strange Bilbo-Baginnian language that spurts out from between his lips like melted marshmallows coming out of a squirt gun.

As a matter of fact, when the words in Bush's throat see their colleagues heading up to his lips, they react with all the giddy panic of teenagers watching a horror movie: "Don't go out there, man! He'll butcher you!"

Bush may not be smart, but at least he's smart enough to know he's not smart. The wisest thing he did in the China spy plane standoff was let someone else handle it. By contrast, a hands-on, eager-to-look-tough, micro-manager like Al Gore would have reacted with all the composure of a drag queen getting his wig yanked off.

Bush had the foresight to surround himself with smart people the way a hole surrounds itself with a doughnut. W.'s team of handlers has him so well trained, they're thinking of entering him in the Westminster Kennel Club show as a short-attention-spaniel.

Bush ran on a pledge to improve education, and I believe he's going to pull it off. By the year 2012, the average high school senior should be able to name the capitals of all 45 states that haven't yet been flooded by the melted polar ice caps.

Now, arguably the only thing this president has in common with our last president is the completely unabashed, unapologetic affinity for drilling the shit out of everything on the planet.

It's not that I don't agree with the bottom line on many of Dubyas stands, because I often do. Do I care about the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge? Sure, I guess so. But the mere mention of drilling for oil in it doesn't cause me to foam at the mouth like a rabid fruit bat blowing Mr. Bubble. Give me a fucking break. Every other vehicle in this country is a Lincoln Navigator with an "Earth First" bumper sticker on it. You simply cannot blame George W. Bush for not being able to let you have it both ways. Besides, do you know how many caribou it takes to pull the average four-door sedan at a steady 65 miles per hour? Believe me, the 405 would be fucked.

Hey, let's face it. He got into college by the skin of his teeth and into the Air National Guard the same way. He won the presidential election by a margin narrower than John Ashcroft's mind. Really, Bush's greatest achievement in his life up to this point has been to lower our expectations of him so that practically anything he accomplishes in the Oval Office is bound to impress us. So much so that, if he can just finish out his term without stickin' a Roman candle up his ass on a dare from brother Jeb, he's probably gonna end up on Mount Rushmore.

Truth be told, I like the fact that President Bush is not slick, that he mangles the English language. I prefer a guy in there who knows what he wants to say but can't quite say it, instead of someone who is very eloquent about promises he has no intention of keeping. So far, Bush has kept his pledge to the American people. He's surrounded himself with the best minds in Washington, restored civility to the Oval Office, and made it clear that this is an administration that believes in big business and a strong military, while working like a motherfucker on that 1.6-trillion-dollar tax cut he guaranteed us last year. Now you may not like these promises he's keeping, but maybe, in the end, what this country needs, above all else, is someone who just keeps his word, even if that word is "Ca-rum-u-bob-ulate-tion-ism."

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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