Have you noticed how everybody hates Bush these days? Well, everybody except Uncle Dick, Godfather Rummy and Tony Snow. Oh, and let’s not forget Rockey Vaccarella. And the arms dealers. But enthusiastic Bush supporters who aren’t directly on the Bush-Cheney payroll are dwindling down to a sliver of a minority. These are the reality-challenged few that still expect rose petals and open arms to embrace us in Iraq, maybe, if we “stay the course,” by the 22nd century. Basically, these few frightened, lock-step individuals, corporate representatives, Legionnaires and paid performers are the ones we see the President chatting up on TV.
Meanwhile, more and more people from all points on the political spectrum are coming out of their closets, bombed out homes and garden parties with their Bush Hate. According to most polls, a widening majority of Americans disapprove of the job the President is doing (and only a wavering third approve). His record-low numbers are even worse when it comes to specifically how he’s handling Iraq. Hey, even my most right-wing Republican sex therapy clients, the ones with mahogany framed photos of themselves posed with the Gipper on their mantles, say they hate G.W. Bush. Hate him!
Of course, lefties, liberals, peaceable libertines and ethical hedonists, those of us wearing the “I Hated Bush Before It Was Cool” t-shirts, have deplored the Shrub since he was born again as a political favorite son after failing dismally as a businessman. We stewed as he stole and smirked his way into the White House, with the judicious assistance of Uncle Nino (Scalia). When his “response” to 9/11 was to cluster-bomb Afghanistan, murdering over 3500 civilians (according to a study to be released December 10 by University of New Hampshire Economics Professor Marc W. Herold) while letting Osama and Mullah Omar slip free, we seethed, but were far outnumbered in America by the battle-cheering hordes..
Then the First Cheerleader and his Goon Squad committed a series of appalling rapes – some virtual, others physical – of various individuals and entities. First, the Patriot Act, sneaking up on our private lives and civil rights, like a rapist who sticks it to you from behind in the locker-room when you’re bending over to put on your pants. Next, the torture-rapes of the Guantánamo “detainees.” Then came the Rape of Iraq; both the rape of the country (falsely blaming it for 9/11 the way a rapist facetiously blames his victim for seducing him), and the rapes of the people (most notoriously., the rape/murder of a Mahmoudiya girl and the slaughter of her family), plus Abu Ghraib’s POW Porn and more murder (Iraqi casualty rates are now soaring), even as the rape of the land goes on, leaving seeds of cancer in Iraqi cities and villages from America’s spent radioactive ordnance. Meanwhile Bush was perpetrating a different kind of rape on American people: the nonconsensual voyeurism of his pet domestic spying program. Then there’s the Rape of our Mother the Earth, with environmental policies that virtually tell Global Warming to “bring it on,” from rollbacks of ecological protections to the tragic bungling of Katrina. Then there’s the tragic bungling of our future, with Bush vetoing stem cell research, advocating teaching “intelligent design” alongside evolution in public schools, baiting homophobia, force-feeding faith-based abstinence-only gibberish to young people who need real sex education, and the list goes on. George II and his cronies have gone on so long and so badly in so many different directions that for many of us, Bush Atrocity Fatigue has set in. There are just too many rapes, massacres, disasters, blunders and lies to keep count, let alone protest properly.
But old-style conservatives are also building up a big gob of Bush Hate that they might just have to discharge into the nearest spittoon. After all, Dubya’s turned the government into the most bloated mess it’s ever been, tossing no-bid contracts to his buddies, spending hundreds of billions on loser wars that do nothing for Americans but make their gas prices soar, leaving us with the biggest debt in American history and a looming housing crash. It makes even some diehard Republicans wonder if this President actually works for America. Despite all the obsessive flag-waving, Bush’s actions tell us his real bosses are international corporations and weapons manufacturers, not the American people. Of course, every President pimps for business, to some extent. But Bush overspends the U.S. budget like a trophy wife with a high-maintenance lover, economically cuckolding the American people.
Either that or he’s an idiot. Year after signs appeared at Bush protests saying “A Village In Texas Has Lost Its Idiot,” former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough turned his conservative MSNBC talk show into a referendum on whether “Bush is an Idiot.” While other presidents have been called stupid, Scarborough said: “I think George Bush is in a league by himself. I don’t think he has the intellectual depth of these other people…George Bush’s lack of gravitas is hurting America at home and embarrassing us at home. I hear that from congressmen, I hear it from senators, I hear it from staff members.” National Review editor Rich Lowry, American Spectator executive editor Quin Hillyer, Washington Post columnist William M. Arkin, pundit George Will and conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. are all renouncing Bush in some way.
Even some of the warmongers now see that Bush the Bully managed to muck up both Afghanistan (losing Osama for starters, and losing the country back to the Taliban lately) and Iraq, now with far more “terror,” murder, mayhem and downright hatred of America than under Saddam. Unwavering past supporters of Bush’s Iraqi Adventure are now talking the taboo talk of cutting and running, i.e., coming up with an “honorable exit plan,” including Congressmen Chris Shays, R-Conn., Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn, and Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. Most Republican reelection campaigns just try not to talk about Iraq or Bush. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.
Of course, Bush Hate is even more pronounced globally. Dubya couldn’t travel in South America without being confronted by shovels and protests. As for Muslims around the world, with the exception of the Kuwaiti royals and certain members of the bin Laden family, most have long despised Bush and his casual cowboy slurs, calling them any name to excite his base, from “terrorists” to “freedom-haters” to “Islamo-Fascists” to “successors to…Nazis.” On the other hand, Osama must love Bush for fanning the flames of international Muslim hate, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really ought to blow his Brother-in-Unfounded-Fundamentalism a big kiss for turning Iraq upside down with the Shiites on top, something Iran could never do on its own. Then there’s Euro Bush Hate: The genteel ones treat him like the proverbial bull in the china shop of the world. The rest want to try him for war crimes. British TV is about to air “Death of a President,” a documentary-style fantasy about Bush’s assassination. Is this wishful thinking?
Even some Israelis are emerging from their bomb shelters and blaming Bush, as well as their own leaders, for cheering them back into the sinkholes of Lebanon. Friends don’t let friends bomb drunk, and the American President should have stepped in as soon as Israel, intoxicated with its own arrogance and glut of fancy American munitions, started bombing Beirut. Instead, The Decider decided to let Israel *bomb drunk* for 38 ghastly days, accomplishing nothing but the murder of hundreds of innocents throughout Lebanon and dozens in Northern Israel, the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure, the transformation of Hassan Nasrallah into a hero even sexier than Osama, the humiliation of the Israeli Defense Force before the world, the strengthening of Hezbollah to the delight of Syria and Iran, and the addition of a few million more citizens of the world to the burgeoning “We Hate Bush” crowd.
Of course, the Neoconservatives owe their cachet to Bush. They can’t hate him; he’s their Daddy. But once he’s out of office and not in a position to help them actualize their grandiose nightmare fantasies, they’ll be dissing Dubya too, saying the problem was that he didn’t go far enough.
Why does Bush inspire so much hate? One reason is that hate is a cornerstone of his administration, the other three keys being fear, force and bald-face lies. Yes, jocular presidential fart jokes and neck rubs aside, it’s all about the hate with George. A frat boy hate of the other team. No room for compromise. No room for the Bonobo Way of peace through pleasure and negotiation. You’re “either with him or against him,” and his bullying mismanagement of America’s affairs has, at this point, turned a majority of folks against him.
In a way, all this Bush Hate is cause for rejoicing. Not only have we ethical hedonists and lefties been proven right about the Iraq Attack being wrong, but we can feel part of our country again. Bush Haters are in the clear majority! There’s something comforting, even communal about that. Like we’re all in this peculiar Bushite Hell together, which might mean we’ll all help each other get out of it.
But it’s also horrifying. It shows just how low we have sunk. That’s how badly the wars have gone, that’s how much credibility America’s lost, that’s how much freedom we’ve given up, that’s how polluted our planet is getting, that’s how ominous projections for the economy are looking, that’s how much of a mess our President is leaving his “successor”: us. And that’s what we’re going to have to do to dig ourselves out of if America is to have a future in the world, if we’re ever going to turn hate into love.
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex educator, cable TV host and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure. Visit her BRAND NEW BLOGGAMY & POST COMMENTS at http://www.drsusanblock.com/blog/blog.asp Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.