The Self Made Pundit

I'm just the guy that can't stand cant. ___________

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BUSH: The evidence is unmistakable. I know it may sound incredible, but President Bush is shrinking.

Scientists at The Gallup Organization have been measuring Bush since the start of his presidency and have now concluded that Bush has been rapidly shrinking for the past few months. As CNN reports:

President Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency and is running about even with five Democratic challengers led by newly announced candidate Wesley Clark, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

Fifty percent of 1,003 people questioned for the poll approved of Bush's job performance -- down from 59 percent in August and 71 percent in April -- the president's lowest rating since he came to office in January 2001.


Of the 877 registered voters included in the poll, 49 percent said they would vote for Clark, compared with 46 percent for Bush. Each of the four other major Democratic candidates came within three points of Clark's showing in a hypothetical head-to-head race with the president, the poll found.

Media reports are expressing surprise at how this popular wartime president could now be shrinking at this alarming rate. I have a theory which may sound slightly improbable at first, but hear me out.

Bush is shrinking because he went through a radioactive cloud.

While many of you may be too young to recall this, in the 1950s, millions of Americans were educated about the dangers of passing through radioactive clouds by that fine science docudrama, “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” As that movie scientifically explained, if you pass through a radioactive cloud after being sprayed with pesticides you begin shrinking. While the shrinkage may be imperceptible at first, eventually you’re fighting the family cat for survival, and finally dueling with a spider over a moldy piece of bread.

Was Bush exposed to a radioactive cloud? It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

What happened to all those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that Bush cited as our main rationale for going to war? The reconstituted nuclear weapons, uranium from Africa and biological and chemical weapons didn’t just vanish. I’m sure the Bush administration could not have been so deceitful as to exaggerate their existence or so incompetent as to let them slip through our fingers after we invaded.

The only logical explanation is that all of those deadly agents were combined into a radioactive cloud designed to duplicate the effects of that sinister cloud in The Incredible Shrinking Man.

It then would have been child’s play for those Al Qaeda agents closely linked to Iraq to release that radioactive cloud off the coast of San Diego on May 1, 2003. That is the very day that Bush flew through clouds in a jet in order to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. How do we know one of those clouds was not the radioactive cloud generated from those missing weapons of mass destruction? To quote Dick Cheney’s astute observation about whether Iraq was responsible for 9/11 – “We just don’t know.”

In fact, since Bush started shrinking soon after engaging in the flight suit stunt, I think the evidence is quite strong for the radioactive cloud theory.

Now, even if this radioactive cloud theory is correct, that can’t be whole story. Obviously, a radioactive cloud by itself is not going to shrink anyone. As “The Incredible Shrinking Man” explained, it is only when a radioactive cloud is combined with other toxic elements that shrinkage occurs.

I suspect that it is the combination of that radioactive cloud and the toxic effects of Bush’s disastrous policies that are causing him to shrink. Bush’s handlers are apparently coming to this very conclusion as they worry about his shriveling presidency.

In a clear sign of panic, Bush’s aides are now saying they are not panicked by Bush’s diminished stature. As The New York Times reports today:

People close to the president say that as the 2004 campaign approaches, the mood at the White House is not one of panic, but that Mr. Bush is worried and his top officials are on edge, particularly about the nearly three million jobs lost since Mr. Bush became president and about the so-far jobless recovery.

At the same time, Bush advisers acknowledge a high level of anxiety among House Republicans over what they perceive as the White House's inability to communicate its policies on Iraq effectively.

If any of you still doubt that Bush is becoming physically shorter each day, just do a search on the internet for photos of Bush from the past few months.

I did, and the results are shocking. First look at this photo of a normal-sized Bush in his flight suit on the deck of the USS Lincoln on May 1, 2003, the day that he began slowly shrinking. Next, look at this more recent photo of Bush playing dress up in the same flight suit – now he is no bigger than a doll!

While Bush’s handlers are undoubtedly finding it easier to physically handle the president now that he is doll size, his diminished stature is complicating their job in convincing the American people that he is in control of an office that already dwarfed him when he was of normal height.

Fortunately for Bush, his administration has mastered the confidence-building tactic of just faking it. According to the Times, in Bush’s speech to the United Nations today he is is claiming that America is in control of the situation in Iraq for the purpose of bolstering his domestic political standing, not because Bush actually believes it:

“There's a feeling that you have to assert that the United States is still in control, if nothing else for domestic concerns,” said a senior administration official, who, like most of those interviewed, requested anonymity.

Well, I don’t know about any of you, but that certainly eases my concerns. I was concerned that Bush’s diminished stature would affect his ability to govern, but it appears that becoming the size of a ferret has not diminished Bush’s main tool of governance – deception.

Even if the Bush administration has lost none of its talent at deception, I doubt that Bush's presidency can be saved. Despite his diminishing size, Bush appears as pig-headed as ever in his refusal to reconsider his failed policies. He is determined to forge ahead with his tax cuts for his wealthy supporters even if it means bankrupting our children’s future. He is going to continue with this disastrous economic approach which has failed to prevent the loss three million American jobs. And, as he demonstrated at the United Nations today, he is not going to make any serious attempt to internationalize the effort to stabilize Iraq since that would mean giving up control and admitting error.

With policies like these, the most likely diagnosis for Bush is continued shrinkage.

Although I have on occasion differed with Bush on a couple of matters of policy (just domestic policy and foreign policy), as an American I am concerned about our diminutive president.

While we may not be able to salvage the Bush presidency, it is not too late to save Bush the man, or, at least, Bush the homunculous.

I propose that Bush be given a secure house – one appropriate for his doll-like size – in one of Dick Cheney’s secure locations. Bush could also call on the services of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is already busy shielding Bush from criticisms of his inept policies in Iraq. Given DeLay’s previous career as an exterminator, he could also protect the ever-shrinking president from hungry mice and other household pests that could eventually threaten our minuscule president.

Unfortunately, it will become increasingly difficult for Bush’s handlers to protect him from all harm as he shrinks to insignificance.

By this time next year, Bush’s bone-headed economic and foreign policies may have resulted in his shrinking to the size of a soy nut. If the diminutive Bush wanders out of his dollhouse at that time, he may well be forced to fight a duel to the death with a spider.

Even worse for the lilliputian Bush, he might very well find himself in a debate with Wesley Clark, who has the potential to squash him like a bug.