The Sydney Morning Herald of Australia reports President Bush told Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, "We're kicking ass in Iraq." I've been out of high school for quite some time now but I'm rather sure "kicking ass" still means the same thing. (To kick one's ass...that's like beating someone up, right?) Let me use it in a sentence that's actually true: One time in high school, I kicked my older brother's ass. You can ask him.
Granted, President Bush was talking to an Aussie. Australians get me all riled up too. Whenever I'm with my Aussie friend, I end up too drunk, too full of gasconade. Bravado seeps through our pores. There's just something about those damn Aussies. But come on, "We're kicking ass in Iraq?" Really? El Presidente actually said that?
Maybe Bush thinks they can't read newspapers in Australia because all the words are upside-down? Maybe he figures he can say whatever he wants because most folks speak Australian anyway? Perhaps Bush was just punchy from all those hours flying to Australia? Plus, he did stop in Iraq where he saw firsthand how perfectly ass kicking things were going. How could he not get a little boisterous with the Aussie PM?
There is, of course, that little issue of the scoreboard.
Last time I checked, it shows that the visiting team has been getting itself blown up for a lot of the war. There are roughly 4,000 dead American soldiers and 30,000 life shatteringly wounded, maimed troops who'll spend the rest of their lives sans fingers, hands, feet, arms, and legs. And, that's just the physical score. There's no tallying how much respect the rest of the world, even our allies, has lost for us during this administration. Mission Accomplished?
Bush doesn't recognize the world as it sees him, where nation by nation, everyone cringes at what comes out of his mouth. He flies into Australia, adorned in rose-colored horse blinders and has the gall to describe what's going on over there as "kicking ass?" When a football game stinks you can leave. Bad TV show? Change the channel. Bad book? Buy mine instead. But, what do you do with a lousy President? Oh yeah, you re-elect him.
Our nation's getting what we deserve. The rest of the world? Oops. Our bad. And, lucky us, we all get another 500 days of fun. Enjoy it. Chew it slowly. Savor the flavor of this administration. We ordered it. We've got to eat it. Don't like the tough guy steak? Well, too bad. You could have had the New England Chowder, but you didn't order it. And, for everyone reading this who's saying, "not ME! I didn't re-elect him." Yes, you did. We all did. "We the people" somehow let it happen. The result? We'll be force-fed this administration for the better part of a decade. And, after the worst meal in the history of cooking, we've got the chef saying, "voila" and looking around for folks to slap him five. He doesn't even get that he doesn't even get it. Know thy self? Good luck.
Our troops have been hogtied with astonishingly poor thinking and leadership in Washington...Bush's Washington. Yet, somehow, our play caller, err "decider" has the onions to fly down under, point at the scoreboard and say we're kicking ass? Wow! It's like some showboat rookie scoring a meaningless touchdown in a game that's long since been decided but still spiking the football and doing the moon walk even though his team's down by 30 with a minute left to play.
"We're kicking ass in Iraq."
Just look at those words, sitting there on the screen. The letters themselves seem uncomfortable being lined up to form such a ridiculous quote.
Shame on him for saying it. Shame on us for giving him the microphone.