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Robert J. Elisberg Headshot

How Republicans Should Use George Bush as An Asset

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Honestly, I don't know if George Bush was a cocaine addict. I don't know if he was a drunk. I don't know if George Bush got into a car crash and had the record expunged. I don't know if he went AWOL in the National Guard.

I do know that there is nothing in his record as President of the United States that suggests otherwise. And that's the problem Republicans face.

After all, just look at the wake of wreckage he's left behind him. That's why what the Republican Party should do is embrace George Bush's past, rather than try to hide from it. At least then you'd have an excuse for his actions.

"Oh, sure, everything is a total mess in the Justice Department, but the President was apparently a cocaine addict, so what do you expect? Of course the running of the Iraq War is pathetically incompetent, but remember, George Bush likely went AWOL in the National Guard, he doesn't understand anything military. Yes, yes, the way New Orleans was handled during Hurricane Katrina was a tragic debacle, but George Bush supposedly got into car wrecks, why shouldn't he drive an entire city into a tree? And I know, the President can't speak coherently, confuses dates of our Bicentennial with 200 years earlier, and talks about chicken plucking farms, but he was probably a drunk, and that's what happens."

Now, if Republicans did that, they'd have some cover. They could defend George Bush. Finally explain the inexplicable. While incompetence is not an excuse for a President, nobody likes to ridicule someone with medical and/or emotional problems. (The public's response to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton aside.) Indeed, people everywhere melt at the chance to embrace those who are recovering from troubles. Imagine how many Embrace Points you could get for being a Recovering Everything.

You must understand, Americans love to support Their President. The fact that George Bush still has a 28 percent approval after driving the United States bus off the cliff is testament to that. Americans wave the flag at any opportunity, clip flag pins on their pajamas, wear their patriotism on their foreheads. Look at the 90 percent approval that George Bush got after 9/11 simply for holding a megaphone. Just because he was President. Does anyone doubt that if Carmen Electra was President on 9/11, even she would have gotten a 90 percent approval rating?

Americans want to support The Office of the President. All Americans. Even the opposing party. They blast the policies and programs, but they'll do everything they can to honor the office. George Bush has challenged that deep-rooted doctrine and eroded respect for the Presidency, which may be he greatest crime.

But if Republicans had something to grab hold of, they could get some of that loss back. If Republicans could clasp to their breasts the reasons to explain George Bush's disasters, they would be able to lift their heads proudly and say,

"Sure, George Bush is incompetent -- but he's Our Incompetent. All of ours, every American. And as Americans, we all support the Office of even an Incompetent President, because the Office is greater than any mere incompetence. The Office raises whoever is in it beyond his incompetence, beyond his drunkenness, beyond his drug addiction because it is The Office. The Office of President of the United States. And sitting there, he is the President of All the People - not just the smart and decent and sensible, fair-minded and honorable, but the stupid, alcoholic, mean-spirited, lost, drug addicted, military-dodging, shallow, driving-impaired felons. We support George Bush, not despite his terrible problems, but because of them. We embrace a man who has such incomprehensible deficiencies yet was able to rise to the Office of President, through nothing more than hard work by others. We only have one incompetent in the Office of President, and he is ours. He is George W. Bush. We support him. God Bless America. Please bless it. We need Your blessing, God, now more than ever."

I think if Republicans did that, if Republicans finally acknowledged George Bush's past, they might be able to at least lift their heads out of the deep hole they've dug for themselves. They might not be able to get out yet, but they at least could see the future.

Okay, sure, the future they'd see is Democratic, but at least it would be a fair future, which means they would have a chance someday. And in America, isn't that all anybody wants? A chance someday, where even a rich, spoiled bully from a privileged family with only personal and business failures to his name can one day grow up to be President of the United States.

Our President.