Monday, November 21, 2005

Lies, damned lies, and plummeting poll numbers! The Bush administration, after its customary deer-in-the-headlights act, suddenly sprang back to life last week. The big headline: Bush has been exonerated! Cleared of any suspicion of having misled the public in his quest to unseat Saddam! If you weren’t paying attention you might have thought there was a real story here. But the fact is, he was “exonerated” by one of his own political appointees, National Security Advisor Steve Hadley. You’re doin’ a heck of a job, Stevie!

After having his good name cleared (whew, that was a close one!), Mr. Bush lashed out at Democrats: didn’t they know by now that it’s “irresponsible” and unpatriotic to criticize him? His coward’s cabal then set about trashing thrice-decorated Vietnam vet and Representative from Pennsylvania John Murtha for daring to do so, linking the legislator, bizarrely, to documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Apparently that’s all it takes to throw someone’s sanity into question nowadays. But if we’re talking insanity, it’s the pot calling the kettle black here. Curious, while there was endless analysis in the press and around the water cooler of Clinton, Bush, arguably a worthier subject, has utterly escaped it. Admittedly, Clinton’s adolescent libido was riper for ridicule that Bush’s pre-adolescent omnipotence complex, which we’d all rather just ignore in the hopes that eventually he’ll outgrow it. (He won’t.)

Personally, I think it’s high time all our presidents were evaluated as a matter of protocol, before they took office. We would at least be better prepared for the spurious wars and wrecked budgets the loonies leave in their wake. May I recommend the Hare Psychopathy Checklist- Revised (PCL-R), which consists of several items, each scored 0-2 (0 = trait absent, 1 = possibly/partially present, 2 = present)? The higher the score, the greater the likelihood of psychopathy. Simple. But don’t take my word for it. Put down your “su doku” and take a minute to tally up Mr. Bush’s score yourself (in the brackets to the left of the noxious trait):

Factor 1, aggressive narcissism: [ ] Glibness/superficial charm; [ ] Grandiose sense of self-worth; [ ] Pathological lying; [ ] Cunning/manipulative; [ ]Lack of remorse or guilt; [ ] Shallow affect; [ ] Callous/lack of empathy; [ ] Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. Factor 2, socially deviant lifestyle: [ ] Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom; [ ] Parasitic lifestyle; [ ] Poor behavioral controls; [ ] Early behavioral problems; [ ] Lack of realistic, long-term goals; [ ] Impulsivity; [ ] Irresponsibility; [ ] Juvenile delinquency; [ ] Continual acceptance of antisocial behavior.

It reads like W’s CV, doesn’t it? To give you an idea of the competition: although I’ve omitted a few criteria due to space, a normal score is five. Prison inmates average around 22. This may be the one test the prez could pass with flying colors, graduating at the very top of his class!

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