Tuesday, July 09, 2002

READING DUBYA'S MIND: Just as only Nixon could go to China, I suppose that only Dubya could demand corporate accounting reforms and make it stick. Not that I find much to fault in his Tuesday speech, but the chutzpah is mind-boggling.

Does anyone else see the pattern here? Let's borrow a trick from William Safire and read Dubya's mind:

Corporate fraud and accounting shenanigans are dirty rotten tricks on the investing public -- and by golly, we should really beef up the laws that regulate corporate accountability. But since I've personally benefitted from insider trading and surrounded myself with advisors who might be redefined as white-collar criminals under the new rules, we can't be too harsh on past offenses. Let's just say that the cut-off point is right now. Past offenses will be forgiven or treated leniently. But anyone who cheats from now on will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the legislation behind which I've decided to throw my political capital today.

Stem cell research is immoral because undifferentianted cell clusters have the potential for human life. But certain party loyalists and supporters are telling me about potential benefits of this research -- and actually, when you think it through, the arguments for awarding constitutional rights to stems cells are tenuous at best. So here's the way out: Let's agree that all past stem cell harvesting will be forgiven. Beyond this date, anyone who creates new stem cell cultures will be listed with our Axis of Evil, and prosecuted as the evildoers they surely are.

Alcohol? Recreational drugs? Oh, they're very, very bad. And if I used to drink to excess, or if I was an unreptentant cokehead up until a certain unspecified date -- well, first of all, I don't admit to any such thing! But suppose I used to get a little wasted in my youth, I'm surely entitled to a free pass, because those lapses in judgment would have occurred when I wasn't quite so mature as I am now. Never mind that, as Governor of Texas, I was responsible for jailing people for using the same recreational drugs that I might have hypothetically used myself. The important thing is, as soon as I realized that I needed to be able to sustain my political viability, I gave up my vices -- and since I'm definitely not using recreational drugs now, all hypothetical past sins are forgiven. Just don't do it again, Dub!

Of course. It all fits the very model of Dubya's deeply-felt Christianity. Cease to have impure thoughts after you receive forgiveness, and you're rewarded with an E-Ticket to all the rides in Heaven. Backslide, and a can of Satanic whup-ass awaits. It's all very logical. I just wish it were a tad less ironic.

UPDATE: According to The New Republic, the only "benign" explanations for the Harken scandal are that President Bush is lazy, stupid, or both.


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