If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the sense of humor is the chimney. That's how I first knew there was something terribly wrong with then-candidate George W. Bush. I heard he mocked Karla Faye Tucker (the born-again Christian woman on death row) when he was governor of Texas and could have granted her a stay of execution. With pursed lips and I assume a falsetto he mimicked her plea for mercy to reporter Tucker Carlson: "Please ... don't kill me!"
That told me all I cared to know about Bush and his respect for human life and the awesome responsibility of his office.
But other Americans didn't pick up on that clue and enough of them voted for the guy to allow him to credibly steal the presidency. There was a minor skirmish involved with that, which prompted him to quip, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator (chuckle, chuckle)."
Again, what kind of person would say that? Someone you'd trust with your money, your life, your children's lives? I mean, would you buy a used car from someone who joked, "What do I have to do to get you to sign for this thing, hold a gun to your head? (heh, heh, heh)."
Of course the jokes didn't stop there, Bush was just getting warmed up. When 9-11 happened, Bush made light of the fact that he said he would never send the budget into a deficit unless we were at war, in a recession, or experiencing a national emergency. "Lucky me," he joked, "I hit the trifecta."
So we went to war, first with Afghanistan, and then with Iraq on the pretext that it was harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction. We see from the Downing Street Memo Bush *knew* the evidence supporting his claim about Iraqi WMD's was phony. Yet this man somehow had the tactlessness to joke about looking for them in a 2004 National Press Club dinner slide show. (Looking under a desk) "Nope, no Weapons of Mass Destruction there (yuk, yuk)!"
Considering the number of human lives and limbs lost at that point, that's one cold-blooded motherfucker.
I could go on and on about Bush's frighteningly inappropriate jokes that underscore his lack of concern about human life the responsibility he's been entrusted with -- but the sad thing now is that we're seeing the same kind of garbage coming from Republican presidential nominee John McCain and his potential running mate Mike Huckabee. Hmmm. Jokes about bombing entire countries and the assasination of the apparent Democratic presidential nominee. Two horrendous yet disturbingly plausible possibilities.
To paraphrase Stephanie Miller, sometimes you have to laugh, otherwise you'd just cry all day.
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