Sham Turkey, Sham Policies:
Of course the turkey was a fake. Unless they imported Martha fucking Stewart over to Iraq (and who knows what Karl Rove would do for a photo op), there was no way they were going to get such turkey perfection in a military base in the middle of a war. Or at least there's no reason they should. But fake turkeys look better than steam plates, right? And therein lies the reality of the Bush administrations "policies."

Take, and why not, the Medicare "reform" act. Here's Bush signing the bill into law, surrounded by the usual group of white guys in dark suits, as well as prop old people who must have been promised more gruel and an extra change of bedsheets that night by the nursing home staff in order to stand there and act like the changes to Medicare will actually do them any good. Seniors mostly think it's bullshit, and unless someone wants to tell Grandpa that he's wrong and needs to be taken care of and shut the fuck up, Grandpa, or we won't change your soiled diapers, then maybe Congress oughta pay attention to more than just the leadership of the AARP. And, since no one was given a chance to read the bill before it was passed, nice little things keep popping up, like the fact that seniors can't get private insurance to cover their share of prescriptions should they opt for the government's "program." But that's okay - because Bush could actually say with a straight face that this bill, which was designed behind closed doors by rich Republicans and lobbyists from the drug industry, "happened because of grassroots work. A lot of our fellow citizens took it upon themselves to agitate for change, to lobby on behalf of what's right." Man, sometimes the bullshit is so thick you can't see the turkey for the platter. Even conservatives, real conservatives, the evil fuckers who want to shrink government to nothing, hate this bill because of how much it costs.

But now Bush can ride everywhere and declare he kept his promise on prescription drugs. It's like hoisting a fake turkey for the cameras. All that matters is the image and the illusion. Who gives a shit that the soldiers actually ate rations from a bunch of tin steam plates? Who cares that Medicare is reformed in name only? Compassion is a coat, like a fighter pilot uniform, that you can put on for the cameras and take off when it matters.