The Incredible Shrinking President, Part 2: Squirrel Brains:
Sometimes you're driving down a country road in mid-autumn, a time the Rude Pundit likes to refer to as "Suicidal Squirrel Season," the time of year when the squirrels are getting their winter mojos going in a mad search for nuts and acorns to store for winter. And the squirrels, having little tiny brains, dash across roads haphazardly, crazy little legs a-pumping, hoping to avoid cars, cars that inevitably swerve or screech to avoid the prospect of squirrel guts on the tires. But squirrels are stupid little fuckers, and on more than one occasion the Rude Pundit has heard the heart-sickening "thump" of a squirrel running into the car. Looking back in the rear-view, all you could see was the damn squirrel, head obviously half crushed, fruitlessly spinning in circles, trying, for the love of squirrel-god, to get across the road. You can feel pity, watching the St. Vitus's dance of desperation, but you know there's nothing to be done. That was just one fucking stupid squirrel.

Our shrinking President is engaged in the dance now, but it's too far now, too late. His brain has shrunk to squirrel-size, and it's been crushed. If Capitol Hill Blue is to be believed, Bush is now a Nixonian paranoiac with "increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings." And the new book Bush on the Couch is suprisingly not about deeply fulfilling man-love with a studly Secret Service agent ("Oh, yeah, Mr. President, if I'd take a bullet for you, I'd certainly take your thrusting lust-bone"), but it's actually a psychoanalytical look at the "mind" of the President, and Justin Frank discovers it ain't a pretty sight. Beyond the dyslexia (noted by Christopher Hitchens, among others) and ADHD, Frank tracks Bush's "rigid and simplistic thought patterns, paranoia, and megalomania." Throw in the alcohol abuse, and, well, really, we're all pretty much fucked.

In other words, in the most generous assessment, our President is quite likely batshit insane. But, really, why leave it to the outside experts when we have the man's own words and interactions with reporters. Here he is attempting to explain how un-complicated the Medicare discount drug cards are to seniors in Missouri: "So there's different cards, is what I'm telling you, to meet your needs. And I understand, for some, that's going to be -- it's going to be complicated, and some people just don't want their lives complicated. And -- but you've got to know there's help. And just because it may seem complicated, that's not a good -- I think people should not use that as an excuse to participate." Fuck, by that logic, we should all learn brain surgery because, you know, it may be complicated, but don't use that as an excuse not to learn brain surgery. Bush concluded this appearance with a mention about national security, which many in the audience, palsied hands shaking, took to mean as a threat that if they didn't use the discount cards, their diaper-covered asses were on the next plane to Gitmo.

Yesterday, the shrinking brain was on display in a joint appearance with much-abused Afghan "President" Hamid Karzai. Bush, reacting to reporters actually wanting to ask questions, had the following to say in his interchanges: Trying to weasel out of talking to reporters by using Karzai as an excuse, Bush asked his guest, "Do you want to run the table, or do you want to go eat lunch?" Much to Bush's chagrin, Karzai loved the image of Bush floundering like a homeless junkie waking up in jail. So let's "run the table": "How many questions? One question apiece. If we're going to stand out here in 100-degree temperature, let's just have one question . . .You can pass your question on to some other person, and I might call on them. I'm not so sure I'm going to be so international this press conference . . . No, you've asked your question . . . Look, it's very hot out here, we've got a President from a -- a respectful President here. Why don't you just ask one question, i f you don't mind? I don't mean to be telling you how to do your business. All right, I'll answer both . . . I'm getting distracted over here, there seems to be some noise." And perhaps, stomach-churningly, that noise was coming from his own mind, the echo of thoughts around a brain pan with a brain that's slipping and sliding around inside.

Look, this isn't just about "Bush-isms" or mangled syntax or "Bush doesn't do well off-the-cuff" or those kinds of cutesy shit. It's about a leader who cannot articulate his own policies. It's about a leader so insecure in his own power that he lashes out at the press to present some kind of image of control. The reality, the stark, clear reality we are all presented with is this: he has no control. He is out of control. And like so many mad leaders before him, he is leading us down the path of his madness.

Sometimes, when that squirrel is swirling around in its death throes, the kindest thing to do is throw the car in reverse and put that little, stupid son of a bitch out of its misery. So it was when Bush turned to Karzai and said, "Lunch awaits us." To which Karzai said, "Lunch awaits us, indeed."

Fahrenheit 9/11 Will Be Here Soon:
And Swami Uptown (aka Jesse Kornbluth) was at the screening in New York this week. Check out the Swami's review to cream your jeans in anticipation.