America, the Stupid (Part of the "We Are So Fucked" Series):
So there's a picture of our President, the leader of the free world, master of all he surveys, meanest motherfucker ever to voluntarily be part of a human pyramid, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, standing among Prime Ministers and Presidents, looking like nothing so much as Jed Clampett after a little too much moonshine and 'coon jerky, apparently with his fly open. Sweet Christ. Holy wardrobe malfunction. Will Karl Rove blame the tailor again? You know, this is what happens when Bush is in the backroom, jacking off in front of the TV to images of himself yanking his Secret Service agent from a fray with Chilean security, beatin' that meat crazy as he listens to commentators talk about what a goddamn cowboy he is, ejaculating at his own smirk as he straightens his cuffs on the video and thinks, "Sovereignty? Who needs Chile's bullshit sovereignty?" Laura averted her eyes as he screamed, "Yee-haa, take my New England chowder, assholos," and then he giggled so hard at his faux Spanish that he forgot to zip back up.

Yeah, man, it's another red state/blue state divide. The blue staters will look at the unzipped fly and say, "See? That's the real man - the idiot, the dolt, the child." Red staters'll see the Melee in Chile and say, "See? That's the real man - the cowboy, the fighter, the savior." Rush Limbaugh was all a-twitter yesterday, saying, "He didn't stand around on the sidelines and just watch it and see how it played out. He just took action. I thought it was great, too. I think it is a tremendously illuminating story," as if Bush's fear of being without his security bubble, of basically being a punk-ass bitch demanding his way so he can feel safe, somehow indicates Bush's resolve rather than his cowardice. Hence the cancelled state dinner at the summit because for some reason Vladimir Putin and Junichiro Koizumi refused to pass through metal detectors and risk a frisking, as the Secret Service demanded.

America is a stupid country, getting stupider all the time. To believe even for a moment that Bush was doing anything other than panicking by grabbing agent Nick Trotta out of his confrontation is to be willfully blind, but we know, we know, god, how we know how willfully blind the majority of the country is to the actual demi-man behind the old gunfighter facade. But now, with new polls out, we get to see how actually stupid America is (and "stupid" is not used in any metaphoric sense - the Rude Pundit means "stupid," as in "ignorant" and "fucking idiotic" and "retarded"). The latest New York Times/CBS poll says that the majority, 56% of those polled, are "optimistic" about the next four years under Bush; in this case, "optimistic" might mean "I won't die," but more likely, one might believe, it means that the optimists believe that the Bush administration won't do everything in its power to wreck civil rights, destroy Social Security, and abandon all but the wealthiest Americans.

Ahh, but here's the problem. The "optimists" don't actually believe those things. 'Cause, like, 48% believe that Bush's next four years will "divide Americans" while only 40% believe that it will unite us as one nation under George. 54% believe the economy is headed in the "wrong direction," and 52% are "uneasy" with Bush's ability to make the "right economic decisions." 48% don't believe we were right to go into Iraq, 51% are uneasy with Bush's ability to "deal wisely with international crises," 51% don't believe Iraq is even a minor part of the "war on terror," 67% believe that reducing the deficit is more important than cutting taxes, 66% believe that corporations have too much influence on the Bush administration, and on and on and on. A CNN/Gallup poll has many of the same results. In other words, on many, many issues, at least part of the optimists believe in things that are directly opposite the beliefs and policies of the Bush adminstration, who a majority of the country voted back into office. And that's one big reason why America is now, officially, a drooling stroke victim of a country. Sure, the stroke victim might not like how rough the nurse at the home is when she changes his diaper, but she sure is pretty.

And then, of course, there are those things that are so demonstrably stupid, that they defy reason. This is idiocy that crosses the red/blue lines, that unifies us as a bunch of fucking fools. How dumb does a nation have to be so that in a poll, 55% believe that "God" created humans in their present form? How many morons does it take to wreck a country when two-thirds believe that creationism ought to be taught alongside evolution in schools? (Let's get this straight so that we can teach the stupid: "1+1=2" is a theory, too - does anyone doubt it?)

So we're a nation who embraces our costume cowboy President even though we don't like anything he does and we think that decades of scientific study and demonstrable proof is bullshit in the face of a book or two of faith. Somewhere, the lonely soul of Benjamin Franklin is wondering if he should have bothered at all.

(Photo of George unzipped originally seen at Eschaton; thanks to astute reader Nick for the tip on the evolution/creation poll.)