The Empty Vessel as President:
Here's the Rude Pundit's fuckin' amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Fuck all yer anti-choice, save the flag bullshit amendments. Here it goes: No motherfucker who became wealthy due to inheritance is allowed to be President. No pampered pukes who get their hands dirty only as a lark. No asshole socially-connected cocksuckers who own three, four homes, fuck, no one who owns a huge fuckin' house they call a "vacation home." Sure, sure, we may have to sacrifice a Kennedy or two along the way, but, shit, and c'mon, between George Bush I's golfing during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 (which was a double fuck-up because not only was he allegedly the President, but he was in the middle of a campaign to do it again) and now George Bush II's, well, fuck, golfing and goofin' on the guitar when a million of his citizens are displaced and over half of them are fucked for good, we can sacrifice a potential liberal or two to ensure that there's never a President Jenna.

For there he was, our goddamned President, standing there in the picturesque Rose Garden, surrounded, like Al Capone with his capos, by his cabinet, as if to say, "Don't worry - you won't have to rely on me." Having been pried away from his "working vacation" like a meth addict from an iodine factory, Bush appeared irritated that he had to talk to us last night. He smirked, he gave a campaign-like laundry list of shit heading to New Orleans and elsewhere, he told us what we already fuckin' knew from CNNMSNBCFox: that Hurricane Katrina was major, that his "folks" around him were ready to do their jobs, but, hell, at least he didn't mention how jim-fuckin-dandy Iraq is.

As always, though, Bush made it all about him and his own defense of his own stupidity: "Right now the days seem awfully dark for those affected -- I understand that," he said. On ABC's Good Morning, Diane Sawyer, Bush said, "I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday...I understand the anxiety of people on the ground."

"No," someone needs to tell him, "you don't understand. If you had been in New Orleans, you'd've been able to hire a passel of negroes to carry you out of there in your Mercedes. You'd've been able to pay people to let you shit in their hands. You could've paid men and women to lick you to keep you clean, making sure they bathe the waxy folds of your balls with their tongues. You'd've been able to pay for small black children you could cook over a spit and stay nourished and healthy. And when you got out, you'd just jet to one of your other homes. And when the real chaos hits the United States, after gas prices hit five bucks a gallon, you'd've jetted over to one of your European homes. You would not have been stranded in the attic of a house in the Ninth Ward, baking slowly to death, hoping that someone hears your increasingly strangled cries and hacks you out, drinking your own depleting piss, not knowing if the mosquitoes are gonna drain your blood before you finally just pass out and hope that you don't wake up again if it means continuing this suffering, listening to the gunfire outside, and wondering if it's the good guys, the bad guys, and, really, does it matter anymore."

Bush's approach to the incredible madness and degradation and loss of life is the fucked up response of the righteous, the Mother Theresa approach, if you will: suffering is good because it makes you stronger. How can one believe that if it comes from someone who has never paused in the all-encompassing luxury of his life except to heave his drunken guts into toilets that'll be cleaned by servants.

Yesterday he deigned to ascend above the earth to view the devastation below. And looking down, he saw it was bad. He called it by its name, "devastation," and, in fact, could come up with no other words for, lo, his vocabulary was limited. When George Bush looked out of Air Force One at New Orleans and Mississippi for his strangely reminiscent of 9/11 photo-op, did he ask himself how, once again, he could use this tragedy to turn his shambles of a presidency into triumph? Or did he just sigh, remembering that one hole he bogeyed and how the destroyed north shore of Lake Ponchartrain reminded him of all the water traps at the 16th hole in Kennebunkport? Do ya think anyone oughta tell him that all of his bullshit rhetoric about the Iraq War being about preventing harm to Americans in America could perhaps be applied to the numerous environmental, social, and other disasters that are awaiting us? That perhaps that ounce of prevention will cost far, far less than the cure? That a quarter of a day of the budget for the Iraq insanity might have helped solve the levee problems in New Orleans?

Nah. Fuck him. When he told Diane Sawyer that "I don't think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees," someone should have taken him, flown him to New Orleans, put him in a tiny pirogue somewhere off Claiborne Avenue, and sent him merrily on his way.

Fuck him. Again. There's insanity in the streets. There's kids dying on the sidewalks of an American city for no other reason than they were too poor to be able to leave the city on their own. And fuck all the commentators that wanna make this about the looters. There's death and disease everywhere, and there's no leader to be found. That's as criminal as anyone who takes a TV.

So let us at long, long last face a stomach-churning, bile-swallowing reality: we have no President. For Presidents at least attempt to lead. Now we are a ship without a rudder, a car without a steering wheel, a pair of balls without a cock. A President would have suspended his schedule of meetings, but the fact that he didn't means that he's insignificant to the whole process. And while that may be seen as a small reason for relief, it is instead a giant void in the center of the American vessel.