In the interest of humor it is tempting to parody the Bush White House except for one problem – it is next to impossible to parody a parody. What is perhaps most disturbing about the current administration is its almost complete lack of real ideas, not there isn’t a constant barrage of ‘things to do’, musts, dangers and panic-button urgings. There are plenty of such things, but what often passes for an idea turns out to be nothing more than someone’s opinion. The president talks of instincts about people and events, no substitute in the end for reality-based, informed, decision-making. And surrounding oneself with loyal yes men and women is probably not the best way to determine a course of action in a complex, dangerous world. Then too, looking into Putin’s eyes and glimpsing his soul is probably not as reliable an assessment procedure as knowing something about the man’s background and country. See what I mean about the parody thing?
Domestically, if tax cuts sound like a great idea to most people at first and are a resoundingly appealing political message for many, when they begin driving a virulent budget deficit without adding jobs or a robust economy one might expect some rethinking as to the efficacy of continuing down that road. Instead the push is to make the tax cuts permanent. And the ancillary idea springing from that notion is that it may become necessary at some point to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits unless and, maybe even if, next big idea, we don’t begin pulling money from Social Security and redistributing it into private accounts for Wall Street to diddle with.
Some taxpayers may have noticed that their towns and states are struggling to close budget gaps of their own, necessitating increased real estate taxes, sales taxes and other forms of taxation to make up for the federal squeeze in funding at the state and local level. In some states gambling seems to have come in handy for this purpose, and one can’t help but wonder how this comports with the moralizing tendency among our current leaders in government.
It may also have become apparent that the ‘big idea’ of abstinence-only sex education has not been an unqualified success. Obviously, a complete absence of sexual activity is a sure way to avoid disease and pregnancy, but it isn’t always the chosen course of action for young people. Here we find that feeding false information to the public isn’t reserved just for foreign affairs. The classroom, too, may use scare tactics in its taxpayer-funded programs — to promote the pseudo information that the HIV virus is transmitted through sweat and tears, that masturbation can cause pregnancy and that abortions can cause sterility.
This all might make for one of those silly sitcoms where the school principal is a total goofball if it weren’t so very unfunny in terms of the country and our reputation in the world at large. Sure, the presidential gaffs are humorous, and Rumsfeld’s babblings are gaspingly ludicrous, but truly funny they’re not; we are in fact becoming a parody of enlightened government.

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