I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
And Dubya's shtick goes on:
"I thank President Washington for welcoming us today. He doesn't look a day over 275 years old."
Ba dum bum.
Whose idea was the Washington impersonator? Was this a Presidential address or a mattress sale?
Worse, actually. Bush used the occasion of Presidents Day to co-opt General George Washington's warrior cred to sell his own ill-conceived, tragically mismanaged war. With a fife and drum soundtrack, no less.
Before and after Bush's speech, recorded music by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps blared through loudspeakers. Organizers of the event said the fife and drum corps had planned to perform live, but decided against it Sunday night because of expected temperatures in the 20s that could have damaged their historic instruments.
And period costumes:
Joined by his wife Laura, with a military honor guard wearing Revolutionary War uniforms standing at attention, Bush laid a wreath at the tomb of the first American president on the Presidents Day holiday to mark Washington's birth 275 years ago.
You have to hand it to the Bush White House. They know how to dress a set. But it may take more than a bit of stagecraft to successfully conflate the Revolutionary War and the amorphous War on Terra.
"Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life," said Bush, standing in front of Washington's home and above a mostly frozen Potomac River.
"And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone.". . .
"On the field of battle, Washington's forces were facing a mighty empire, and the odds against them were overwhelming. The ragged Continental Army lost more battles than it won, suffered waves of desertions, and stood on the brink of disaster many times. Yet George Washington's calm hand and determination kept the cause of independence and the principles of our Declaration alive."
That he does not see the irony. General Washington led a rag-tag militia against an imperial army and prevailed against seemingly insurmountable odds. George W. Bush has taken the most lavishly funded professional military in history and bogged it down in an un-winnable war against a rag-tag rebel insurgency.
Perhaps that's because George Washington was a brilliant tactician and soldier who fought beside his men; who led by example and never asked his men to do that which he would not himself do. George W. Bush sat out the war of his generation in a stateside post in the National Guard, and couldn't even show up for that.
But to Bush, donning a flight suit for a photo-op and spouting endless bombast makes him a warrior. He is a pale imitation of a soldier and paler imitation of a President. But appearance is reality for this entire Administration. So they trot out a fake George Washington, play dress-up, and try to use the beginning of this great experiment to justify its ignominious end.