Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flashback: Drizzling on the Parade

In January of 2001 asked me to write about President George Bush’s inauguration. At the time I had a regular gig writing from the left side on a weekly series called One-on-One. Robert Holland (former OpEd editor of the RT-D) was my opponent who wrote from the right side. The series lasted about a year and we covered all sorts of topics.

Occasionally, I made predictions in the course of trumpeting my side of the argument. And, when I hear a Bush defender talking about how nobody knew Bush was going to invade Iraq, and nobody knew how much of a mistake it would be, etc., I sometimes think of that piece I wrote about Bush’s first day in office.

The reader will find excerpts of that column below. To read it in its entirety click here.
“Drizzling on the Parade”
by F.T. Rea (1/22/01)

Under the gloomiest of skies, George W. Bush’s roster took to the field of play with its own brand of enthusiasm and its own ability to craft a way of life for a nation. Meanwhile, on this side of the beltway that surrounds the DeeCee sausage factory, we gird ourselves for a period of uncertainty.

As the proud Texan and his comely wife waved to the shivering crowd on Pennsylvania Avenue in the bitter drizzle, I admit it: Yes, I was among those wondering if the quick-to-smile George W. Bush could really be as uncurious and vacuous as his enemies have suggested.

...As far as what I think George Bush Part II will really be like, I'm no different than you. I'm hoping for the best and fearing the worst. Foreign policy-wise, I'm not at all sure what Bush's European policy will be.

But I've got a tip for Saddam Hussein: It's time to pack up the palace etchings and that mint-condition collection of Playboy magazines. This is a good time to stock up on those familiar essentials for sustained life in the deep-down deluxe bunker. You know the drill: potted meat, canned beer, plenty of batteries for the TV and boombox. It won't surprise me if America's new president wastes little time in finding a compelling reason to lob something more than words toward Baghdad.

My hunch is that mopping up that dangling bit of unfinished business is high on the Bush team's list of what-to-do ASAP.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton seems to still have the Washington press corps on a short lease. His over-covered departure from Washington further blurred the already fuzzy distinction between news and entertainment. The Clinton farewell tour was funnier and more daring theater than most of the gibes from "Saturday Night Live" a few hours later...

1 comment:

schlep said...

I recall that in the days after the election, and before the inauguration, there was already a serious uptick in reportage of incidents of Iraqi planes violating the "no-fly zones". These things were probably happening all along, but now it was news.
On a lighter note ~
A contemorary headline in the Onion: "Bush to America: The Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Over"