August 13th, 2006
"In an opening scene of David Lynch’s 1986 perverse but relevant film Blue Velvet, a man is watering his front lawn on what appears to be a halcyon suburban day in the American town of Lumberton. It’s a carefree scene that follows a montage of similarly placid images. A white picket fence guards a bed of red roses framed by blue sky. A crossing guard raising a stop sign waives schoolchildren safely through a neighborhood intersection. A fireman smiles and waves from the sideboard of his old fashioned fire truck. These scenes imagine an America lost, a tranquilized America where picket fences, crossing guards and firemen guarantee all the protection one requires to meet life’s perils.
But the ersatz tranquility conceals a hidden horror. The garden hose catches in a bramble just as the man is seized with a stroke. Falling to the ground, the camera joins him, then burrows into the grass endoscopically probing the lawn’s dark jungle. It settles on a nest of ravenous insects, their ghastly clamor amplified for effect. Later in the film, the peaceful town is shown to be harboring a treacherous criminal element.
The message? We aren’t always aware of the evil that surrounds us. But for the liberal left in America, for useful idiots like Mike Wallace and Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont, and for mainstream media, the snarling thicket of Islamofascism in our midst is too far below the surface to worry much about. The reason America faces danger is all Bush’s fault, because, unlike Bill Clinton, Bush wouldn’t ignore it.
The left has been extraordinarily successful at pinning blame on President George W. Bush for engineering the current state of global chaos, and, in a way, they have a point. Like a cosmic exterminator, Bush has lifted the floorboards concealing the plague under America’s house. He alone is responsible for reversing the world’s anesthetic complacency and focusing its attention on the subterranean threat. And for that, the liberal left says “Blame Bush.” But that’s all they seem to say.
As tempting as it might be to single Bush out for inventing war, shredding the Bill of Rights, forging a conspiratorial alliance with big business and people of faith, and consolidating power in the hands of a rogue cabal of nefarious intimates (Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld), the Blame Bush crowd can never seem to get enough of blaming Bush. He is responsible for big oil so he seeks out conflict and when he finds it, he can’t wait to invade your privacy. This unforgiving desire to demonize one man inspires sometimes—more often than not—hilariously nutty attacks.
On the website secularhumanist.com, for example, a video, derived from a 2003 article appearing in the secular humanist Free Inquiry Magazine, claims that Bush is a fascist by objective definitional standards. The premise for this far-fetched indictment in which Bush is unsubtly compared with Hitler and selectively matched Third Reich footage with a still shot of him in a Nazi salute (he was merely raising his arm when the photo was taken), is based on a 14-point theory that charges him with:
• Stoking a “powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism” by, among other things, endorsing prominent displays of flags and flag lapel pins and showing pride in our military;
• Showing “disdain for the importance of human rights” by somehow nurturing the conditions necessary for abuses at Abu Ghraib, Camp Gitmo and elsewhere;
• “Scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems” by labeling opponents of his “regime” terrorists;
• Using the military to “assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite”;
• Promoting “rampant sexism” through anti-abortion and homophobic policies;
• Controlling the mass media (I’m not kidding!);
• Obsessing over national security (Again, you can’t make this stuff up!);
• Aligning with the predominant religion of the nation (Just keeps getting weirder!);
• Promoting big business, especially the oil industry;
• Marginalizing labor unions;
• Disdaining intellectuals and the arts;
• Obsessing over crime and punishment;
• Fostering “rampant cronyism and corruption”; and
• Holding fraudulent elections (Here, a shot of Kathryn Harris appears, implying that she rigged the election and stole it for Bush).