If there's any justice in the world, the words "Hurricane" and "Katrina" will appear somewhere in the first 200 words of every obituary of George W. Bush.
He's hovering around New Orleans today, like a ghoul, no doubt praising all the good that's come because of the disaster. Can you imagine what he'd tell people in Iraq, were it safe for him to appear there? ("Hey, that masjid was blockin' your view!")
One of the good things about the slow pace of work at the former World Trade Center site is that he hasn't shown up to praise the new and improved lower Manhattan. But hey, who knows? Maybe we'll all be treated to an appearance in a couple of weeks.
Assuming we survive until then. It's August -- traditionally Bush's most deadly month. Normally I'm all for him doing as little work as possible to fuck up America. But his sloth and negligence is one of his trademarks. Even the most repugnant paleoconservative could have at least set the wheels of government in motion upon receiving the Aug. 6 brief about bin Laden or learning of the disaster unfolding in the Lower Ninth Ward. This man couldn't be bothered.
Whatever you think of the man's father, he clearly had a strong work ethic. One detail I'll never forget from Richard Ben Cramer's What it Takes is of Poppy dutifully hand-writing thank you notes to every minor functionary who helped pull off each of his campaign appearances.
Clearly, much like J.D. Salinger's son felt the need to zig where his dad zagged, so has George W. "See, presidenting isn't that hard. I can take August off every year, and the country does just fine."
It's not that he doesn't care about black people (Hello? J.C. Watts?) it's just that he doesn't give a shit in general.
I apologize for the dark tone. I promise the next post will be about YouTube videos of Thomas Pynchon's kid performing at street fairs.