Immaculate in white ties, dignitaries mingled in the White House on Tuesday. Curtsying and cracking wise, they played the part of 19th century statesmen to an out-of-touch T. For his first white-tie gala, President George W. Bush threw out all the stops.
His royal dimness
Immaculate in white ties, dignitaries mingled in the White House on Tuesday. Curtsying and cracking wise, they played the part of 19th century statesmen to an out-of-touch T. For his first white-tie gala, President George W. Bush threw out all the stops. He hoped to impress Queen Elizabeth II, since he first introduced himself to her in 1991 as “the black sheep of the Bush family.”
The queen arrived to a 21-gun salute, backed by the call of trumpets, the rattle of a drum and a chorus of woodwinds played by a pipe band swathed in 18th century garb. Appropriate, since our ever-eloquent president suggested that the queen has been on the throne since 1776. To cover his faux pas, our commander-in-chief tossed a clumsy wink at her royal highness.
She took it in stride. Her Majesty has reason to be confident in her former domain. According to a recent CNN poll, Queen Elizabeth enjoys a staggering 80 percent approval rating in America, while President Dubya wavers somewhere around the low 30s. His lukewarm leadership has not received even 50 percent support since early 2005.
Curiously enough, not a single American politician even approaches the astronomic approval of the queen. She is, unequivocally, the most popular woman in America. At least she will be until she returns home. Then the mantle returns to Oprah.
Can the powerless pretension of the British Royal Family honestly trump the brazen bravado of the Bush administration? Does Elizabeth II’s polite wave overwhelm our president’s sanctimonious smirk? Does her diamond tiara hold more water than his 10-gallon hat?
How have these auspicious elders fallen so far apart? Silver spoons filled both their juvenile jowls. Elizabeth was rushed to power long before her time. Bush may have had no time at all. Have you ever seen the Bush estate in Maine? Other than the Union Jack, no layman could discern it from Buckingham Palace. Bush Manor even has a changing of the guard, though to be fair, they’re actually no-bid government contractors.
We feel obligated to inform our readers of another startling similarity. Queen Elizabeth acts as both Head of State and Head of Church in her island nation. President Bush obviously craves this dual authority. He must have been irate when he saw that the Constitution precludes such an act on his part.
Of course the Bill of Rights hasn’t stopped him from doing everything in his power to transform the Rose Garden into the most dazzling outdoor cathedral the western world has ever seen. With the help of Karl Rove, our disciple-in-chief has come perilously close to establishing the United States of Evangelism.
Neither Bush nor her royal highness truly represents their people. At least Elizabeth II has her Prime Minister. From Winston Churchill to Tony Blair, she could defer decisions to those who actually understood the world. President Bush defers his decisions to God and Dick Cheney. Neither has yielded much help.
With no support outside their under-handed, over-funded pack of neo-cons, Dubya and Dick’s Middle East crusade has sent international relations back farther than the actual Crusades. Domestic policy has faired no better. At least the Church of England will allow their gay clergy to marry so long as they don’t sleep with their spouses, a curious inversion of the American people’s vision of a gay president, as you might recall. In Bush’s envisioned Evangelical state, gay people would be deported to the new independent nation of Califoregon.
Perhaps President Bush should take a cue from Queen Elizabeth II. Her silent waves seems to leave a far sweeter taste in the mouths of the public than Bush’s fumbling attempts at justifying his newest catastrophic decision. We suggest that the president, our nation and the world would be better off if he simply stuck to his one great talent–holding photo ops. It seems to have worked for Her Majesty.
An All Headline News poll found that 57 percent of Britons want Elizabeth to reign until her death. Newsweek shows a nearly identical percentage of Americans wishing the Bush administration were over right now. We believe that in a democracy such an overwhelming mandate must be respected. We call on President Bush to follow the will of the people and effectively end his presidency.
He can give the diplomatic duties to Condi Rice and leave the legislation to Congress. We have long suspected his secret desire to be a monarch, so let him spend the next 20 months in tuxedoes and flight suits, staging spectacular photo ops. This will work out better for all of us. Queen Elizabeth may be a figurehead, a symbol and a relic of a lost age, but at least her people want her around.