For years after 9/11, President George W. Bush would tell dozens of audiences some variation of his “ocean’s theory of complacent defense.” Like this one from 2002:
“No, it’s a different kind of war than our nation has seen in the past. One thing that’s different is oceans no longer keep us safe,” he explained to the folks at the October Unity Luncheon in Atlanta. It was the third time Bush used the fanciful tall tale in a speech.
It was all part of the rope-a-dope to string critics — of W’s general nonresponsiveness to the threat posed by al-Qaeda — along until they cried themselves to sleep.
Naturally, there were no warnings, except that there were. And certainly not with airliners, well maybe for hijacking. And blah, blah, the fog of war, airplanes. Who would ever fly an airplane purposely into a thing? That isn’t how you execute a hijacking. Stupid terrorists, huh?
The “dots” weren’t put together because no leader emerged from George’s body to demand all federal law enforcement harden our defenses against a terrorist attack and insist our spies connect the damn dots together, or else he’ll out them. “A Plame out.”
The “oceans protect us” line has always been my favorite W. “you’re getting sleepy” method for slapping the buck away from the president’s desk. The Bushies had many fishy stories written to cover for the failures of the president before and during the attacks of 9/11, but “Ah laddie, the oceans let us down,” had a special vaporous quality.
Finally on May 31, 2006, President Bush said, “You see, when we grew up, or some of us grew up, baby boomers grew up, we felt pretty confident that America could be secure from a foreign attack, except maybe by missile. And then that attitude changed dramatically when we realized oceans couldn’t protect us. And so when we see a threat, we’ve got to take them seriously.”
To my knowledge, no fifth-grader ever stood up and yelled, “What the f*ck, dude? Have you lost goddamn your mind?”
They — you know who they are — also threateningly implied that criticism of the president was equal to treason.
In between the failures of 9/11 and Katrina, Bush got us bogged down in two wars and still won a second term. We were advised that you shouldn’t switch horses in midstream (war), which might have been true if Bush were smarter than a mule.
Donald Trump watches this bullshittery admiringly and realizes that certain people will believe anything and there are plenty of them. If George Bush can lie and fake — Trump’s finest skills — his way through two terms, Donnie knew he could easily pull it off.
You already know the chronicled reasons for President Trump’s bungling of the pandemic response. Basically, he was thinking about the stock market and his reelection as he downplayed the Coronavirus.
Failure to even try. Bush and Trump are both guilty in that respect, but Bush enjoyed a PR advantage because he wasn’t constantly a dick, and it took a long time for information to dribble out.
Trump’s performance has been documented as a fiasco going back to the beginning in December. And he dares the Washington Post and New York Times to dig deeper every daily matinee.
Trump has moved so slow that it’s like watching the 9/11 airliners flying at a rate of a foot per month, and most of the details regarding the attacks were available in real-time in spite of no Facebook.
So Donnie is in an extremely big bowl of cold lima bean soup, and he’s not going to get any smarter.
Things are only going to get worse for the big sad man, so his crack team needs BS copy ready for when things get superdark in the Oval Office. The place leaks like a chain-link fence.
So, of course, possible Trump pandemic excuses are in the development hopper and nearly ready to blend with the typical freelance Trump puffery. Some of their scribblings:
- “I was snorting a boatload of hydroxychloroquine in January and February. Why? Did something happen?”
- “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
- “Sociopath? Me? I guess so. I suppose it’s possible. That’s what they’re saying. We’ll see what happens. I took about 16 psych evals on the advice of the council, ah, Rudy. What a corruption fighter. Have you ever screened that movie? With the elves, our beautiful elves. At any rate, he said the results would definitely position me in the diminished capacity bracket in the likely event of a seismic national security flub on my watch. So, I figured what the hell, since I didn’t apprehend what he was talking about. I’ll be honest. I’m not that sharp. Then, Rudy Two Shoes adds up the numbers, and it turns out I hit the jackpot. I’m not legally responsible. Plus, and get this. I’m a pathological liar? Now how was I to grasp that? All of my best 40 words jumble through my brain like lotto balls. Do you suppose they’re ping-pong balls, or do they involve a unique ball? Who cares? Not me.”
- “So I said ‘If it takes more than one page with a large font to explain, I don’t want to be bothered about it.’”
- “Grandpa has gone eccentric little — is this Ben or Jerry? Whatever. Skip away now. Oh, grow up. Can anyone see my shoes? Do you see any mucus? I don’t know where you live, kid, but I can find out. Well, that’s mature and a terrible monster face.”
- “I’m still disorientated from looking at that famous eclipse — wasn’t it fabulous? So enchanting — and staring at the sun in general. Who knew?”
- “Have you ever seen Face/Off? Nicolas Cage, amiright? It’s a fantastic motion picture and based on very truthful scientific facts. How about The Truman Show?”
- “It’s a total blank. Decades missing. I could have been laundering money for the Russian mob for all I know. Trump University? MLM schemes? Casinos? How stupid do you think I am? I could have made more money had I deposited Fred’s $400 million inheritance into an interest-bearing checking account and be richer than I am right now. Hunter Biden says I’m an asshole? Report that to my disease. The real Donald J. Trump, which is presently me, never existed. I’m the victim in this debacle if you wanted to conclude that.”
- “It is what it is.”
- “Whitey, you’re doing a heck of a job.”
- “Our country thought we would be protected in our penthouses. Who knew elevation wouldn’t keep harm at bay?”
- “The President has absolute authority. We have a Constitution, an amazingly powerful piece of paper. I call it parchment, and it says I’m a big deal. It says everything Trump accomplishes is tremendous. Hey Ed. Is Ed here? Remember that place where we did that thing? Oh, Ed died? I never met any Ed.”
- “I hate doing this, but I’m going to play the zero clue card. Beat that.”
- “In five minutes, I will be stepping down for the good of the country and something about family. Wally, do we recollect anything about this family thing?”
- “By my calculations, our prevailing westerly winds should have blown the coronavirus straight back to Asia. Who knows how the bug traveled here from the rest of the Earth. It’s a puzzler.”
- “Dave’s not home, man.”