Bush 43.2

bush in a bubble

Here we go again

George W Bush will be inaugurated for a second term on Thursday. I think it should be declared a national day of mourning.

Bush is the ultimate bubble boy. He lives in a world of make-believe in which winning a close election by only 51% to 48% becomes a mandate. When seen through his rose-colored glasses, a savage insurgency in Iraq becomes "freedom on the march." His idea of "reforming" Social Security consists of diverting funds into "private accounts" that won't amount to a hill of beans for ordinary people and that will only worsen the insolvency problem of Social Security.

inauguration street closings
No-go zone for Bush inauguration (Click image to enlarge)

For the inauguration itself, W's bubble will extend over much of Washington DC. Streets will be closed and admission will be through security check points. The city is being turned into a fortress like the capital of some banana republic under siege. Homeland Insecurity Secretary Tom Ridge was seen on television proclaiming emphatically that there will be multiple layers of security to guard against anyone attempting to disrupt the inauguration. It would not be surprising to find that "anyone" includes patriotic citizens who might wish to protest or show their displeasure with the Bush administration.

Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge yucks it up on the mall. Who knew inaugural security was so funny? (Click image to enlarge)

Contributions to finance the festivities are pouring in from the usual big-money sources with business before the administration — big drug companies, financial services, energy, et cetera. There are no rules covering these contributions, save the voluntary limit of $250,000 imposed by the inauguration committee. This is choice, considering that W inveighed mightily against the 527 organizations participating in the last campaign (except for the Swift Boat Veterans, of course — they were different).

And while the inaugural coffers are overflowing, the skinflints in charge of the event will stick the District of Columbia for the costs of all the added security needed for this first "post 9/11 inaugural" — Millions of dollars, but who's counting when you're planning a party? Previous administrations have always reimbursed the District for these costs; not the Bushies.

As usual, the editorial cartoonists have captured the insanity of it all. Here are some of the more choice offerings.

Tom Toles, 14-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)

Tom Toles, 18-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)

Ben Sargent, 17-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)

Mike Luckovich, 17-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)

Stuart Carlson, 17-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)

Signe Wilkerson, 17-Jan-05 (Click to enlarge)