Some Bush assassination reveries from Frank Rich’s progressive friends.
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Lethal Bush-hatred soon metastasized beyond the print and electronic media, to be represented in the graphic arts: At Chicago’s Columbia College, a curated exhibit included a sheet of mock postage stamps bearing the words “Patriot Act” and depicting President Bush with a gun to his head.
Assassination chic has also taken cinematic form, as in Death of a President, a recent movie about the murder of George Bush. Written and directed by British filmmaker Gabriel Range, this pseudo-documentary, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, opens with images of Bush being picked off by a sniper in a Chicago hotel in October 2007. The film Photoshops the president’s face onto the head of the actor playing him, so that the mortally wounded target seems, quite convincingly, to be Bush himself. Noah Cowan, a festival co-director, has played down the film’s “harrowing” aspects, and instead describes Death of a President as “a classic cautionary tale.” The flick is really about “how the Patriot Act, especially, and Bush’s divisive partisanship and race-baiting has [sic] forever altered America.”
Finally, at the height of any vogue there is a buck to be made; hence, the predictable merchandising spin-offs, and Bush-Assassination fashion statements, such as the “KILL BUSH” T-shirts that were flogged by CafePress, an online retailer.
Many Bush death-wishers chose not to hide behind their blogging pseudonyms, but marched — presumably under the eyes of the police — carrying placards that openly declared their violent sentiments. The producer of “Zombie-Time,” who records left-wing marches around the country, has photographed a host of these provocative placards. Here are some of the most expressive examples of the genre:
“KILL TERRORISTS. BOMB THERE HOUSE (sic). KILL BUSH. BOMB HIS F—-IN HOUSE”
“SAVE MOTHER EARTH. KILL BUSH”
“HANG BUSH FOR WAR CRIMES”
“BUSH IS THE DISEASE. DEATH IS THE CURE.”
“I’M HERE TO KILL BUSH. (SHOOT ME.)”
“BUSH IS THE ONLY DOPE WORTH SHOOTING.”
“DEATH TO EXTREMIST TERRORIST PIG-BUSH”
“THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU: KILL BUSH!”
A mobile guillotine was paraded with the sign, “BUSH WHACKER,” hung over a basket containing the president’s severed head.
There were at least five years of such open, public hate-speech. Reading through it, I was struck by two things: the evident lack of response from either the public or the Feds, and a perhaps related phenomenon — the “ordinariness” of such extreme rhetoric. Given the hectic climate of the times, such over-the-top babble, the voice of the lunatic fringe, was now just part of the crowd noise in the newly liberated, exhibitionistic America. The lunatic fringe had not changed, what had changed were the platforms from which its members could shout their paranoiac, homicidal messages. No more soapboxes in Union Square; now they performed in Carnegie hall. The cuckoo-bird Lunatic Fringe had moved into and replaced the cultural center.
And who had invited them into the Holy of Holies? Who had celebrated them, as the viceroys of The Age of Aquarius? Who had sneered at their detractors, calling them “Life-Hating” War Hawks, Male Chauvinists and Homophobes? Those who had de-toxified and legitimized the language of the fringe were the same radicals who now squeal indignantly when Sarah Palin uses the word “reload.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?