Was Katrina the last blooper that George W. Bush will get away with?

Sep 15th, 2005 | By | Category: USA Today
You better watch out

You better watch out

Will George W. Bush now be a lame-duck president for the next three years? Is that what the Hurricane Katrina trauma finally means for the big framework of world politics?

There is of course evidence that Mr. Bush remains quite popular in some places: “With an air of secrecy that would make the Pentagon envious, seven Texas contenders … are scrambling toward a Thursday deadline to bid for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.” And the New York Times has just run a piece called “Tidings of U.S. Decline Seem a Bit Premature.”

Yet it also seems a bit early in the second Bush administration to be worrying about the presidential library. Isn’t that what you do when you’re close to retirement? Tidings of any general US decline undoubtedly are premature at best. But this may not be true for the ability of one US president to shape events persuasively, at home or abroad.

For the moment the world-wide-web is gurgling with many perhaps true (and in some cases obviously false) rumours about the future of George W. Bush. Someone at the Tehran Times, e.g, has assembled polling data on just how unpopular the president has been lately in his own country.

A website called Brainsnap is reporting that “Bush Announces Response to Hurricane Katrina – Invade Brazil.” And a rap group out of Houston, Texas has recorded a song called “George Bush Don’t Like Black People”, using the Kanye West “Gold Digger” instrumental. (And this is also “free to download” for your immediate listening pleasure.)

The Texas rap group in question is known as The Legendary K.O. One of its members, Micah Nickerson, apparently has experience in New Orleans as well. He “came up with the song concept immediately after hearing Kanye West’s remarks … I had really wanted to write about this in the first-person, as someone stuck in New Orleans and left by this administration to basically fend for myself, but was having trouble putting the emotions I felt into words. When I heard Kanye during the benefit, the rest as they say was history.”

The song “was recorded and included on a friend’s web site promoting new music from various artists … Within a day, his site was overwhelmed with the traffic, as users were flocking to download the song.”

Damien Randle, another member of The Legendary K.O., says: “No matter which side of the political debate we reside on, I think we can all agree that this situation represents the ultimate human tragedy, and highlights the need for sweeping improvements in some of the most fundamental segments of society. The safety and well-being of all people should always be considered first, and we felt compelled to express that through song.”

A cynic, hearing all this, just might think that, whatever may or may not happen to George W. Bush’s ability to even gently move public policy mountains down the road, some of his administration’s boyish enthusiasm for moving quickly to get rich off the free-market slot machines in the great Southwest is unlikely to disappear soon. It is at least one part of the American way. On the other hand, it is also true that you can download the song for free. (And freedom, as Dick Cheney once said somewhere on TV, is finally what it’s all about.)

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