If you're paying attention, you know that the blessings of the Bush economy have fallen hard upon the heads of too many good and talented people, giving them spare time to contemplate the poaching and roasting of Wall Street bankers, Republicans who believe the free market will regulate itself, and anyone who bought a $400,000 house on a McDonald's salary.
I thought about this listening to George Bush's last (YAY!) press conference. His "exit interview" he called it.
One item, out of a whole list of Bush delusions, jumped out at me. That was his insistence that America's moral standing hasn't been harmed by Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, water boarding, the suspension of habeas corpus, the trashing of the Geneva Accords, the Constitution and the DOJ.
He bristled at the mere question. "I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged," he said. He conceded that maybe America's image had been tarnished among elites in Europe. People he had met in Africa, India and China did not share that judgment, he said.
Right. This is the guy who is so delicate that Americans who disagreed with him had to be removed from wherever his royal eye might light and corraled into distant "free speech" zones. I'm sure he gets up close and personal with everyday people in Africa, India and China. People who think he's just swell. It's just Americans and those snooty European elites who find fault.
There have been disappointments, he admits, but not because of any failing on his part. No, sir. The economy, 9/11, the war, the criminal cronyism, the deficit, the looting of the treasury, abuse of our military, the obsessive secrecy, the lies, the stonewalling, the astounding ability to make politics stink like a roadkill skunk, all that was someone else's fault.
He insists he's done a heckuva job.
Take his response to Katrina. He wasn't slow to act. He just didn't want to land in Louisiana and get in the way. So he went to John McCain's birthday party instead.
"Don't tell me the federal response was slow," he huffed, "when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed."
Aside from his typical assault on the language, Bush conveniently sloughs off blame and grandly takes credit for what had been the heroic and independent action of the Coast Guard, not FEMA.
But it was the use of the word "elite" that really got under my skin.
And also, Sarah Palin there, proving my contention that she's George Bush in a dress, and also uses that word there a lot also. Elites.
You know, people who don't believe dinosaur bones were strewn about by Satan to test our faith.
And like George, nothing that went wrong in the campaign was Sarah's fault. It was John McCain's people. It was the media. It was that awful Katie Couric who asked gotcha questions like "what do you read?"
It was the elites who have a "class issue," because we would never vote for someone who came from nothing, worked hard and rose to the top on his or her own merit.
Oh, wait, I think we just did.
To all those elites who face finding a new position in the aftermath of the Bush years, I wish you the best. And if that Australia thing doesn't work out, I hope you find something else even more rewarding.