Many of us like to make fun of Dr. Phil, the television therapist who, after getting his start on Oprah, got his own show and makes a fortune off of telling perfectionist moms, teens who want plastic surgery, and people whose lives have been ruined by the Internet to “get real.” But he provides a real service: giving people their 15 minutes of fame while entertaining housewives and college students across America who are thankful that they aren’t nearly as pitiful as many of the guests on Dr. Phil’s show.
But in mere months Americans are going to need all of the Dr. Phils that they can find, as a disaster of epic proportions just ripe for ratings pickings is looming large on the horizon.
What, you ask? Will there be another major attack in the U.S. by Islamists? Is the gigantic volcano lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park ready to explode? Is David Letterman planning on replacing his popular “Top Ten” segment with a how-to series on knitting?
It’s worse than you think: George W. Bush will be leaving office in mid-January 2009, leaving professional Bush-bashers up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Once Bush is no longer in office and, one presumes, enjoying his retirement on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, who will Americans blame for all the ills known to plague modern man?
The few days of national unity against an evil force that seeks to destroy America after 9/11 notwithstanding, President Bush has been blamed for just about every problem known to plague humanity. Not only is he responsible for the fact that Europeans think we’re just a bunch of boorish cowboys who don’t know a salad fork from a demitasse spoon — yes, I know they’ve always thought that, but it’s worse now, right? — but he’s also responsible for:
- 9/11 (if you don’t believe it was an inside job, just ask Rosie O’Donnell)
- the mess in New Orleans and the surrounding area after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (conveniently letting state and city government bumblers off the hook)
- global warming because he wouldn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol (even though Congress gave it thumbs down during Bill Clinton’s administration and Clinton decided to leave well enough alone)
- the tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 (see above reason)
- weight and relationship problems of average citizens whom he’s never even met
I could go on, but my space is limited.
Not only will having a convenient scapegoat go the way of the dodo, but an economic crisis is also in the making. See, Bush has also spawned an entire industry dedicated to reminding the American public just what an ignoramus/evil genius he is. I know — it’s hard to believe that someone reputed to be dumber than Patrick Star is also as cunning in his plans for world domination as Plankton, but there you have it.
Books, calendars, playing cards, t-shirts, bobble-head dolls — if it can be manufactured and show Bush to be the most reviled man on the planet, it can be yours for mere pennies (plus shipping and handling). But like the losing team in the Super Bowl, there won’t be any use for superfluous “He’s Not My President” t-shirts and “Impeach Bush” bumper stickers come January. I hope the unemployment fund is full to bursting, because there’s sure to be a run at the unemployment office.
Maybe Barack Obama can make a campaign promise that he’ll push for legislation that authorizes a special incentive check of $5,000 for each person put out of business by George Bush leaving office. Now that’s cha-ching change we can believe in!
Of course, there are the conspiracy theorists who are positive that, at the last moment, Bush will somehow find a way to stay in office beyond his constitutionally mandated two terms. A popular one is that he will manufacture the threat of terrorist attacks just around the time of the election in November so that he can conveniently “postpone” the election and voilà! He’s president for life! (I question the timing.)
And if you believe that, I have a big hole in the ground in lower Manhattan that the government “made” that you might be interested in.
Nope, I’m sorry to say that come January 20, 2009, George W. Bush will be packed up and ready to leave the White House forever — probably in better shape than his predecessor left it. He and Laura will head down to Texas while his successor — whoever that might be — will be forced to take up where Bush left off.
But as with every cloud, there’s always a silver lining because if Barack Obama loses to John McCain, the Bush-bashers will turn on a dime and become McCain-maulers. We can look forward to at least four years of cries of election-stealing, accusations of rampant racism in America, and declarations that “that grumpy old man isn’t my president!” And just think of the merchandise waiting to be made — an incontinent old man doll, a bumper sticker with McCain’s face and the word “racist” next to it — the possibilities are endless! And cartoonist Ted Rall is sure to have lots of tasteless fun at McCain’s expense. I can hardly wait!
Just think about how boring it’ll be if Obama wins — nirvana will have been achieved and with the socialist paradise that’s waiting for us, no one will have the heart or means to start a cottage industry that dares to mock the Chosen One.