Putting Words in the President's Mouth
Sixteen obvious points that George W. Bush should make during the Wednesday night debate.
12:00 AM, Oct 12, 2004 • By P.J. O'ROURKE
(1) My opponent, Massachusetts senator John Kerry--or, as I like to think of him, Teddy Kennedy with a designated driver . . .
(2) There are two organizations pushing for change in November--al Qaeda and the Democratic party. And they both have the same message: "We're going to fix you, America." On the whole, the terrorists have a more straightforward plan for fixing things. They're going to blow themselves up. Although, come to think of it, Howard Dean did that.
(3) Senator Kerry, what do you mean my administration "lost" 1.6 million jobs? Did Dick Cheney accidentally leave 1.6 million jobs in the Senate men's room or something? Did you find them? Have you got 1.6 million jobs that you're hiding, Senator Kerry? And if you're elected, are you going to give them back?
(4) Speaking of jobs, Senator, how come every illegal immigrant who wades the Rio is able to find one in about 10 minutes? Meanwhile, your Democratic core constituency has been unemployed for years. Are your supporters lazy, Senator Kerry? Or are they stupid? Back when Clinton was president, did your supporters think they got their jobs at Burger King because Bill was sleeping with the cow?
(5) You say health care costs are soaring? Well, I'm not the one with a personal injury lawyer on my ticket. I loved the billboards that John Edwards used to have all over North Carolina: "Y'ALL MIGHT HAVE GOT HURT AT WORK AND NOT EVEN KNOWN IT" and "FEELIN' POORLY? LEMME SUE YER DOCTOR!"
(6) Yeah, we're running a deficit. Like Democrats never did that. But at least we're borrowing the money when interest rates are low. It's the same as refinancing your home loan. Not that you'd know, Senator Kerry, since your rich wife paid off your mortgage.
(7) You say that we won the war, but we're losing the peace because Iraq is so unstable. When Iraq was stable, it attacked Israel in the 1967 and 1973 wars. It attacked Iran. It attacked Kuwait. It gassed the Kurds. It butchered the Shiites. It fostered terrorism in the Middle East. Who wants a stable Iraq?
(8) No, it turns out Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction. And how crazy does that make Saddam? All he had to do was tell Hans Blix, "Look anywhere you want. Look under the bed. Look beneath the couch. Look behind the toilet tank in the third presidential palace on the left, but keep your mitts off my copies of Maxim." And Saddam could have gone on dictatoring away until Donald Rumsfeld gets elected head of the World Council of Churches. But no . . .
(9) You say I didn't have the answers in Iraq? Well, what were the questions? Was there this bad man? Was he running a bad country? That did bad things? Did it have a lot of oil money to do bad things with? Was it going to do more bad things? If those were the questions, was the answer "more time to let international sanctions and U.N. weapons inspections do their job"? No, the answer was blow the place to bits.
(10) You say I didn't have a plan for the post-war problem of Iraq? I say we blew the place to bits--what's the problem?
(11) Yes, blowing a place to bits leaves a mess behind. But it's a mess without a military to fight aggressive wars. A mess without the facilities to develop dangerous weapons. A mess that can't systematically kill, torture, and oppress millions of its own citizens. It's a mess with a message--don't mess with us!
(12) Saddam Hussein was reduced to the Unabomber--Ted Kaczynski--a nutcase hiding in the sticks. Sure, the terrorism by his supporters is frightening. Hence, its name, "terrorism." Killing innocent people by surprise is not called "a thousand points of light." But, as frightening as terrorism is, it's the weapon of losers. The minute somebody sets off a suicide bomb, you can be sure that person doesn't have "career prospects." And no matter how horrendous a terrorist attack is, it's still conducted by losers. Winners don't need to hijack airplanes. Winners have an Air Force.
(13) You say you're going to get our friends and allies to take a bigger role in Iraq. Senator Kerry, what friends and allies? You're a sophisticated fellow. You're well-traveled and speak French. Are there some countries out there that you know about and the rest of us have never heard of?
(14) Let me tell you something, Senator Kerry. I don't blame the U.N. for not supporting me in Iraq. The world is full of loathsome governments run by criminals, thugs, and beasts. When I mentioned "regime-change," hairy little ears pricked up all over the earth. Beads of sweat broke out on low, sloping brows. Blood-stained, grasping hands began to tremble. I had to put poor Colin Powell on the phone to various hyenas in high office and have him explain that America itself needed regime-change from 1992 to 2000. And we didn't bomb the fellow responsible, and we only impeached him a little. Secretary Powell had to tell Kim Jung Il, Robert Mugabe, and Jacques Chirac to quit worrying and look at Bill Clinton and realize the fate that awaits them is a lucrative lecture tour, a best-selling book, and many willing, plump young women.
(15) Senator Kerry, you say you were in favor of threatening to use force on Saddam Hussein, but that actually using force was wrong. The technical term for this in political science is "bullshit."
(16) What are you going to do, Senator, give Saddam Hussein a mulligan and let him take his tee shot over?
P.J. O'Rourke is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of, most recently, Peace Kills.