Conservatives gritted their teeth when the election returns started coming in Nov. 4, 2008. But they took some solace in one aspect of Sen. Barack Obama’s victory: The end of the liberals’ Bush Derangement Syndrome was near.
President George W. Bush had been blamed for more of the world’s wrongs than even global warming was. Comparing Bush to Adolf Hitler became part of the national dialogue. Surely, the media and the left would have to find a new target, someone different to attach their outrage claims on, with a new President, and a new party, in power.
Four-plus months into the Obama administration and it’s like the BDS never took so much as a break. Why else are the media and Democratic politicians alike eager to prosecute Bush officials for the enhanced interrogations that kept the country safe over the last eight years?
The federal budget is growing at an alarming rate? Blame Bush, even though many of the people currently in power voted for the most recent budgets. And the new, improved budget wholly created by Obama and his financial advisers will sink the country further in debt.
The most recent evidence BDS is still flaring came during the White House Correspondents Dinner, the annual affair where the President and the press schmooze and swap one liners. The WHCD’s chosen comedian, Wanda Sykes, was supposed to tweak the new President. That’s what the gig entails. Does anyone recall the skewering Stephen Colbert did of Bush during his WHCD routine? Instead, Sykes blasted away at the old administration.
Sykes saved one of her meanest jabs for former Vice President Dick Cheney, the man everyone assumed was pulling the strings for the last eight years. “I tell my children that if there are two cars driving down our street, and one has a stranger in it, the other Dick Cheney… get in the car with the stranger in it.”
Newsweek magazine, which has steered its course further left than ever before despite protests from its editors to the contrary, wallowed in BDS while covering the new “Star Trek” movie. If a mainstream news publication can’t tell a simple story about Spock &Co., you know the BDS is hard to deny.
The issue in question compared key characters from the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” universes to modern political figures. Naturally, Obama officials filled out the heroic slots. But the magazine dubbed Dick Cheney The Emperor, the evil entity behind Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” franchise, and Bush as Vader himself.
Late-night comedians clearly remain in the throes of BDS, and no one more than David Letterman. His nightly “Late Show” monologues on CBS bend over backwards to avoid tweaking the new President and just slam, slam slam away at Bush.
What, no new President Nixon jokes to trot out?
Comedians realized the full power of their jokes last year when Tina Fey’s wicked impersonation of Gov. Sarah Palin helped sink her chances to become Vice President. So they’ve been wary of attacking the new President in any way.
So who does that leave for political jabs? Comics keep falling back on the “Bush is dumb” meme, ignoring all the gaffes coming out of the White House since January 20.
Some of the aforementioned BDS examples deal specifically with humor, but there was nothing funny about what the Associated Press CEO said about Bush earlier this year. Tom Curley told journalism students at the University of Kansas in February that “the Bush Administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine while imposing tough restrictions on journalists seeking to give the public truthful reports about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
So when the next wave of BDS arrives, you’ll know where it all began.