The Candidates on George W. Bush

Brian Cook and Ana Hristova

Bush bashing: It’s pointless, immature, detrimental to civil discourse and counterproductive in luring those all-important “NASCAR Dads” we’ve heard so much about. But dammit if it’s not good fun. So in a spirit of malevolent glee, here are the Democratic candidates, speaking harmoniously on the single issue that can truly unite a divided electorate: the follies and failings of our feckless flight-suit-in-chief.

Carol Moseley Braun
She has complained that the current administration is “spending money like a drunken sailor” and believes better, more accurate descriptions of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program would be “No Child Left Untested” or “No Child Left with a Behind.”
Wesley Clark
Clark has done an about-face from his 2001 endorsement, given at a GOP fund-raising dinner, of “the great team in office, men like Colin Powell, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice.” While Clark may still be confused about the gender of Rice, he has since revised his opinion, calling the great team’s foreign policy “reckless” and “irresponsible” and arguing that Bush’s “axis of evil” was “probably the single worst formulation in the last half-century of American foreign policy.”
Howard Dean
Deriding Bush’s tax cuts as a gift of “$3 trillion for Ken Lay and the boys,” Dean believes Bush pursues “Enron economics,” which “is the equivalent of mortgaging your house to get spending money for the weekend.” Like Braun, he would change the name of “No Child Left Behind,” his preference being “No School Board Left Standing.”
John Edwards
He has pointed out that while Bush may be fluent in Spanish, “the only Spanish he speaks when it comes to jobs is ‘Hasta la vista.’” And Bush’s health-care initiatives caused the senator to tell an audience “we ought to go to the White House and hang a big sign on the door … that says, ‘This president is hazardous to your health.’”
Dick Gephardt
The longtime representative has asked the obvious question, “How many Americans have to lose their jobs before George Bush loses his?” and was less than impressed with Bush’s landing on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, remarking, “If he really wanted to show us the state of affairs, he should have landed on a patch of quicksand.”
John Kerry
Many complain about his lack of humor, but Kerry recently brought down the house with this remark: “General Boykin has confused the heck out of the White House on all this talk about the Almighty. When he talks about the Almighty, the president thinks he’s talking about Cheney, Cheney thinks he’s talking about Halliburton … and John Ashcroft thinks they’re talking about him.”
Dennis Kucinich
As the only candidate who has offered to set up a Department of Peace, Kucinich usually avoids personal attacks and focuses his criticism on policies. His most bitter remarks came this past Labor Day when Bush decided to use Ohio as a photo op backdrop. After tremendously understating that Bush was “no friend of working people,” Kucinich said, “I hope his tour of the state will include the empty factories and bankrupt corporations.”
Joseph Lieberman
Incredibly, the seemingly sober senator once defeated Christopher Hitchens in a celebrity stand-up contest. The following quip makes this a little easier to understand. “In the Bush administration, the foxes are guarding the foxes, and the middle-class hens are getting plucked. I want to make it clear I said plucked.”
Al Sharpton
After Bush’s “Bring ’em on” taunt, Sharpton compared the president to “a gang leader in South Central L.A.” If elected, he promised Bush a position “in the Bureau of Missing Persons because he keeps missing everything he goes after.” As for the infamous tax breaks, Sharpton thought they were “like Jim Jones giving [out] Kool Aid. It tastes good, but it’ll kill you.”

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