Driving With Dubya

In the dream, I was rounding the shoulder of a hill close to my house — a side-street shortcut between tree-choked residential lots — when Law Enforcement, in the form of one man in a subfusc uniform, halted my little Fit putter-car and commandeered the wheel, citing some sort of incomprehensible violation that I could not grasp having committed but felt unable to contest.

He was the spit image of George Dubya Bush.

Look, he said, pointing up the quickly darkening hill to the creepy figure of a man taking a guerilla piss at the side of the road — the contraband stream glowing in the reflective lime color of safety vests and road signs. Evil people are moving in the county and we have to mount a resistance. As he drove my car through the twilight streets, other men could be seen, their forms shot with darts of the same luminous limelight color. I wondered who was more dangerous, the past-presidential vigilante who had seized the wheel of my car or the murky, phantasmic pishers he was claiming to defend against.

The dark guys in dreams are no joke. At least in our slumbering brains, there are entities who wish us ill and act with all the energy of the primal and inchoate.

But Dubya. That was just unfair. You always felt it was practically unkind to point out to the poor bastard what a dumb fuck he was, but if he’s driving your car? in a critical situation?

I hate dreams like this.


18 thoughts on “Driving With Dubya

  1. Oh, how bizarre. Interesting that he wanted you on his side. By any chance are you undecided in the presidential election? No, you don’t have to answer that, it’s none of my business. But I think if I’d said anything recently against Bill’s candidate, I might have a dream like this.

    • I don’t think I’ve been undecided about a Presidential election since Ford vs. Carter. Ford was the last Republican candidate who didn’t seem to be wearing a “Fuck you and hooray for me” T-shirt, and as an unmarried woman in business for herself, who really hates children and would open my veins with a sharpened screwdriver before ever having one, who dentifies as agnostic if forced to check a box, has had lots of gay friends… you get me. The ass kissing to the fundamentalist wack job wing must make American the laughing stock of humanity.

      I’m not sure if he wanted me on his side or just wanted to scare me into letting him carjack me.

      • Ford was in when I was born! I don’t remember him. I remember Carter, and his brother, and the hostage crisis, and the fuel crisis. I drew a kiddie political cartoon about the fuel crisis, actually, wonder if I still have it… I do recall that I didn’t like Regan even though my parents did. Can’t explain why, I was 9. I’m glad my dad has turned around and calls one candidate Twit.

        Yes, the first time I didn’t feel ashamed to say I was born in America (instead of pretending to be Canadian, I have a very neutral accent) was when Obama was elected. Every government gets laughed at, but in the US’s case the voters get laughed at, too.

        • I was trying to find work, post-college, in what was called the “Ford recession,” which was of course more complicated than that but, you know, people remember whose watch it was. He tried that trick of cutting taxes without cutting spending. He pardoned Nixon, and we all felt he’d taken the devil’s dollar for that in some sense. But Carter spooked me with his loud Christianity, and I think he paved the way for Jesus-shouters in American politics, to whom the Republican party was sold under Reagan.

          Reagan just flat-out terrified me. I think he was really to blame for the process of dumbing-down the discourse on foreign relations to the cowboy attitude America exhibited under Bush and which R-money seems to want to bring back.

  2. Oh golly, and this just in, Twit apparently regards 47% of Americans as lazy bums who expect the government to “give” them food, housing and health care. From his lofty pinnacle, I guess he doesn’t grasp the idea of government making it possible for a person working full time to afford food, housing and health care, which is a bit different from wanting these things “for free.”


    But then, this guy thinks that “middle income” is a household bringing in $200 – 250K.

  3. That man never stops talking. No-one contradicts or interrupts him.

    What distinguishes him is that he is moderately articulate. It is a cocktail party. Maybe there is a direct neural link from his gut to his mouth without passing through his brain.

    Small wonder your wish-fulfilment is Dubya. At least you didn’t have to gag him.

    I have violated my own rule that a foreign guest should not insult his host’s politicians.

    Don’t worry. Election fever will be over soon and everything will be back to normal.

    • Consider yourself permitted to ding any Republican who has put his head above water this year. We used to have some sane people on that side of the aisle — Packwood, say, and I have a cautious admiration for Arlen Specter — but the crazies have flat run them out. Olympia Snowe might as well turn out the lights when she leaves.

      As for wish fulfilment, it was more of a nightmare. My Albino Ex voted for him twice (in 2008 he lost patience and went Obama), and had a fetish for the neon lime green, so there may be some clutter in my subconscious involving that. Shrub pandered to the religious right, and I am probably white-knuckle scared, down there in my subconscious, of one of their pets getting control of the wheel.

      • Mind you, the audio sounds edited. Could be he said some sensible things in between, say: we need to get that forty-eight per cent up.

        Then, of course, they might have been two-sided conversations after all, in which case he may simply have been pandering to his supporters. Heaven forbid that I should suggest there were traitors in the camp – no Democrat would sink so low or imagine voters so gullible.

        Don’t you have just a little unconscious wish for Dubya and his lime-green-clad Dubyagaffeologists, who were active both before and after elections? It was laughs all round in those days to help see us through the worst.

        • Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And politicians are politicians — I worked for one, I should know how you begin to look at voters a little the way carnival barkers look at the marks — but Mitt really took our collective breath away with his imputations of dependence directed at people who actually work their behinds off trying to pay the bills, when he is the one who had everything handed to him from birth (the fairy story about him giving away his inheritance and starting from scratch, for example, completely sidesteps the fact that his parents sent him to a prestigious prep school, which is an inheritance in itself).

          The thing the guy totally misses is that no one stands or falls on his own, and the helpers and “makers” still can use a little help. My late and ex husband was mentally ill, plain and simple, in ways that couldn’t be quantified easily enough to force him into treatment. After we were divorced I twisted his arm up behind his back to MAKE him accept Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare benefits — he was irrationally suspicious of anything that involved signing or filing a paper. Those benefits paid at least a share of the bills to the caregivers, most of them wonderful and compassionate, who treated him when he collapsed with metastatic cancer. Without that aid, what choices would there have been? Let him die on the street? Take him into my own house and quit work to care for him 24/7 and try to find money for a scratch minimum of medical treatment? How long would I have been able to keep the house? Thanks to “entitlements,” he died with some dignity and I am not bankrupt, in fact paid taxes through it all and continue to do so.

          And there’s my present gentleman friend, the Cute Engineer, who’s taken on, with love, the task of ensuring the welfare of two kids whose parents, to put it kindly, have not stepped up to the plate. Before he worked for a company that let him assign them as dependents on his insurance, we got them on a state children’s health care program. Once again, a working person didn’t have to choose between paying the doctor bills or paying the rent on behalf of someone he cared for, regardless of relationship.

          And no, I don’t miss Dubya. He was just too toxically dumb and self-satisfied with it. He kind of made me miss his dad though, and his dad made me miss Nixon,.something I thought I’d never do.

          • Yes. There definitely has to be a safety net and one that doesn’t make recipients squirm.

            Just a few numbers, though:

            US debt 2005 (Dubya): 9.9 trillion dollars – 69.7 per cent GDP
            Ditto deficit 683 billion dollars
            2012 debt forecast: 16.3 billion – over 100 per cent GDP – up 2/3 under Obama
            Ditto deficit: near 1.5 trillion – 10 per cent GDP
            2016 debt forecast: 20 trillion
            Interest on debt next 4 years: 4.2 trillion

            Sources: various

          • Unquestionably, entitlements add to the debt.

            But then, so do tax breaks given to companies who export jobs from the USA; so do farm subsidies paid out to people who have never been near a farm. If I rolled up my sleeves to research and list the ways that the US government gives money to people who don’t need money, I’d be here all day. The last place you look is the money intended for people in immediate need, or the money that is destined to return dividends to the economy, through public education and tuition assistance, for example.

            I saw a conservative on Twitter mocking Michelle Obama’s convention speech remark about being “young, in love and in debt.” I can only say that Obama seems to have known how to manage debt, since he is in pretty okay shape personally at the moment. Makes you think he might just maybe have an idea how to make it work for the country

          • These things are hard to get your head round. Mockery never helps, nor do gratuitous insults, but some think there is virtue in them.

            It is true that there are differing and competing needs. Money has to be there before it can be taxed, so I do wonder if a tax break is a true subsidy. As to plain subsidies out of available resources, it boils down to priorities, which are usually poorly judged by governments.

            In the UK there is a thing called winter fuel subsidy my wife and I both receive as being over retirement age and therefore at risk, supposedly, of hypothermia. At Christmas we receive a present from the taxpayer of £250 each. We do not need it. Even less do those expatriates living in certain warm climates in like financial privilege as ourselves, yet still entitled.

            Our welfare system is riddled with such anomalies, as is the National Health Service. It is the incurable disease of the bottomless purse.

          • That is a thorny thicket — the question of means testing. I think it is not done as often as it should be. I understand that in some cases it opens more cans of worms than it seals, but I have wondered for years why retired Americans with a whopping investment income continue to draw Social Security, for one example.

            It is especially galling because the US system garnishes your first $100,000 of income for Social Security tax. After that, no more is taken for this fund. Yet the benefits are collected equally, so much per quarter paid in, by everyone who is in that system. Hence a far larger proportion of my income, which I need more than the person making $100,000 a year to say nothing of $1,000,000 and upward, gets put into that pool to be redistributed evenly across all recipients, including the millionaires. They are getting Social Security, which they don’t really need, on my dime. These are the things that have got to get fixed.

          • Means testing implies that it is inherently morally right to tax, which I question at many levels, one of which is the assumption that government knows better how to spend my money than I do.

            One of the more grotesque manifestations is that money is taken out of my pocket only to be handed back to me.

            There are some things only a government can buy, a welfare safety net among them, but the onus has to be on government to show the spending is justified. Otherwise the whole system collapses.

          • It’s not grotesque if by taking five dollars out of your pocket and three from mine and twelve from the squire’s, and so on, the government organization with its economies of scale is able to provide you with something that none of us could obtain for ourselves by spending that five and three and twelve dollars separately. The purchasing power of Medicare or the National Health in the matter of prescription drugs is one example. In the US this has been perverted by the relentless marketing of drug companies, who lobby doctors to push their products on people and get it paid for with tax money, but that is the fault of our half-public half-private medical system. Single payer systems do not invite this level of egregious abuse.

            I don’t see how means testing gets us directly to the idea of moral right to tax. It seems to me more relevant to someone’s moral right to be the recipient of the public dollars collected from his fellows at all levels. The church poor box is there for the aid of the needy, not for the use of the squire when he is short of pocket cash and wants another drink. Taxation and appropriate public spending merely extract religion from the matter and ensure a predictable supply of funds. And I hope you do not subscribe to the libertarian argument that all other public needs should be met by voluntary subscription. I can just picture all the people on my block arguing over how much to pay a private paving company to do road repairs and deciding what share was fair for each household to put up.

          • Now would I espouse any such principle, Sled? 🙂 I merely seek such truths as we are able, jointly, to uncover.

            I see you have posted anew, and I do not want to miss anything so I shall not explore your observations in detail except to say that I do not share your trust in a group that seeks power over others. We all depend on the free market, which can indeed give something to essentials. Push it too hard, though, and we all suffer.

            There are no moral (as opposed to legal) rights: only privileges.

          • I don’t trust people who seek power over others, and that’s why I don’t trust the so-called “free market,” which has not been free for a long time but is routinely manipulated by those with money in order to keep them rich. Yes, they also use political means to do this; however, government also offers remedies. I really don’t want to go back to an era when business was completely unregulated. Do you?

            I am much more prepared to trust the actions of an elected government which can be changed by public vote, at least in the long term and aggregate.

          • Free doesn’t mean free-for-all. I am in favour of fair dealing and respect for property, within a minimal legal framework if found necessary.

            As to the relative merits of the government and the governed, we have yet to find common ground.

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