It ain’t funny anymore

It stopped being funny a long time ago.

Still, we laugh to keep from crying. We laugh at the contorted logic and the bungled syntax. We laugh at the baldness of the lies and the transparent cunning of the attempts to deceive us.

We laugh at the spectacle of a great nation being run by a “decider,” a man who now presumes to warn us about our addiction to fossil fuels after having adopted an energy policy concocted by a cabal of oil-company execs way back in 2001, a group of plotters whose identity is still being hidden from the public, though it is certain Ken Lay was among that number.

We laugh, but the laughter sticks in our throats as the cost of the war in Iraq tops $10 billion a month in what amounts to an oil-company subsidy that, along with the death toll, makes the cost of our commuting more extravagant than solid gold toilet seats.

When this president instructs us on the need for hydrogen-based fuels, we laugh at his condescension because he trusts we will forget the active stance his administration has taken against conservation, against alternative fuels, against taxing gas-guzzling Hummers and SUVs.

It ain’t funny anymore to be led by a man who makes the United States of America a dangerous laughingstock, a man who thinks Pakistan is an Arab nation. (“I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a … force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world.”—George W. Bush; Islamabad, Pakistan; March 3, 2006.)

It ain’t funny anymore when he tangles his words in ways that reveal his utter perplexity with issues that swamp his ability to think. (“I strongly believe what we’re doing is the right thing. If I didn’t believe it—I’m going to repeat what I said before—I’d pull the troops out, nor if I believed we could win, I would pull the troops out.” —George W. Bush; Charlotte, N.C.; April 6, 2006.)

It ain’t funny anymore to hear him stating the obvious in terms so starkly circular they seem to be the honest expression of an empty head. ("No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence. They use violence as a tool to do that.” —George W. Bush; Washington, D.C.; March 22, 2006.)

It ain’t funny anymore to be represented in the world’s capitals by a guy who sounds like a character from The Simpsons, sitting on a barstool at Moe’s and offering a dunce’s insight on matters large and small. (“Wow! Brazil is big.” —George W. Bush, after being shown a map of Brazil by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; Brasilia, Brazil; November 6, 2005.)

And as his approval ratings slide, the fear increases that yet another deadly diversion is in the making, a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran in order to once more rally political support at home and forestall the loss of Republican power in Congress during the midterm elections.

And though he continues to paper the walls with his brainless bon mots, it just ain’t funny anymore.