Yana Djin -Esssays


Moscow News
February 18, 2001

           It has been little over a month since the United States inaugurated its new president. Despite the justified pre-election fears, the Bush presidency has proved to be inconsequential. To put it shortly, nothing is happening in the United States and from the looks of it, nothing noteworthy is going to happen any time soon, with the exception of occasional air raids on Iraq. The latter, however, is more in line with reinforcing the status quo than introducing a change in policy. After all, it would be quite un-American of any  US cabinet not to grace Baghdad with some of its high-tech missiles. 
           The new president, as it befits a man who strongly believes in the hereditary principle, has surrounded himself with his fathers bland cronies and is choosing to play it safe. This is not an unwise decision, by the way. Taking risks and gambles should be limited to the likes of Bill Clinton intellectually superior politicians who have the verbal stamina to withstand controversies. George W. with his celebrated propensity to express himself in monosyllables has justly opted for the more predictable route. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the political scene in the United States is still dominated by Bill Clintons mischief. The reigning republicans are accusing Clinton of taking bribes for pardons and are mustering up all their thespian abilities to try and look astonished while Clinton is having a wonderful time attending elite parties in New York City.   It seems, the republicans find it immoral and uncommon for politicians to be influenced by rich lobbyists and their cash. Meanwhile, George W. is visiting middle schools and talking with schoolchildren an audience that he finds challenging and stimulating. He is also getting physical exercise in the form of pitching baseball with some of Washingtons high school students and judging from the photographs, he looks quite perky and robustly competitive. 
            Indeed, if it were not for unscheduled and annoying interruptions on the part of his cabinet, presidenting as Bush Jr. refers to his job, would not be so tough after all. He would be able to continue charming the usually cynical Press Corps by stamping cute nicknames on its every single member and disarming the sharp-tongued journalists with his pleas to keep the questions short and simple because he is late for lunch where his favorite Texas barbecue is being served. Everyone in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, seems to agree that George W. is truly a nice chap. 
            Nevertheless, one should take into account the infancy of his presidency as well as the scandal-hungry taste of the American media. Journalists are inevitably going to get tired and bored by George Ws lack of controversy. Nicknames and Texas shoulder-squeezes aside, they will start demanding substantive news and talking to six-graders on the importance of getting an Ain social studies is jut not going to cut it. After all, for eight years now, American media has been spoiled by Bill Clinton whose uneven lifestyle and policy paid for many a journalists mortgage. After such an uproarious adventure, they can hardly be expected to have mercy on the new president. It is like asking a man who has been living with the beautiful Hollywood femme fatale to get used to an overweight housewife from the provinces. It is simply not happening! 
            So far, Bush is not delivering any newsworthy material. Yes, he has visited Mexico of all places and promised the Mexican president better relations between the two countries much to the bewilderment of the Mexican people who were not aware that they were at a virtual war with the United States. He also appointed Ashcroft as an Attorney General after some protests which, incidentally, subsided, right after Ashcroft promised that his personal racist and bigot views are in no way going to influence the public arena.  And finally, he held a meeting with Britains Tony Blair during which Bushs lack of verbal alacrity was more painfully apparent than ever next to the Cambridge educated English prime-minister. Bush squinted his eyes and pursed his lips while Blair was talking and later on remarked : Boy, they sure talk funny! He also did not forget his favorite political philosopher, Jesus, and gave a substantial chunk of cash to the faith-based charities run by the evangelical right which makes the above mentioned Aschcroft  look like a liberal hippie. And, last but not least, he has presented the American people with his much-promised tax-cut plan as a result of which an average US family will be able to afford two more eggs per year while the upper class an extra mansion or two. So, all is going according to the schedule in the country of plenty. 
             Bush is proving to be his daddys faithful son and is exercising Bush Sr.s favorite virtue: prudence. If, however, he stays the course, as his father taught him to, he will soon find himself at the bottom of the media-made polls. Sooner or later his public relations staff will have to disclose the brutal truth to their boss that stability and constancy, though helpful in small doses, could be fatal when taken in large proportions. They will have to awake their president from his comfortable repose and order him to do something worthy of attention: bomb a small, sovereign country, for example. Or, perhaps, they will advise him to have an insignificant affair to get the spotlight from the former president Clinton. However, in Bushs case a chubby White House intern will not do the trick. He will have to settle on someone like Dick Cheney to really cause a stir. Trouble is, Cheney is not likely to agree to such a maneuver since he prefers his partners to be more cerebral. 
             Meanwhile, Bush reportedly spent his weekend in the private quarters of the White House enjoying the private screening of Hannibal and envying Dr.Lecters ability to get rid of the unjust and the corrupt by eating them. I would not get so excited if I were him because if he were to follow Hannibal code of ethics, George W. will have to start feasting on his own cabinet and certain members of his family.

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