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Jerry’s Ink: A Pity They Couldn’t Exchange Disasters

It’s not Barack Obama’s fault the BP oil well blew up. No matter what the media will have you believe, it was an accident and accidents happen. It was not George W. Bush’s fault Katrina hit New Orleans with such devastation. It was a hurricane, and a hurricane is an act of God, and although George W. Bush speaks to God every night, there is no evidence God ever listens to him.

But it takes a disaster for all of us to realize the man we voted for to be our president is not the confident, knowledgeable, heroic guy we bought from his commercials and speeches, but, in a pinch, will turn into a stumbling, bumbling doofus. We make our presidents into super heroes, and then when they turn into ordinary mortals we hate them for being as helpless as we are when faced with a disaster.

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Did you ever wonder what would have happened if the roles were reversed and Barack Obama was faced with the Katrina catastrophe and George W. Bush had to handle the BP oil disaster? To begin with, Bush was discouraged by some of his advisors from going to New Orleans and having a photo-op of him talking to the Katrina victims. Why? They were fearful some of the African-American victims of Katrina would call Bush a dumb [12-letter curse that begins with the word “mother”] and the exchange would be overheard on national television. So Bush flew over the problem and a hurricane named Katrina turned into the Waterloo of his administration.

On the other hand, Obama is a lot more comfortable dealing with the African-American community, who adores him and are always open to words like “Change” and “Yes, we can. Yes, we can.” So if Katrina had hit during Obama’s administration, you know that on the first day, he would have been in a rowboat with a bullhorn telling those poor people clinging to their roofs he was going to tax the rich and give everyone in New Orleans their own rowboat.

“Listen up,” he would say, “We will all be dry and safe some day. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

“And to prove to you what a tough guy I am, when I find out who’s responsible for this hurricane I’m going to kick his ass.

“Yes, I can. Yes, I can.

“Oh? Only God causes hurricanes? Well, in that case, my Reverend Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity United Church of Christ and I are going to kick God’s ass.

“Yes, we can. Yes, we can.”

When all is said and done, Obama would have come off decisive and heroic if only he was the president when Katrina hit. But sadly, Obama has to deal with this oil spill and he’s not really comfortable with a hole in the ocean floor spewing oil. Going to beaches and rolling up tar balls is not as touchy or feely a thing as he is used to. And despite all of his charisma, a hole on the ocean floor won’t listen to his oily speech, and all of the “Yes, we can” lines in the world won’t seal that gushing oil.

What makes things worse is the “B” in BP stands for British. My God, the hole belongs to another country. If the hole belonged to an American oil company, Obama would have seized it in a minute, written a trillion-dollar check, and plugged the hole with taxpayer dollars.

Which brings us to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. They were made for an oil disaster. If this happened in 2008, the thought of a drop of oil being spilled anywhere in the world would have made them spring into action. From day one of the oil spill both President Bush and Vice President Cheney would be dressed in wet suits on a boat over the spouting hole in the ocean floor. At the count of three they would shout, “GERONIMO!” and hand-in-hand jump over the side of a ship and swim down… down… down… 5,000 feet to plug the gushing hole with their bodies.

On the way down Bush would turn to Cheney and say, “Now that we have [bubble] sacrificed our bodies for the good of mankind and oilkind [bubble], who will be the new president?”

Cheney would answer, “The [bubble] Speaker of the House.”

Then Bush would say, “Dick, I haven’t been [bubble] paying attention. Who is the Speaker [bubble] of the House?”

“Nancy [bubble] Pelosi.”

Both men would then smile and high-five each other.

“Now the [bubble] world will get to [bubble] see what a man-made disaster is really like.”

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