Betty Bowers on the George Bush vs. John Kerry St. Louis Debate
Regardless of how you might score the debates on competence and veracity (two quaintly obsolete considerations that I join most Americans in never allowing to cloud my judgment), you will have to concede that our handsome President trounced John Kerry in the only criterion that matters on programs hosted by Charles Gibson – entertainment value. John Kerry, made famous by Mr. Bush's ads for being one person with two different ideas, was no match for President Bush, who is apparently two different people with no ideas. The Miami "coming down from a mighty wicked bender" Bush, who was taciturn, sleepy and stumbling over the words, was replaced by the St. Louis "one bump of crystal meth in the limo too many" Bush, who was shrill, jumpy and stumbling over the moderator. I guess campaign mouthpiece Karen Hughes (a woman I adore, but whose wardrobe and gait bespeak of an alarming and felicitous homage to Bea Arthur) had decided that if the bored insouciance of Barbiturate Bush didn't appeal to the famously fickle Undecideds, then maybe the pumped up 'roid rage of Amphetamine Bush will.

With this in mind, no one need squander speculation about why Mr. Bush is so keen to protect pharmaceutical companies from the profit erosion caused by reasonably priced prescription drugs (made, apparently, in rusty witch doctor caldrons under the hapless regulations of evil warlords in the Third World country to our immediate north reputedly called "Canada"). After the St. Louis debate, it is clear that Mr. Bush is indebted to pharmaceutical companies for not only his campaign cash, but also his courage. As First Lady Laura "Pickled" Bush is wont to remind us with a glazed smile: there is no problem in this great nation of ours that can't be fixed by a stronger prescription. Who knows what decisive behavior Barbiturate Bush might have been capable of on the morning of September 11, 2001 all for the want of Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida having a Schedule III pharmacy.

While most undecided voters (who are all also still on the fence about "paper or plastic?," "rich or poor?," "dead or alive?," and even "God or Satan?") thought that Amphetamine Bush was (or wasn't) certainly more (or maybe less) lively to watch than his listless counterpart in Miami (or was it Tampa?), many undecided voters thought that his dosage may (or perhaps not) have overcompensated for his indolence in Miami (no, on twentieth thought, they're sure it was Orlando). Frankly, those seated on the front row at the St. Louis debate were a bit scared that a surreptitious glance at a wristwatch might be interpreted by Bush as a mocking sign of boredom, provoking the Leader of the Free World to challenge them to duke it out mano a mano on live television. Indeed, until whatever Mr. Bush had taken wore off a bit as the minutes remaining dwindled, he displayed the type of edgy aggression that, no doubt, caused the moderator to recall wistfully wondering during an ABC Whitney Houston interview, if the jittery diva was going to respond to an unwelcome query by throwing herself across her free-base scorched coffee table and lunging at Diane Sawyer's throat (an impulse he has, so far, successfully quelled on Good Morning America). I will say this: regardless of what Mr. Bush was taking and how much, it certainly yields more tangible results than Ralph Nader trying, once again, to self-medicate his Narcissistic Personality Disorder with ballots.

As any loyal member of the Apocalypse's Official Sponsor, the GOP, will be keen to point out: John Kerry vacillates with the reckless license enjoyed by those not tenacious enough to white knuckle their grip on a three-word policy in the galling face of relentless contrary proof. For, truly, what greater tip-off can there be of a propensity to flip-flop than for someone to be wrong – only to change his mind simply so he can be right? Mr. Bush's refusal to fall prey to the realities of the World the rest of us are forced to live in until Glory (you know, the "Quagmire Accomplished" one with only one Internet) has led some churlish detractors to claim that our President is unable to adapt to changing circumstances.

Pardon me while I stifle the most ladylike guffaw. Thanks to numerous reports and facts being made public, American voters are now able to gauge the actual threat posed by Saddam Hussein without access to state secrets (or becoming complicit in a felony by, more odiously, sharing dinner with Bob Novak). Because of this regrettable increase in awareness of the so-called truth, Mr. Bush has nimbly recalibrated the reason for having American teenagers killed to protect America from an imminent threat of nuclear – no, make that, ur, bringing democracy to Iraq (which is sort of like bringing a veal casserole to a new neighbor – only to discovery that they are not only militantly vegetarian, but armed to the teeth). To prove his alacritous willingness to adapt once a previous rationale has been exposed as a prevarication, our handsome President has had more variations on his reason for invading Iraq than Carrie Bradshaw had shoes. Indeed, I can almost hear Carrie click click clicking away through last night's Marlboro ash on her Apple laptop keyboard:

"I couldn't help but wonder: when does a monomaniac obsession with a warmongering madman start becoming imitation?"

Well, Carrie, our warmonger has promised more tax cuts, apparently planning to slap the escalating bill for Iraq on Uncle Sam's Capital One No Hassle VISA card. But it's only fair that our grandchildren pay for the war. After all, they are the only ones who stand a chance of seeing anything that remotely mimics democracy flourishing in that backwards, tribal hellhole. Liberals accuse our handsome President of stirring up Muslim terrorists in the Middle East with an unnecessary war in Iraq, making a mess of everything he touches and rubbing the rest of the world of the wrong way. Well, frankly, this is music to my ears! According to Scripture, Jesus will not return until the World is in a bellicose shambles. Clearly, the Lord has grown impatient cooling His sandals and has anointed our handsome President to ensure that the planet's demise is put on an accelerated schedule. And, friends, this is why none of you should vote for John Kerry. Someone in the Oval Office who is competent and doesn't make sport out of needling our allies could put off the Rapture for four -- even eight -- years!

Recently, Elton John made news by revealing that he was the last follower of popular culture to realize that Madonna (the one boys wrestling with homosexuality and aging worship, not the one that pops up from time to time as a light blue concrete lawn ornament) doesn't always sing live. Honestly, what disillusioning revelation will roll from his tongue next? Campbell's Soup exists outside of art galleries? Frankly, if I had tickets to a Madonna concert and thought for one moment that she might be foolhardy enough to sing live, I would feign epilepsy with riveting verisimilitude in the limo on the way simply to get out of attending.

But it appears that Madge may not the only lipsyncher with an inexplicably large following. There has been debate on one of the Internets about a strange box that appeared under the back of our handsome President's $1,600 tailored suit (see the photo above). I'm no expert when it comes to bulges in men's suits (truly, where are one of those ubiquitous gayboys when you need one?), but there is speculation that the easily flummoxed and tongue-tied president, long famous for getting wired, has been wired. For sound, that is. Given the president's disinclination to think before a declarative sentence (such I "I declare war"), I think it was wise of Karl Rove to get Radio Shack to accomplish what proved beyond Yale's reach – to put ideas in Mr. Bush's head. My only quibble is that they should have told George they were doing it. Poor thing keeps thinking he hears the voice of Jesus telling him how to pronounce the word nuclear.

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