It has been noted that little difference can be detected between the presidential candidates our two-party state has vomited up for us this year. To help the conscientious voter distinguish Gush (the squinty one) from Bore (the stiff one), we have here collected some of the more memorable utterances of Republican candidate and erstwhile Texas Governor Gush.
What is perhaps most remarkable about these quotations is the unflattering story they tell about American public life: that in the land of the free, a charming and, under the right circumstances, perhaps not entirely repulsive man, born something of a simpleton, who might in a rationally ordered universe be usefully employed as a fence post or a dinghy, can, with the help of family connections and gads and gads of money, attend elite universities and go on to profitably purchase a professional baseball team, the governorship of a very large state and, quite possibly, the highest post in the known world. Read this, then, not primarily as an attack on Gush -- or, God forbid, as an endorsement of Bore -- but as an indictment of an entire system that, contrary to our nations dearest myths, unfailingly helps the shit float to the top. This is perhaps what Gush meant when he enigmatically declared, There is a problem part in America.
Youll see why, if youre looking for an intelligent candidate, it might be better to write in the name of your neighbors parakeet in November.
Why would a man such as Gush -- with far more money than any one man deserves; with more than enough people to boss around; completely lacking in vision, ideas or even rudimentary literacy; by all accounts sober -- want to be president? He explains: Ive got a reason for running. I talk about a larger goal, which is to call upon the best of America. Its part of the renewal. Its reform and renewal. Part of the renewal is a set of high standards and to remind people that the greatness of America really does depend on neighbors helping neighbors and children finding mentors. I worry. Im very worried about, you know, the kid who just wonders whether America is meant for him. I really worry about that. And, uh, so, Im running for a reason. Im answering this question here, and the answer is, you cannot lead America to a positive tomorrow with revenge on ones mind. Revenge is so incredibly negative. And so . . . Im going to win because people sense my heart, know my sense of optimism and know where I want to lead the country. And I tease people by saying, A leader -- you cant say, follow me, the world is going to be worse. Im an optimistic person. Im an inherently coherent person. Ive got a great sense of where I want to lead, and Im comfortable with why Im running.
In a particularly candid moment in February, Gush was more concise: If youre sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign.
He has made some intriguing statements about his own background: I understand small-business growth. I was one.
About his aspirations: The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case.
About Elian Gonzalez and a well-kept family secret: The picture on the newspaper, it just seems so un-American to me, the picture of the guy storming the house with a scared little boy there. I talked to my little brother, Jeb -- I havent told this to many people. But hes the governor of -- I shouldnt call him my little brother -- my brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas.
Gush has saved some of his cleverest remarks for what has ironically become his favorite topic: education. Though he boasts ad nauseam about Texas fine school system (which has a 42 percent dropout rate), he repeatedly exhibits nagging problems with subject-verb agreement: Rarely is the question asked, Is our children learning?
Elsewhere Gush has declared that Reading is the basics for all learning, and admitted that he and his wife really dont realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis.
Betraying an almost Dadaistic taste for absurdity -- reminiscent of his excitement that If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow! -- Gush announced, We want our teachers to be trained so they can meet the obligations, their obligations as teachers. We want them to know how to teach the science of reading. In order to make sure theres not this kind of federal -- federal cuff link, the federal structure on programs, there needs to be flexibility at the state level.