Move over, NASCAR. Out of the way, major league baseball, horseracing or gambling. For bashing President Bush now takes its place as America's No. 1 national pastime.
Sure, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., said the president deceived the American people about why America led a coalition in invading Iraq. "Week after week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie after lie," said Kennedy.
And yes, House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called president Bush "incompetent."
"Bush is an incompetent leader," said Pelosi. "In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon."
And Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., called non-military-serving supporters of the president's Iraq policy "chicken hawks." "We know who the chicken hawks are," said Lautenberg. "They talk tough on national defense and military issues and cast aspersions on others. When it was their turn to serve, where were they? AWOL -- that's where they were. . . . The lead chicken hawk against Sen. Kerry is the vice president of the United States -- Vice President Cheney.
He was in Missouri this week claiming that Sen. Kerry was not up to the job of protecting this nation. What nerve. Where was Dick Cheney when that war was going on?"
No, I'm talking about just regular folks who feel no reluctance to trash the president in private, social settings. They either don't fear -- or don't care -- whether other people disagree. These anti-Bush remarks take place in homes, at work, or other places where people previously have refrained from introducing politics or religion lest they offend someone.
Now, the gloves are off.
"Bush reminds me of a little monkey -- he just never listens," said my friend's doctor, who, after conducting a checkup, offered this analysis of President George W. Bush. At a small house party a couple of weeks ago, one of the guests said over coffee, "That clown, Bush, has to go."
I had my house painted recently. One of the painters informed another that I host a current events radio talk show. "Really?" said the painter. "So what do you think about our idiot president?"
Sam, a young college student and a friend of mine, was at a fellow student's home. Sam was introduced to some people visiting the student's mother. For some reason, one of them asked Sam whether he was a conservative. He said yes. Said one person to whom he was just introduced, "So, you like Bush?" Sam said, "Yes, I do." To which the person responded while walking away, "Well, I can't even talk to you!"