Another brilliant rant from Mark Morford. See the full article here.
Look, see those tire marks? That ungainly footprint? Feel that breath of humid doom upon your skin? Yes, the president was just here. Up in Napa Valley, riding his official Trek Mountain Bike One over the rocks and down the trails and through the cool California mud, a small army of handlers and Secret Service agents and emergency medical personnel by his side and/or rumbling along behind him in big black SUVs. It was very cute, in a fingernail-yanked-with-pliers sort of way.
It was Earth Day weekend. The president talked about how mountain biking helped him “settle his soul” and “burn off excess energy when you’re living life to its fullest,” which apparently means blindly running your nation into a bloody flaming wall at full speed like a drunk NASCAR driver on Ambien. He talked about how he enjoyed mountain biking because it had such minimal impact on the pristine, wild surroundings. Shockingly, lightning did not strike him dead on the spot.
Later on, the prez talked up the need for wildly implausible hydrogen-powered cars to the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a group who, if they had a drop of integrity and brains among them, didn’t believe a single word he said.
[…] This much we know: Bush is, it has been widely noted, the worst environmental president in modern America history. He has done more to eliminate protections and pollute the air, sell off national forests, whore the waterways, drill for oil and eviscerate pollution regulation than any president on the books. His environmental record is abysmal, shameful, and includes installing two of the worst secretaries of the interior in history, the abominable Gale Norton and now her male counterpart Dirk Kempthorne, who have turned around and reduced protections and sold off more forestland to private concerns — oil, timber, coal, you name it — since the Harding administration.
[…] Bush is, after all, a failed oilman. He has done all he can to ensure we will be dependent on the black death for the next two decades, minimum, which is, not surprisingly, the average remaining life span of his favoritest CEO cronies in the oil business. Serve the masters first, the Saudi sheiks second, the American people about, oh, 157th. It is the BushCo way.
[…] There is no beauty in American political policy toward the Earth. There is no poetry or grace or true heart in how politicians — especially Republican politicians — view our natural commodities, no respect unless it is based on fear, unless it is begrudging and resentful, like when a hurricane makes a mockery of the president’s feeble and unconvincing attempts to prove he cares. Has it always been this way? Maybe. But some leaders are far, far worse than others.
This is perhaps the most frightening thing about the Bush visit, about him having the nerve, the sheer vulgar gall to discuss the quality of his soul while biking through a natural habitat his administration so violently works to defile. It is this: He actually meant it. Bush was probably genuinely heartfelt about enjoying his ride through our troubled trees. He thinks he is attuned and connected. He thinks nature is nifty and calming. And, simply put, there is no more dangerous a leader on the face of the earth who, in every policy and every law and every action, abuses and distorts and molests the world around him, and yet who can turn on an ideological dime and calmly glorify that very thing which he helps destroy.
Recall former Spokane Mayor Jim West, big scandal just recently, an outspoken and homophobic