There remains to be decided where to put George W. Bush.
If I were a powerful liberal blogger, I would feel compelled to link to news stories which documented my decisions here, but I’m not, so I won’t. You will just have to accept this as the last ravings on eight years of hell.
And so, on to hell, specifically Dante’s Inferno, where he has generously categorized all the places one can end up if one is a) non-Christian, and b) unrepentant. For my purposes here, which is chiefly anticipatory schadenfreude, we’ll just plop George W. Bush down in one of the Circles rather than somewhere in Purgatory, where I’m sure a just and loving God would allow him entrance. But I’m not, so I won’t.
Unlike Dante Alighieri, we’ll start at the bottom and work our way up.
Circle 9: Traitors
Well, of course. W would easily gain entrance to Round 2, traitors to homeland. Yes, his apologists will whine that he thought he was doing the right thing, but you know what? So did Judas, Brutus, and Cassius, and they’re down at the bottom in Round 3. W has betrayed everything this country has stood for to the rest of the world, and he could easily find himself up to his neck in ice.
Circle 8: The Fraudulent
Where to begin? Bolgia 10: The Falsifiers? Easy, what with the whole WMD fiasco. No, I do not think for a minute he believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He lied to us. Bolgia 9: Sowers of discord? Heavens, the number of wedge issues used by this man and his cronies to capture the White House in 2001 and especially 2004 have filled several books. Bolgia 8: Fraudulent advisors: maybe more for Cheney and Rove, but I don’t mind letting W keep them company. Bolgia 6: Hypocrites: in case you had any doubts, W has given interviews recently that completely blow his cover on evolution and other key wedge issues. Now that he doesn’t have to pretend the Bible is literally true, he’s pretty open about it. But for the past eight years? You’d think he’d attended Oral Roberts U., which for all the good we’ve gotten out of his Ivy League education, he might as well have. Perhaps it’s simplest to put him Bolgia 5: Corrupt Politicians, and leave it at that.
Circle 7: The Violent
In the inner part of this circle, the Violent against God are bound to burning sands, with a rain of fire making their eternities particularly unpleasant. I’m not sure W qualifies for blasphemy specifically, but I’m pretty sure God cannot be pleased with W’s claim that He was giving W complete instructions on his policies. However, to be submerged in the river of boiling blood with all the other Violent against Neighbors, there can be no doubt. Throw him in!
We can mercifully skip Circle 6: The Heretical, although if you have any thoughts about this, I’d be glad to entertain them.
Circle 5: The Wrathful
Well, yes. Has any man positioned our country as a force of anger in the world as much as George W. Bush? Has any man incited as much hatred for our fellow humans, whether gay or liberal or Muslim? Put him in the swamp with the others.
Circle 4: The Avaricious
Again, no contest. The entire thrust of W’s two terms has been to reward his rich friends, the upper 1% of our population and to abandon the less fortunate to their well-deserved fate. And as for his incredibly immoral spending, taking us from a budget surplus to a record level of debt, he deserves far worse than rolling rocks around.
Again, we can skip Circle 3: The Gluttonous and Circle 2: The Lustful. Whatever else we can lay to his charge, being an overeater or, Pan help us, a satyr were not issues for him. As far as we know. Poor Laura. (If this were a high-powered liberal blog, then the wingnuts would recognize their cue to begin screaming, “But Bill Clinton! Got a blowjob! In the WHITE HOUSE!!~!!@!!!” So you see, it all balances out, doesn’t it?)
Circle 1: Limbo
At last, here, and only here, is where I want to put George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. Like this blogger over at DailyKos, I am wary of attempting actually to punish him for his many, many, many crimes against this country. As much as I would love to see him standing in the dock at The Hague, I think a far greater punishment is to consign him to anonymity. Don’t interview him a month from now for 60 Minutes. Don’t give him the microphone the first time an international crisis erupts. Don’t refer to him (sort of like the Republicans at their convention last summer) and don’t mention him.
Instead, refer constantly to our efforts to “reform” and “fix” and “bring back” and “salvage” and “redeem” all the horrible things he did to our country. Let him see the joy in our nation at his departure and in the radical shifts of government and governance we embrace. Let the ideas he based his entire regime upon be reviled and ridiculed, publicly and without rebuttal. Let his name rank with Benedict Arnold and with Herbert Hoover in our nation’s mythos.
And let him live to see it.