Jewish World Review Dec. 2, 2003/ 7 Kislev, 5764

Wesley Pruden

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Hating George Bush, and loving it | Hating is fun, but too much of it, like too much garlic, can ruin a romance.

Hating can ruin a politician's romance with voters, too. You could ask some of the Republicans who thought they could dispatch Bill Clinton to oblivion if only they hated him hard enough.

Now it's the Democrats who must heed this caution. Hating George W. Bush has become the squalid pastime of some of our Beautiful People. Some of them are gathering tonight at the Beverly Hilton in Hollywood at the invitation of Laurie David, wife of the man who created the television show "Seinfeld," for something called "Hate Bush 12/2 Event."

"This is the most important meeting you can attend to prevent the advancement of the current extremist right-wing agenda," Mzz David wrote. "Do not miss this meeting. This will be a high-level briefing to discuss the strategies ... to affect what happens next November."

The Drudge Report, which obtained a copy of the invitation, lists the names of a dozen of the glitteries invited to come together to share the hate.

Harold Ickes, who was Bill Clinton's deputy chief of staff and director of the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign, and Ellen Malcolm, founder of Emily's List, the feminist political-action committee, will preside. A rousing good time is expected to be had by all.

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But you don't have to go to Hollywood to join the orgy. Internet sites are abuzz with hate. One of them keeps a "body count" of all the folk George W. and his family have put on ice over the years. Too bad that Owney Madden and Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello and Joey Gallo are still dead. They could take notes. Only last week the airwaves were awash with the hot scoop that it was Lyndon Johnson who presided over the Kennedy assassination, but one particular Internet site tells us no, the evildoing knave of Dallas was really George H.W. Bush, who also did in Hale Boggs, the Louisiana congressman who was a skeptical member of the Warren Commission.

Mr. Boggs died when his plane crashed in the Alaskan wilderness and was never found. Now it turns out that the elder Mr. Bush arranged the plane crash. (Maybe Barbara loosened the spark plugs.)

Nobody can arrange a plane crash with the speed and efficiency of this dynamic duo. The elder Bush is blamed for the crash that took the life of the wife of Howard Hunt, one of the Watergate burglars, because she had "information." George W. arranged the crash that killed Gov. Mel Carnahan of Missouri in the last days of his 2000 challenge of John Ashcroft. It's not clear how this helped George W., since the ghost of the governor won and his wife took Mr. Ashcroft's seat in the U.S. Senate. George W. gets around. He is said to have started the great anthrax scare when he sprinkled germs onto the desk of the photographic editor of the National Enquirer because he didn't like a photograph of his daughter published in the Enquirer. Elvis is a prisoner in the Bush basement in Kennebunkport.

Internet conspiracy theories are always convoluted if not necessarily imaginative, and usually make sense only to the spinners. But some of the hate-Bush movement thrives in more or less respectable quarters. The New Republic published a cover story by someone identified as "Jonathan Chait" (perhaps a nom-de-plume for someone who didn't want his real name associated with the piece), who wrote that he hates not only what George W. does, but the way he walks and talks and even hates what everybody else likes about the personable president.

Much of the mainstream coverage of the president's dash to Baghdad to have dinner with his troops reflects similar elementary-school hatred. Dana Milbank, who dabbles in Bush hatred for The Washington Post, sneered that "while the troops cheered the moment, it is too soon to know whether the image of Bush in his Army jacket ... will become a symbol of strong leadership or a symbol of unwarranted bravado." He resurrected Sidney Blumenthal, who was a White House lady-in-waiting to Hillary Clinton, to suggest that even the "image" of the president landing at night, without running lights and the cabin windows shuttered, was a mark of something approaching cowardice.

The hatred will darken and fester as the situation in Iraq improves, as it will, and as the economy pops and crackles to life, as it has begun to do. Only yesterday the Democrats thought such gods as they believe in were smiling on them, with Americans dying in Iraq and out of work at home. Now their laughter is dying in tears, while the rest of us cheer.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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