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Lashing Out

Kimberly Gadette
Bush as Zorro image from

Zorro has a few pointed barbs he'd like to personally deliver to El Presidente, Jorge Bush.

To: El Presidente de los Estados Unidos Jorge Bush

From: Don Diego de la Vega, aka, ¡ZORRO!

Re: Top Drawer

Dear Presidente Bush:

At first I was flattered. When it had come to my atención that you had been slashing up other people's property, adding your own signature in a grande manner, I said to my horse Toronado, "¡Fabuloso! The powerful Presidente Bush has seen the manner in which I leave behind my personal mark, my 'Z', as a warning to those who would abuse the pobre and downtrodden. . . and now his pen has become even mightier than my sword."

"You're missing the point," snorted my horse, and led me over to his office stall. Right next to his favorite saddle blanketo and an 8x10 autographed glossy of Mr. Ed were articles from The Boston Globe decrying your usage of "Presidential Signing Statements". Signing statements? Oh, you Américanos, always coming up with something flashy and ¡nuevo! Like tres Starbucks on every street, like an electronic device for every appendage. . .

"Read," neighed Toronado, nudging me toward the pile. "Watch it, Carrot Breath," I said, shoving him back. Oh, me and that Toronado, we could horse around for horas.

I read. I couldn't believe my eyes. So I took off my mask, and tried again.

Stacked atop piles of other news sources, The Boston Globe reported on your scribbling on one out of every 10 bills that had been voted into law by the Legislature. And though these laws had been enacted for the general good, you had taken it upon yourself as Commander-in-Chief to choose which portion of some laws you might follow, and which portions of some laws you might not.

My countrymen have been artistas de graffiti (we call it pintada) since the 1400s. But they were commissioned to create magnifico murals on public buildings throughout the ciudad, making cultural and political statements to represent nature and el mundo, the world in which they lived. But you, Presidente Cut-Up, you tag others' work without invitación, adding your own twist, ¿eh? Oh, si, es verdad, you are twisting -- so mucho that after the ink is dry, it is completely different from the original. Sadly, this is not art. This is artless.

Ah, Señor Bush aka Easy Writer, no me comprendo. As the Numero Uno of the US, the hombre who has been chosen to protect the pobre, the huddled masses, those who make less than $20 mil per annum, what are you thinking? I could understand your striking out against enemies who might oppress your people, but acting out as the enemy yourself? Oye, es loco.

Last December, though you threatened a veto, the Juan McCain anti-torture bill passed both houses. Suddenly, you were a good sport. You invited Señor McCain to the White House, saying ". . . this is a good thing. It's going to help with our image." Then after he left, late on a Friday on the weekend of New Year's Eve, with no crowds around, you took poison pen to paper and wrote:

"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

Primero, who knew you could write this well? Or maybe someone wrote this down for you to copy, ¿si?

Secundo, you are El Presidente, not El Emperor. Even if you flunked out of Government 101 in high school, surely as leader of the free world you must know that representing only one-third of the Government's power, you cannot say "Nanny, nanny, nanny" and stick out a forked tongue to Congressional law. Esa es malas mañeras. I believe you are making a "slash" of yourself, ¿no?

Perhaps I'm reading too much into this. Sometimes my English, she's not so good. "Toronado," I said to my trusty steed, "maybe Señor Bush is confused. Maybe he mistakes the "X" by the signature line? Maybe he thinks he's supposed to cross out instead of merely signing his Juan Hancock? Let's face it, sometimes he's just not all that Sharpie."

With one ironclad hoof, Toronado silently pointed to another document with your Presidential Signing Statement. And then another.

Ah, Señor Quick Draw McGraw, the papers are literally stacked against you. Before your reign, the Signing Statement had been used 322 times. But since you've crept into office, you've employed this whiteout-of-way over 750 times. I begrudgingly applaud your secrecy. . . I use a mask but you, Señor, you can act out a barefaced lie like no otro.

King Bush aka Eraserhead, the Américan media and Congress is upset, claiming you have modified/nullified laws such as the following: Bills that were supposed to regulate the Patriot Act; bills that forbade US troops to engage in combat in Columbia; bills that ignored affirmative-action provisions; bills that protected whistle-blowers so that they could report safety issues related to nuclear sites (including a planned nuclear waste repository in Nevada); bills that safeguarded against interfering in federally-funding research; bills that allowed independent educational studies; and expressly per the anti-torture bill, made it illegal for a US official to torture a detainee in US custody, anywhere in the world. Not to mention the manner in which you've eroded a US citizen's right to privacy. (And speaking of eavesdropping on the teléfono, si, the NSA phone logs are correct, I did indeed have a conversación con mi mama in Santa Ana, California last Wednesday noche.

The fact that you have yet to exercise a Presidential Veto now makes sense. . . Dios Mio, it's as plain as the nose on my horse's horseface! After all, why veto a bill if it might get argued back into official law by Congress? An illegal "no" is so much easier; no muss, no fuss, and the world, it is foiled again.

Back to that lesson in Government 101 you must have missed:

- "Checks" are not always something your amigos at the oil companies give you.
- "Balance" is not always something you can do from time to time on your bicycle.

I bow low to you, Señor of the Less-Than-Rapier-Wit. Thanks to you and your Magic Marker, you are well on your way to making the Constitution disappear altogether. But for all your fencing around with power, you are playing with a double-edged sword: The protecciónes that apply to todo los norteaméricanos also apply to you. Obliterate the gobernación of the Estados Unidos, and believe me, you will suffer right along with the rest of América.

That is, until your own one-way trip to Guantánamo. ¡Curses! That Juan McCain anti-torture legislación was probably the one bill you should have left alone. . .



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