Our Counterfeit President
George W. Bush isn’t really a President, but he plays one on television. From his “top gun” landing on an aircraft carrier to his “turkey toting” in Baghdad, everything about the Counterfeit President is staged and fake.
By Mick Youther

George W. Bush summed up his qualifications for elected office back in 1989:

• “…I could run for governor but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that's not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.”

George could coast through life because of his family’s money and influence. Someone was always there to help George jump to the front of the line. There was always someone ready to bail him out from his failed business dealings.

• “[George W. Bush] is probably the least qualified person ever to be nominated by a major party. Yes, he was elected governor of Texas, and before that he ran a baseball team and lost a lot of other people's money in the oil business. But what has happened in the intervening five years to make people believe that George W. Bush would be a good president? What is his accomplishment? That he's no longer an obnoxious drunk?”-- Ron Reagan Jr., quoted in Salon.com, 8/7/00

• “At some point, George W. Bush took a good long look at who he was and what he wanted for the country and decided that the American people would never buy it if he gave it to them straight.”-- From the book jacket of “Fraud: The Strategy Behind The Bush Lies And Why The Media Didn’t Tell You”, Sourcebooks (2004)

• “…Bush and his political machine made their decision: the American people would have to be lied to. They would construct a persona that would be everything Bush was not. They would take the same reactionary agenda and cloak it in comforting catchphrases and pleasing visuals, presenting to the public a false image of sympathy.”-- Buzzflash, February 13, 2004

• “… George W. Bush’s aw-shuck-isms, his monosyllabic manglings of the language, his jerky gestures, all communicated well to, first, a lot of Texans, and then to a lot Americans: Here’s a real guy. You can tell he’s not comfortable in that suit in front of all those namby-pamby liberal journalists, and that he’s really just ahankering to get into his Levi’s and go check out the Back Forty.”-- Doc Cuddy, Magellan's Log

• “Bush bought his ranch in 1999 as he was preparing his campaign for the presidency. So while the images spell out ‘Texas man coming home to his ranch and the soil,’ might the reality be closer to ‘Savvy politician manipulates the media with a well thought-out backdrop’?”-- PRWeek USA , 9/3/01

From his “top gun” landing on an aircraft carrier to his “turkey toting” in Baghdad—everything about Bush is staged and fake. When we do get a rare glimpse of the real George W. Bush amid the smoke and mirrors, it is not a pretty picture.

• “Before he gave his national address announcing that the war had begun, a camera caught Bush pumping his fist, as though instead of initiating a war he had kicked a winning field goal or hit a home run.”-- Paul Waldman, author of "Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You", Salon.com, 2/10/04

• “…George [W.] Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that ‘people are poor because they are lazy.’ He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to ‘free market competition.’ To him, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was ‘socialism.’”-- Professor Yoshi Tsurumi, Glocom Platform, 3/1/04

• “’Please,’ Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, ‘don’t kill me.’”-- George W. Bush, making fun of an executed Texas woman in an interview, quoted in National Review, 8/30/99

• “Bush "is a hardened cynic, staging moral anguish he does not feel, pandering to people he cannot possibly agree with and sacrificing the future of many American citizens for short-term political advantage. Is that a good enough reason to dislike him personally?”-- Michael Kinsley, Washington Post, 10/24/03

• “[2003 was] a year that waged open war on truth and facts and celebrated fakes and forgeries of all kinds. This was the year when fakeness ruled: fake rationales for war, a fake President dressed as a fake soldier declaring a fake end to combat and then holding up a fake turkey….casting real soldiers like Jessica Lynch as fake combat heroes and dressing up embedded journalists as fake soldiers.”-- Naomi Klein, The Nation, January 8, 2004

Mick Youther is an Instructor in the Department of Physiology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. You can email your comments to