Yesterday Bush announced brave new plans to take this country to Mars. He did this on the heels of NASA's success with the Mars Rover, and is using that success, amazingly enough, as a political platform to give a boost to his election campaign. It is embarassing for many reasons, but I must first say that I didn't watch his historic press conference or read about it in the paper. I just heard the gist of it on the radio.
It is embarassing because you have a guy who used to own a baseball team, and he goes to NASA and speaks, some would say speaks down to, all these highly educated and skilled people, and announces that he himself is going to make plans to put a human on Mars. If he lived to be a thousand, he still wouldn't have the slightest idea about what that involves, or what it could mean, or anything. All he knows is that it costs alot of money, and experience has taught him that he can get alot of money from Congress and American taxpayers.
When you look at old pictures of Hitler speaking to his generals, or to engineers, or anybody, you wonder "How the hell did that happen?" and "What could they possibly be talking about?" It's not a fair comparison though, because Hitler was after all a pretty smart guy, as evil as he was. But you wonder, Where did that guy get the authority to speak down to these people? Where on Earth did he get the nerve??
Some say that total power can turn anyone into a genius, with Hitler and Napoleon as examples of that. But that's not supposed to happen in a "democracy."
Bush and his spaceship to Mars reminds me alot of Hitler in his last days. As the Russians were coming from the east, and the Allies from the west, Hitler and his propaganda chief Goebbels were given more and more to flights of fancy, superstition, and silliness.
Hitler would stand with his few remaining generals in a war room and would move around imaginary armies on a map, when there were no more armies, and when total defeat was a certainty. He was confident in some magical secret weapon that would wipe out all his enemies in one blow. He may have been dreaming of a nuclear bomb, but even that couldn't save him. In April 1945 when Roosevelt died, Goebbels took that as a sign that the tide was turning, and victory was imminent for the Nazis, when in reality Hitler would only live for about another week.
I believe that when Saddam was captured last month, it signified the beginning of the end for Bush. It was the sickening end to a war that nobody wanted to see. We can only hope that Bush dreaming about a spaceship to Mars is the sad ending to a sickening and horrible presidency.