By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

Why are we seeing George Bush on TV every two hours for nine or ten days at a time, like some kind of mutated Mr. Rogers clone? Something is dangerously wrong in any country where a monumentally-Failed backwoods politician can scare our national TV networks so totally that they will give him anything he wants.

The answer to that one comes in two parts. One is that Bush will have to run for re-election next year, which three months ago seemed like a harmless waltz -- but which is now looking like a dangerous gang-fight that Bush might not win because his overall game plan for Iraq was so hopelessly flawed that it could never have been successful. It was arrogant and ignorant and stupid, and now the vultures are coming home to roost.

Tragic, eh? No. In fact, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I believe very strongly that George Bush can and shall be beaten like a gong in next year's extremely-important election, where he won't be the only jackass politician running for his life.

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President Bush
Dubya always seems to make us laugh.

Who gave George Bush permission to pre-empt and butt into NFL football games and turn pre-game ceremonies into a half-bright rave about rebuilding a nation that we just bombed back into the Stone Age? What kind of cowardly swine would freely give $25 million (?) worth of commercial time to any political candidate in a presidential election year?

How about the greed-blind Commissioner of the National Football League? Does that sound right? You bet it does, bubba. It was Paul Taglibue who let the egg-sucking weasel from Texas into the hen-house, because he thought it was necessary at the time.

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My darkest fear right now is that we will be seeing George W. Bush on NFL TV every Sunday for the rest of this year, and far into the winter and maybe all next year until election day rolls around, constantly jabbering about how his jackass war on the nation of Islam is joined at the hip with the nature of football in America and especially the NFL. If you love to watch anything that looks like professional American football, you will also love the brutal culture of War and all the murderous violence that goes right along with it. Right. In war, you do 200 pushups a day; and in pro football, you do about 50. In war, you carry a nine-pound, full-auto assault rifle at all times; and in football, you carry a pointed leather ball.

They are both profoundly violent and cruel and utterly unforgiving, and they both require public brutality by people wearing elaborate uniforms. I have tried them both for long periods of time, and I frankly see no basic similarity at all beyond the powerful desire to hurt people.

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As for gambling on NFL games, I managed to win about 64% of my bets for the week, which is not good enough to justify getting addicted to it.

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His books include "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "The Curse of Lono," "Generation of Swine," "Songs of the Doomed," "Screwjack," "Better Than Sex," "The Proud Highway," "The Rum Diary," and "Fear and Loathing in America." His latest book, "Kingdom of Fear," has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears regularly on Page 2.




Hunter
S.
Thompson
HEY, RUBE