Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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That doofus Dubya's doomsday diplomacy
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   07/28/2006)

"There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on--shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."—President George W. Bush, Nashville, TN., Sept. 17, 2002, his eloquence in full bloom.

What a knucklehead.

When the history of the world's great 21st century Looney Tunes waltz toward disaster is written—assuming anyone's left to write it—somebody will point out that a funny thing happened on the way to Armageddon. A doofus managed to get himself selected president of the United States.

Come on, admit it, just between us two. George W. Bush is not the brightest bulb in the light. The media has been way too polite on this point. Take this Bushism uttered in Poplar Bluff, MO, Sept. 6, 2004—just weeks before Bush's re-selection. On the subject of the nation's rising medical malpractice insurance rates, Bush said: "Too many good doctors are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." Choice. I mean, what on Earth does that statement suggest? Where were the probing media when we needed them?

You don't have to go back to 2004 to come up with examples of Bush's mangling of speech and decorum. His doofus-ness was on full dress parade the past couple of weeks before a select live audience at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. That's where he advised suave Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia should strive to be more democratic, like, say--oh, there were any number of examples Bush might've offered, but the one his data-sampling brain came up with in typically clueless fashion? Iraq, for gosh sakes. Iraq? Self-destructing in civil war before our eyes? To that advice, Putin sharply replied, "We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy that they have in Iraq, quite honestly."

Next Bush was caught exchanging locker room jargon with British Prime Minister Tony Blair as they discussed Israel's full-blown assault on Lebanon. Unaware that microphones were on, Bush improvised, impetuously using un-Christ-like language while simultaneously stuffing pastries in his mouth. True, you or I might've done the same. But then, we're not the leader of the free world.

Then came Bush's display of geographical prowess. "It takes him eight hours to fly home," said Bush, in awe at Chinese President Hu Jintao's travel arrangements. "Eight hours. Russia's big and so is China."

Russia's big and so is China? Is this something you say to another head of state to suggest the world's many-hued splendors and subtle synchronicities? Is this the level of comprehension you put on display?

Well, maybe so if you're also the engineer of this verbal construction: “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream." —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000. Or this: "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."—Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000.

Bush garnered more bad press by repeatedly bringing up the subject of a recent pig roast. Here's how Newsday described it: "As Israeli warplanes were preparing an attack on Lebanon Thursday afternoon, and a Lebanese militia was aiming a rocket at the ancient Israeli city of Safed, President George W. Bush… kept bringing up the roast wild boar he was about to dine on at a banquet that night, even when asked about the swelling crisis in the Middle East, where pig meat is forbidden to religious Jews and Muslims. 'Does it concern you that the Beirut airport has been bombed?' a reporter asked. 'And do you see a risk of triggering a wider war?' 'I thought you were going to ask me about the pig,' Bush replied blithely. Then he brought the pig up again--for the fifth time—before… saying Israel needed to protect itself."

Finally, Dubya resorted to physical, um... humor, giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel an unsolicited back massage while she talked to another world leader and her face searched for just the right expression in response to getting groped in front of the entire world.

But you have to understand the mentality we're dealing with. This is the same who said:

"I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here."—Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002. And this:

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.''--Townsend, TN, Feb. 21, 2001. And:

"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?"—Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000.

One might ask the same about this president.

Those and a dismaying number of other “Bushisms” are well-documented and well-sourced at literally hundreds or thousands of Websites. Google “Bushisms” for a good laugh. Or a good cry.