I’m in a Hell of Lot of Trouble: The Four Year Comedy Tour of President George W. Bush

I'm in a Hell of a lot of trouble.

I may be the only one I know who’s willing to admit to being a long time appreciator of comedian Richard Lewis. His anxiety-laden routines, such as I’m in Pain, I’m in Hell, and I’m Doomed spelled out Jewish guilt and life on the therapy couch in a cathartic flush of pain and laughter. Despite his material’s adult and personal nature, I could easily relate to his wild rants as a boy growing up. In hindsight, Catholic school probably made that possible for me, along with a few of my own yet to be diagnosed mental disorders. But I digress.

Why is it that these days I’m forced to think of Richard Lewis’ schtick every time I see George W explaining something to the media? I don’t really know. Low public opinion polls and a clear disregard for the Constitution he swore to uphold may have something to do with with the why. But this brief Slate article seems to touch what it all could actually mean.

George Bush is a quick wit. When a camera fell and dangled from the briefing room ceiling at his Jan. 26 press conference, he quipped to those seated below: “Are you wearing your helmets?” Later, a radio reporter prefaced his question about the Jack Abramoff scandal by saying he wasn’t interested in pictures of Bush and the disgraced lobbyist. “Easy for a radio guy to say,” Bush interjected.

I wish the president’s serious answers were as tart and on point. Dealing with delicate issues on camera, Bush’s mind may work just as quickly, but he keeps his mouth shut. The pause to think gives him away. When he doesn’t punch out a response, he’s not puzzling out the answer. He’s puzzling out the spin.