20 Jan 2007

Needed: A Good Mouser

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It was just occurring to me: presidents of the United States are a lot like cats, and adversaries of the United States are a lot like mice.

George W. Bush is like some cats I’ve had. The mice made a mess on 9/11, and Bush responded by desultorily playing with Afghanistan and Iraq in much the fashion some cats will enthusiastically start tackling a given mouse, but simply bat him around a bit, and then lose interest and go to sleep, while the mouse recovers and scuttles off to violate one’s domestic order another day.

In the case of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Venezuela and a growing list of leftwing dictatorships in Latin America, Bush is worse, more like an old, lazy, and utterly indifferent spoiled housecat, who does no mousing at all.

When one thinks about it, one realizes that in the last 50 years we’ve had good looking presidents and ugly presidents, presidents who had a lot of charm and presidents who made Americans go out and throw up in the street. We’ve had presidents who talked a good game, presidents who screwed up everything, and Ronald Reagan who had a special grace. Besides Reagan, though, we’ve hardly had a president, since the time of FDR, who was any kind of mouser at all. And by my standards, even including Reagan, we have not had a really serious mouser.

I used to have a small grey cat who’d nail one foreign enemy, at least, every night. Our cellar was full of corpses of mice, and voles, and shrews. She didn’t just play with them. After a short session of batting her victim around, she’d administer a lethal, leopard-like bite to the back of the neck, and that was that.

How can a US administration just sit there, and let some idiot like Chavez take over a nearby country, nationalize property (including the property of US corporations), denounce the United States and embark on a campaign of Hemispheric subversion in alliance with our enemies? One really wants to take one’s slipper, and whack that sleeping president a good one, and say: “Over there! Mouse. Go get him! Hunt him up. Kill, kill, kill.”

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