Unlucky Planet?


For the past couple days I've been getting a strange vibe that President Bush's luck is going to turn in 2004. I say that very advisedly, because I think Bush is ten times luckier than Pierre, and because I still think he's going to carve up Dean like a Christmas ham. But there's been this sneaking something in the air, which at first I chalked up to the slow news week. Now I think I've figured it out: It's the man-on-Mars mission. I have a copy of a 1989 Atlantic City Press that I used in packing during some apartment move of yore and now keep around for curiosity's sake. The top-right, large-type headline: "Bush proposes manned mission to Mars." (I thank Ron Bailey for pointing out that this proposal was actually timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the moon landing.)

Now I don't want to read too much into this, and as Bailey has indicated, President GW Bush's proposal this week is essentially an election year bargaining chip that will undoubtedly be disposed of in good time. But whenever I see that '89 headline I think "Hah! Man plans, God laughs." The forlorn hope, the feebleness of promised joy, the reminder of what a sad sack George HW Bush was at heart (not least because he actually had to work hard to make it to the top). George W has enjoyed such great success by systematically destroying every piece of his father's legacy that I worry any time he seems to be walking the family path. (I'm sure GHWB was only using Mars as a bargaining chip too.) For his sake, I hope this Mars announcement wasn't a portent of things to come. The last thing GWB needs in an election year is a hugging and understanding moment with dear old dad.