Laughing at the President

Every crop of e-mails these days includes new (or, often, old) George W. Bush jokes, amusing Bush pictures (the one with the lens-capped binoculars is the best of recent examples), and the addresses of disgracefully funny Bush web sites.  One remembers jokes about the laziness and intellectual limitations of Ronald Reagan when in the White House, the reputed inability of Gerald Ford to chew gum simultaneously with performing some other (generally bowdlerised) activity, and even about the misfortunes of George W.’s father (a disastrous dinner in Tokyo comes to mind).  But I don’t recall quite so much scorn and disrespect being heaped on a previous incumbent President,  at any rate in my lifetime (and I made my début only one year after the end of the reigns of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover), compared with that now being visited on George W.   I don’t know to what extent he frightens either the terrorists, Saddam Hussein or his fellow-Americans, but by God, he frightens me.