(Originally published in OC Weekly, Thursday, October 28, 2004)
George W. Bush and Major Frank Burns from TV’s M*A*S*H: one is a classic comic character, a lipless, posturing, cowardly twerp with a tendency for hilariously garbled speeches about God and country . . . and the other is a character on an old sitcom. Can you tell them apart? Take the following Bush or Burns quote quiz and see.
1) “Unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.” 2) “Y’know, a dictatorship would be a lot easier.” 3) “[Our enemies] have run their own countries into the toilet while half the people [there] haven’t seen a bathroom. And believe you me, they want one. If they can’t get them by subversion, they’ll get them by war.” 4) “There ought to be limits to freedom.” 5) “There’ll always be another war.” 6) “I love the outdoors. Any time I’m not indoors, that’s where you’ll find me.” 7) “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” 8.) “They misunderestimated me.” 9) “Absitively.” 10) “You’re the kind of guy I like to have in a foxhole with me.” 11) “I’m one of those that feel that marriage is the headstone of American life.” 12) “Without discipline, the Army would just be a bunch of guys wearing the same color clothing.” 13) “I’ve been to war. I’ve raised twins. If I had a choice, I’d rather go to war.” 14) “If those killers, those criminals believe that their bloody criminal acts will shake even one hair off the body of our nation and its unity, then they are deceiving themselves.” 15) “I think we agree: the past is over.” 16) “Leadership is a lonely business. Your Napoleons, your Kaisers, your Attilas the Hun, were alone [. . .] as I have been this week.” 17) “I have never cared, and at this point I don’t care twice as much as I never cared before.” 18) “Far be it from me to try to put words in God’s mouth.” 19) “Marriage is probably the chief cause of divorce.” 20) “I was a lucky man when she said, yes, I agree to marry you. I love her dearly . . . Just like I love my brother.” 21) “What about the thousands of wonderful men who are fighting this war without any of the credit or the glory that always goes to those lucky few who just happen to get shot?” 22) “We’re making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end.” 23) “I think war is a dangerous place.” 24) “It was one of those days that, more than most, reminds us that war, no matter how much we may enjoy it, is no strawberry festival.” 25) “Each of us is responsible for loving our neighbor just like we’d like to be loved ourself.” 26) “I happen to believe in the sanctity of marriage, no matter how ugly or disgusting it gets.” 27) “We’re fighting an enemy that knows no rules of law, that will wear civilian uniforms.” 28) “It’s nice to be nice . . . to the nice.” 29) “Funny thing, war: never have so many suffered so much so so few could be so happy.” 30) “Free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.” 31) “What would have happened in 1776 if our brave Minutemen soldiers on their way to Lexington and Concord had to worry about toilet paper?” 32) “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” 33) “It’s burned into their brains. Kill Americans, kill, kill. They don’t respect human life the way we do. I’d like to take him out and shoot him.” 34) “I don’t chew my cabbage twice.” 35) “I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here.”
ANSWERS: 1) Burns 2) Bush 3) Burns 4) Bush 5) Burns 6) Burns 7) Bush 8.) Bush 9) Burns 10) Bush 11) Burns 12) Burns 13) Bush [NOTE: This was a trick question; Burns never raised twins, but W. never went to war.] 14) Bush 15) Bush 16) Burns 17) Burns 18) Bush 19) Burns 20) Bush 21) Burns 22) Bush 23) Bush 24) Burns 25) Bush 26) Burns 27) Bush 28) Burns 29) Burns 30) Bush 31) Burns 32) Bush 33) Burns 34) Burns 35) Bush