Finally: George W. Bush takes the ALS Ice Bucket challenge

I toyed with a “Bush gets waterboarded” headline but even my hackery has its limits, my friends.

I’ve gone from thinking the challenge is dumb to brilliant in the span of about a week. It’s dumb on its face: The gimmick is that you either submit to having a bucket of ice water dumped on you or you make a donation to ALS research, and then you challenge a few people you know to do the same. Which seems like an odd way to raise money. What kind of charity drive invites would-be donors to do something in lieu of donating, especially when that something is silly, fun, and tailor-made for viral video? But it’s working: They’ve raised more than $30 million so far. As the ice bucket videos draw in bigger and bigger names, it’s turned into a megawatt celebrity ad campaign for the charity. And of course not everyone who’s choosing the bucket is keeping their wallet in their pocket; the Bushes are a perfect example of a family that’s doing both. The only downside is that copycat charity drives are bound to follow. Does America need a “pie-in-the-face for cancer” movement? We’re going to find out.

Because nothing Bush does can escape criticism, including free publicity for a charity that aims to cure a fatal illness, The Week gently notes that his bucket of water appears to have contained no ice. I blame the neocons.

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David Strom 12:31 PM on December 07, 2022