Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Astonishing Mr. Bush and His 'Why Not?' Presidency

The greatest secret of the Bush presidency is that George W. Bush is a self-made idiot. I mean that. He's had the best education, he comes from a wealthy family, he's said to be reasonably intelligent, he's had numerous opportunities thrown at him all his life and he was raised in the United States at a time of enormous scientific and intellectual progress. It takes effort to live in an alternate universe.

I don't remember when it was, maybe 2002 or 2003, but there was a news report by a British reporter who covered a trip that Bush took to the U.K. and the reporter could hear Condi Rice and President Bush snipe at each other as they were making their way to a meeting. Condi Rice was the National Security Adviser then and she was discussing an earlier meeting. She was telling George that he couldn't say what he was saying and he was sniping back, why not? After five and a half years of a 'why not?' foreign policy, our standing in the world is diminished, our options limited and we have to be concerned about a self-made idiot dragging us into a third war as if the chaos in Iraq and the long unfinished war in Afghanistan are of no concern. And much of the media, particularly on the right, continues to give the man a free pass. In any other era, Congress would have impeached this self-made idiot by now.

If my rhetoric seems over-stretched today, blame it on the weather, political or otherwise. But I'm not the only one bewildered by the continued escapades of the astonishing Mr. Bush and and a diminishing American right that still glories in the man's self-made idiocy. Here's some thoughts by William Rivers Pitt of Truthout about the disastrous G8 summit:
...No trade deal got done. The whole thing was a humiliating waste of time, captured best by all the photos of Bush and Putin together. In each and every one of them, Putin is looking at George with an expression that somehow conveyed disgust, disdain and awe simultaneously.

Putin's disgust and disdain are easily understood - the poor guy was trapped in a room with our knucklehead president for hours, after all - but the awe requires notice. What, Putin must have thought, is this fool doing running a country?

After that came the much-noted open-mike gaffe, during which George dropped an s-bomb while discussing the Middle East crisis with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The cussing doesn't trouble me - those who know say that John F. Kennedy swore like a sailor whenever he talked shop - but the rest of the scene was like something out of a high school cafeteria. Bush sat there, talking with what looked like seventeen doughnuts stuffed into his gob, while poor Tony tried to discuss matters of life and death.

You have to listen to the audio to get a full grasp of what transpired. It wasn't just the dialogue. It was the tone in Blair's voice. He sounded for all the world like a teacher attempting to explain something to an exceptionally dull student. His tone suggested infinite patience and a touch of true sadness, as if he could not quite believe he was speaking this way to an American president.

I'm no fan of Putin but we need presidents who have the ability of people like Putin or at least the willingness to listen to a staff that can bring that president up to speed; unfortunately, we're stuck with a frequently incurious president who's part-cheerleader and part-hustler and a blundering vice president who's too quick on the trigger and who has, unfortunately, a firmer grasp of how to push and pull the levers of power. Presidents (and vice presidents) can be brought to heel. It happened to Nixon and, although it isn't often mentioned, it also happened to Reagan. It needs to happen again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you about GW Bush as the ultimate self-made idiot. Yet somehow he got elected twice. That fact made me questioning the intelligence of the American people. During the height of Bush & Repub supremecy reign (before Katrina, and right after the "mission accomplish" carrier landing), if anyone dared to express disagrements, or to point out the corruption, the greed, the selfishness of the GOP, he/she would be silent by the chanting "lefty, liberal, un-American, blah blah blah..." (despite of the fact that majority of those fools have absolutely no idea what liberal means beside the twisted definition fed to them by crooks, such as Rush Limbaugh, or by the apocalyptic evangelical loons). Apparently the nation is full of morons for only morons support the idiot (birds of the same feathers flock together).

10:24 AM  

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