Bush is an —–

The other day I saw a letter to the ediot which went something to the effect of: He was a divisive president. He fought an unpopular war which was going badly. Fill in some other blanks obviously designed to turn your head toward Bush. He was Abraham Lincoln. History regards him well.

So it does. But somehow I just believe that just about anyone can pull a “You’re no Jack Kennedy” thing when someone sticks Lincoln next to Bush, and leave it at that. Call me crazy.

Joe Scarborough, a man MSNBC hired to do a cheap rip-off of Bill O’Reilly’s show, has now done at least two segments where he debates the matter “Is Bush an Idiot?” His answer is the estimation is correct.

A tedium has long settled in with this president, and the news that Bush enjoys the lowest of low humour, and finds farting hilarious would be as believable if it were published in the “Capitol Hill Blue” as it is published by US News and World Report.

He loves to cuss, gets a jolly when a mountain biker wipes out trying to keep up with him, and now we’re learning that the first frat boy loves flatulence jokes. A top insider let that slip when explaining why President Bush is paranoid around women, always worried about his behavior. But he’s still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can’t get enough of fart jokes. He’s also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides, but forget about getting people to gas about that.

This does raise an interesting question for me. Would I see this all as a drawback if it were a characteristic of a better president, say, one that I don’t — with some reluctance for the finality and exclamation point of the assessment — consider the worst president in American history? Better I can say that it would depend on how well this president compartmentalizes it. And I’d think you’d better be pretty careful with the “cut a few for laughs … when greeting new young aides”.

Taking a look at yesterday’s press conference, and all I can say is he is sounding more obnoxious, his bad characteristics compounding themselves. The first thought is of a fourth-grader who had not prepared himself for a class report and was getting stuck by the teacher’s questions, trying to fake his way through by plucking what he could. But that doesn’t explain it at all. This fourth grader would not be as emphatic in answering the teacher. Bush was very emphatic about his answers, and defensive in full force. I wonder if the defensiveness isn’t a tell of self-awareness, as though he is masking his inadequacies by over-compensating.

As for Iraq, it’s no news that Bush has no strategy. What did come as news—and, really, a bit of a shocker—is that he doesn’t seem to know what “strategy” means.

Asked if it might be time for a new strategy in Iraq, given the unceasing rise in casualties and chaos, Bush replied, “The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and dreams, which is a democratic society. That’s the strategy. … Either you say, ‘It’s important we stay there and get it done,’ or we leave. We’re not leaving, so long as I’m the president.”

The reporter followed up, “Sir, that’s not really the question. The strategy—”

Bush interrupted, “Sounded like the question to me.”

First, it’s not clear that the Iraqi people want a “democratic society” in the Western sense. Second, and more to the point, “helping Iraqis achieve a democratic society” may be a strategic objective, but it’s not a strategy—any more than “ending poverty” or “going to the moon” is a strategy.


Incidentally, the letter I did find that seems appropriate here:

The problem with David Reinhard’s suggestions for President Bush to have Churchillian chats with the American people is that you can’t explain what you don’t understand.

Bush has always had a poor understanding of the Middle East and Islamic terrorism. He has consistently painted a rosy picture in Iraq, and recently he expressed shock that the Shiites in Iraq rallied in support of Hezbollah. He didn’t have a clue about the consequences of going to war with Iraq and now doesn’t have a clue about the best way out.

I didn’t read that David Reinhard editorial, but it sounds hilarious. Yes. Bush needs to wax Churchillian. If he tried, it’d come out Bluto-esque than Churchillian.

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