Is It OK To Hate Bush?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Exposing Rightwing Corruption : One Thread
Is It OK To Hate Bush? / In which the president's carefully orchestrated dumb-guy shtick proves hollow and dubious www.sfgate.com Return to regular view
Is It OK To Hate Bush?
In which the president's carefully orchestrated dumb-guy shtick proves hollow and dubious
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, June 7, 2002
©2002 SF Gate
Of course "hate" is too strong a word. You should not hate anyone. Especially not jittery world leaders who are striving to justify war and make it look all fierce and necessary.
Look, there they are, trying so hard. Especially Bush. Look at that earnest, constipated, caught-in-the-headlights expression. Trying trying trying. Please do not hate him.
GW Bush's image is extremely carefully managed, probably more intensely than any president in recent history. He gives almost zero unscripted talks, expresses minimal extemporaneous thoughts, still mispronounces "nukuler" even when reading from a teleprompter.
He is protected from difficult questions, schooled in basic sentence structure, makes sudden political maneuvers to deflect increasingly troubling accusations that his administration had plenty of advance warning of 9/11 and did little to prevent it. And please do not mention his major ties to Enron at this time. Thank you.
Bush has undoubtedly been told to try and look less scared and squinty on camera. He makes cute self-deprecating jokes about his horrible command of the English language.
Rumor also has it that during a meeting with Brazil's President Cardoso, Bush allegedly interrupted to ask, "Do you have blacks, too?" Condi Rice, ever the trouper, visibly cringed before quickly informing Dubya that Brazil is indeed home to more blacks than any country outside Africa. White House Press corps coverage? None. Just too embarrassing. This is the leader of the free world. Are you sure you want to know this sort of thing?
Besides, Dubya has proven again and again and you read it just about everywhere and the man has it tattooed on his thigh and it veritably oozes from the pores of his happily myopic followers, he is indeed a Very Nice Man with a Very Swell Disposition and Good Christian Manners and gosh darn it, people like him so please quit being so mean.
Ashcroft has scowled about it and Rumsfeld has squinted angrily about it and Cheney has shown twitching signs of life about it and it's been made very clear again and again: You are not allowed to openly abhor the president or his decisions because doing so clearly indicates traitorous inclinations and this is wartime which is a Very Difficult Time for Us All.
If you insist on calling it wartime, that is. Which of course it's not, given how we've killed untold thousands of barely armed Taliban and untold numbers of innocent Afghan civilians and over a dozen of our own soldiers and even some Canadian troops (whoops) and we have suffered exactly two combat casualties. This is not a war. But you can't really say that either.
So let's just go with it, the common wisdom: It is unpatriotic to criticize the president and we need to rally and be strong now, united we stand, especially in our collective misunderstanding of foreign policy and oil stratagems and the deeper root causes of 9/11.
Or rather, you can criticize if you like, but Bush's image is now being so carefully controlled you feel a little ashamed and slightly guilty doing so, like that feeling you'd get if you teased, say, a quadriplegic. Or a child. And this is exactly how they want you to feel.
It is a bizarre duality, a cleverly wrought irony: Bush is spun so he appears rather plain and simpleminded and not really mentally agile enough to be openly complicit in the coverup-related decisions he's being accused of, a feeling that, aww shucks, he's still just a good ol' daddy's boy from the oilier parts of Texas who don't know no better and how dare you accuse this Very Nice Man of leveraging the horror of 9/11 for political gain. Besides, that's Cheney's job.
Yet you can't believe Bush is truly a man of nuanced intelligence because that implies that he probably did know something about the possibility of a terrorist attack and how it could fortify his political career, but you can't call him flagrantly stupid because that's unpatriotic and un-American and embarrassing, and hence you're just left with this feeling of unease and vague despondency about the nation's overall direction and whatever happened to your civil liberties.
And then there are people like Lt. Col. Steve Butler of the Air Force who openly bashed the president in print, called him a fool who let 9/11 happen to boost his stagnant presidency and that's very bad indeed, can't be slamming the commander-in-chief when you're in the military, understandably, but it certainly does get you thinking, maybe Bush really is dumb as a post -- but in a rather sharp, deeply sinister way.
Better take the Dan Rather approach. There he was, America's anchorman, with the odious Larry King, responding to a phone-in question asking how he, Rather, would advise the president about possibly invading Iraq and Rather replying, well caller, I'd probably say, Mr. President, whatever decision you make in this very difficult matter I will support it because you're the president and I'm a patriot and that's that, and he said it with a straight melodramatic face you immediately wanted to slap.
And there it is. Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is patriotism. We don't want to believe the Bush administration could've done something to prevent the horrors of 9/11, can't imagine Bush would use the tragedy to bolster his re-election hopes while simultaneously pummeling Afghanistan into docility in the name of oil pipelines and his friends in the military-industrial complex. Increasing piles of evidence be damned. It's just too painful.
So then, please do not openly hate Mr. Bush or call him names or believe his decisions are all too often terribly detrimental to the progress of the human animal. He is too nice. He is too dumb. He is too nicely dumb, in a really smart way. Clever, isn't it? Aww, shucks.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 2002