Friday, November 14, 2003

Faith and Inexperience meet on the wrong side of town.

I think I like this piece from Britain's The Independent better than John Judis' much noted article on Bush Hating.

It is not only Bush the Chicken-hawk warmonger and promoter-in-chief of the great illusion about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction who they will be denouncing. It is also Bush the ignorant, self-righteous Christian warrior, Bush the smirking executioner and Bush the believer in one law for America and another for everyone else. And, of course, Bush the "Toxic Texan"...

No man is ever quite as extreme as his caricature. But Bush comes closer than most...

And all this done with a certainty ill-befitting a man with scant knowledge of the world's complexities, and a quite scary lack of curiosity about what makes other people and other cultures tick. As the political writer Joe Klein put it in a Time magazine column just before the second Iraq war: "George W Bush lives at the intersection of faith and inexperience. This is not a reassuring address, especially in a time of trouble." No more reassuring is the secrecy with which he and his high command operate. Add that to Bush's aversion to press conferences and Republican control of both houses of Congress, and the Bush White House often appears beyond accountability.

Indeed, today's Washington has a whiff of Soviet ways; suffocating internal discipline, resentment of even reasoned, moderate opposition, and a refusal to admit even the tiniest error...

Finally, there is Bush the buffoon. There is another reason for his aversion to press conferences: in anything but the most tightly scripted circumstances he is capable of saying anything. Sometimes it works fine, as at his father's state banquet for the Queen in 1991, when he boasted to her that he had embroidered his new cowboy boots with the phrase "God Save the Queen", before confessing he had been his family's black sheep. "Who's yours?" he then asked the sovereign, to the horror of his mother.

Hehe, all around.


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