Dubya: Dumbass

As I’ve said many times on these forums, I’m all in favor of invading Iraq and toppling Hussein’s regime (and let me make a plaintive and useless request that anyone who wants to debate invasion click on the other Iraq thread). But whether it’s right or wrong to go in, I get continually annoyed at the way Bush is handling the PR situation. Case in point: today he gets up in front of a bunch of reporters and says basically that he’s going to invade Iraq because he’s “sick and tired” of Saddam Hussein (technically he said he’s sick and tired of Iraq’s lies, but it’s pretty much the same thing). I realize maybe it’s a small thing and he’s just talkin’ folksy, as he likes to do, but he keeps sending this message that this is all a personal vendetta: “I’m sick of him.” “Hussein tried to kill my dad.” It’s like Bush thinks he’s King of America or something, and we never had this idea about “rule of law rather than rule of men.” Bush is sick of Hussein, so send out the troop transports.

I don’t understand why he’s doing this. One possibility is that he’s just a bit of an idiot and sees things in very personal and childish ways. I have no trouble believing that’s true of Bush, just based on stuff like his well-reported tendency to get pissy with reporters that say bad things about him. But you’d think his staff would keep him more on-message. Maybe that’s impossible.

Another possibility, though, is that it’s a deliberate stance from the administration. It seems very likely to alienate people in other countries, many of whom already see this whole situation as America just being a bully. And I’m guessing it would alienate a lot of American liberals for the same reason. And it probably alienates people like me, who are generally conservative and want to invade, but think the issue with Iraq is (or should be) all about mideast stability Hussein’s atrocities and nothing at all about Bush’s personal feelings.

So, do they do this because they think it will appeal to heartland America? Is it that, more than just “simple talk,” Bush wants to have “simple issues”? Because it’s too hard to explain to America why Hussein has to go, but it’s easy for people to understand the concept of “Well, you know, I’m just sick of him”? If so, is that worth giving all this ammo to all the folks who think we’re just gunning for Hussein because we don’t like being shown up?





[i]The Republican ticket is a lock. Bush has matured into a masterful and commanding leader, and Dick Cheney is a widely respected policy heavyweight who has become the most active Vice President in American history. Combine this with high approval ratings, an untouchable war chest, a friendly Congress and an upcoming romp to victory in Iraq, and you’ve got an unbeatable combination for four more years … and beyond!

Or do you? I remember the election, and the thing that struck me, and most of the voting public, about Dubya, wasn’t that he was a “masterful leader” so much as that he was an “embarrassing fool”. A cartoonish, empty-headed serial idiot with a resume made up entirely of draft dodging, tequila shots, and gifts from daddy and a political platform composed entirely of lies, impossible promises, and stunningly, shockingly, record-breakingly empty rhetoric. And don’t tell me that this is some liberal propaganda - I watched the debates, I watched every step of the way, I watched you babbling on with a smirk on your face like some 4th grader giving the class his book report on a book he didn’t even read. Every time you spoke it was a breakthrough in the field of stupidity, opening up unexplored vistas of idiocy beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings. You don’t even read the paper, you don’t even have a single clue what’s going on in the world, and you don’t even fucking care. Knowing who is in charge of Pakistan isn’t like knowing the square root of pi - it’s in the paper every day, it’s not like some outrageously esoteric thing that only super big nerds know about. If you are going to be President, it’s something you might want to look in to.[/i]

Comes from an Austin, TX supporter of invading Iraq. Funny stuff.

And he’s still a cartoonish, empty-headed serial idiot. Witness how he tosses around pointlessly inflammatory rhetoric, such as his “Axis of Evil” speech. How dumb was that? Even if he really believes that these countries are evil–hell, even if they are evil–what possible purpose could such a public statement serve? Does he even think about the things he says? The original speech, by the way, called them an “Axis of hatred against the United States,” and the change was all Bush’s idea. He wanted to put it in black and white “good guy/bad guy” Saturday morning cartoon moral terms so that we could better understand it (or so that he could, perhaps).

Of course that doesn’t make the US look any less idotic when North Korea gets pissed off and starts rattling its sabre, and we turn around and say that we want a diplomatic solution. Huh? How does one engage in diplomacy with “Evil,” I wonder?

Well, Reagan scored a meme-coup with his “Evil Empire” phrase, so that is perhaps what Bush was emulating.

I think Reagan is exactly who Bush Jr. is emulating right now. The budget, the rhetoric… next the Grecian Formula. Seriously though, some pudit was calling his new budget Voodoo Economics Part 2. (Interestingly it was Bush Sr, running against Reagan, who coined that popular phrase.)

I talked to a friend of mine about this the other day, and here was her theory: when Bush was first running in the primary, his staff tried to get him up to speed so he could talk about issues. It didn’t work. He kept making enormous gaffes such as forgetting that Social Security is a federal program or confusing the names of countries. It was all over the papers, almost every week there was some story about some idiotic thing Bush had said that showed he had, to put it diplomatically, a serious knowledge deficiency. So her theory is that they decided to stop having Bush talk about substantive issues and have him talk more about personal feelings and simplistic good guy/bad guy stuff. That way, nobody can call him out for getting his facts wrong.

It’s a good theory.

Isn’t it fun that conservative pundits refer to Bush as “crafty”? As if the undeniable gaffes are intentional traps laid to lull his competition into underestimating his intelligence.

Clinton’s morality was an embarrassment, but I’d argue Bush’s lack of understanding is worse. An obtuse president is much more dangerous than a lecherous one.

“An obtuse president is much more dangerous than a lecherous one.”

Only if he insists on making decisions without listening to his staff. The guy’s got plenty of smarts hovering around him all day.

But if he does not fully understand the concepts his staff are explaining to him, doesn’t that put his staff in an extremely powerful and potentially manipulative position?

I’ve always said that I would much rather have a President that’s screwing an intern in the White House than a President that’s screwing over the American people.