Sunday, September 02, 2007

Legacy Pimps

I continue to be puzzled by how the media world works. For one, someone is actually desperate enough to take a paying gig to tell Himself's side of the story, because that hasn't been done nearly enough for most of the past decade. The other, of course, is that someone else saw fit to report on what probably passes for introspection and contemplation down on the tumbleweed farm, but smells a lot like navel-gazing and un-self-aware wallowing. Jesus, how about more novels from the vampire's point of view, while we're at it?

Mr. Bush conveyed a level of sanguinity with his unpopularity. Mr. Draper recalled that in their last meeting, in May, Mr. Bush pointed outside to his dog, Barney, and said, “That guy who said if you want a friend in Washington get a dog, knew what he was talking about.”

He otherwise addressed his unpopularity as a tactical issue. For instance, in May he said that this fall it would be up to General Petraeus to convince the public that the Iraq strategy is working.

“I’ve been here too long,” Mr. Bush said, according to Mr. Draper. “Every time I start painting a rosy picture, it gets criticized and then it doesn’t make it on the news.”

Lies on top of lies. For one, most of us already know that the White House has a very direct role in helping Petraeus present his report. For another, give me a break; everything Bush does, no matter how utterly meaningless, makes the news. He should be thanking the media -- without their laziness, incompetence, and institutional cowardice, the portion of Americans who have chosen to believe their lyin' eyes over Bush's mindless cheerleading would be much higher than 70%. But they allow him to drive the narrative; the office always gets to make the first move, before the chat-show ankle-biters figure out their talking points and party poses.

This is not even debatable, and for Bush to characterize this dynamic as such indicates a real narcissistic dysfunction on his part. It doesn't occur to him that his "rosy picture" is and has been bullshit; the real problem is apparently that people don't want to watch his Thomas Kinkade paint-by-numbers schtick so much anymore.

I am not being snarky when I say that this is a highly problematic mindset for the leader of a supposedly mature, responsible world power to take. This is bunker mentality at its worst.

But this one takes the cake:

But he said he saw his unpopularity as a natural result of his decision to pursue a strategy in which he believed. “I made a decision to lead,” he said, “One, it makes you unpopular; two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true. But the fundamental question is, is the world better off as a result of your leadership?”

Not that it would matter to someone so clinically autistic in their decision-making and processing of empirical data, but does he really want a referendum on that question? Any Democratic candidate who does not take that question, sprint with it, and hang it around Bush's (and his party's) neck should get off the stage right now, because this is what 2008 should be distilled to.

Even the notion of a "Freedom Institute" started by Bush is a slap in the face, a pale attempt to legitimize the most tragic, sloppiest tactical and strategic thinking this country (and the world, sadly) has had to endure for a long time. Then again, if it keeps the likes of Billy Kristol off our airwaves, it might almost be worth it.

1 comment:

woodguy said...

"Dead Certain"?
Would that we were able to halve the title and assure ourselves of its' veracity.