Saturday, January 20, 2007

"Please, don't kill me."

Billiam has asked me why I hate George W. Bush. I countered that I, personally, do not hate the man, but that his policies leave a lot to be desired. But I can understand if there is hate out there in the wide wide world. Any hate that does exist is fueled not only by Bush’ actions, but by hate radio and hate personalities like Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Melanie Morgan, etc.

Leaving that aside, there is another aspect of the man that I wonder why Billiam and other conservatives have refused to ponder … his seeming disregard for others. I don’t believe for a second that he ever considers the toll that is being taken on the thousands of innocents in Iraq. Certainly he, personally, is not responsible and certainly many lives have been lost due to the often indiscriminate attacks by Iraqis themselves and foreign fighters who have come to Iraq to bleed the “Great Satan.” But, Bush’ policies must take on some of the blame for the deaths of these thousands. This I believe he refuses to do, despite the charming photos showing him with a tear on his cheek. Where are his tears for humanity?

Well, below is a piece from the National Review regarding a profile of Bush that was done by Tucker Carlson back before the first Bush election. The callousness of Bush is openly on display, so much that even Carlson is appalled.

In the week before [Karla Faye Tucker's] execution, Bush says, Bianca Jagger and a number of other protesters came to Austin to demand clemency for Tucker. "Did you meet with any of them?" I ask.

Bush whips around and stares at me. "No, I didn't meet with any of them," he snaps, as though I've just asked the dumbest, most offensive question ever posed. "I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it. I watched his interview with [Tucker], though. He asked her real difficult questions, like 'What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

"What was her answer?" I wonder.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

This charming little vignette comes from Tucker Carlson's profile of George W. Bush in the premiere issue of Talk. Carlson's attitude toward Bush is clearly positive. But the profile is nonetheless devastating, because Carlson is a good reporter who's captured his subject's unattractive aspects as well as his appealing ones.

Carlson's major theme is that Bush is "comfortable with himself" and "doesn't give a damn what you think of him." (Message: I don't care.) He has risen above the obsession with what other people think that marks most politicians. Yet the Bush who emerges from the profile is remarkably thin-skinned. Carlson notes that while "the Larry King–Karla Faye Tucker exchange Bush recounted never took place" on television, "Tucker did imply that Bush was succumbing to election-year pressure from pro-death penalty voters. Apparently Bush never forgot it. He has a long memory for slights." If this is what Bush considers payback, remind us to stay on his compassionate side.

For sheer ugliness, nothing else in the article matches Bush's remarks on the death penalty. (When he sees Carlson's horrified reaction, Bush "immediately stops smirking": " 'It's tough stuff,' Bush says, suddenly somber, 'but my job is to enforce the law.'")

Bush is an ugly little man. I wonder what sort of payback is Bush willing to continue to take on the Iraqi people?

6 Swings of the bat:

Dad29 said...

Perhaps Bush is as insensitive and monomaniacal as you say. Nietszche predicted, (or observed.) So did Machiavelli.

It's the "Great Man" syndrome. Face it: GWB was elected based on his convictions--or, at least based on the impression that he was less distasteful than his opponents.

Do you think that X42 spent any time at all being "concerned" about the victims of his bombing runs over Serbo-Croatia? Or the victims of his prisoner-blood-sale to the Canadians? (HIV followed. Not HIS problem.)

One could hypothesize, fairly, that every President has exactly the same "flaws" described by Carlson, to a greater or lesser degree.

And every President thinks that he was elected to do exactly what he did--whatever that may be. FDR thought so, JFK thought so, LBJ thought so, RMN...we can go on.

It's called "the election."

Other Side said...

I am familiar with the "Great Man" idea as expressed by Nietszche. I find it difficult to believe that you would actually compare Bush to another figure believed to have achieved that distinction that ... der Fuhrer (I'm not saying Bush is a Nazi, it's your suggestion that he may be the answer provide by Nietszche).

Maybe you are suggesting that the members of the conservative movement are the Wandervögel of the 21st century. I'm trying to imagine Owen or Wiggy wearing lederhosen.

And, no ... Bush through his actions and statements unveils a lack of character so astounding that the only thing I can say for those who voted for him is: you was hoodwinked.

No other president (perhaps Nixon with his pathological need to "get" those who disagreed with him) has been so lacking in humility.

Dad29 said...

Since I don't want to imagine Wiggy in lederhosen, I won't pick up the analogy, thanks anyway.

Obviously we will disagree on the degree of 'lack of character' exposed in GWB vs. other US Presidents (or "world leaders" in general.

I think the vignette Carlson offered is just that: a vignette. It doesn't constitute a pattern.

But conceding even that point, and agreeing that there is a pattern, I don't find his track record to be exceptionally amoral in comparo to others.

Have you seen a professional regarding your hatred problem?

Other Side said...

I will bet that those close to Hitler could not understand the hatred that was generated at him. Now, I have said I don't hate Bush, just his policies. What's your problem?

btw: Have you stopped beating your wife?

Dad29 said...

Just last week, in anticipation of your question.

Glad to hear you distinguish policy from the person. You worried me a bit, there.

BTW, if you really believe that Hitler's close associates "did not understand" the hatred, you're a perfect candidate for atheism, or at least Libertarianism.

They're the people who do not accept conscience.

Other Side said...

When I was younger I professed to being an atheist. That was done more to annoy my father.

I have a very loosely built spiritualism that would probably find a home in Unitarianism, if I wanted to house it somewhere.

You're a smart guy. Before he died, Goebbels was still a staunch supporter of der Fuhrer. I'm not sure he did understand the hatred of others for his messiah. In his mind, they were the ones deluded.

FYI: I had great fear, afterward, that your wife had passed on and my comment would have been terribly inappropriate. I enjoy our verbal tussles and would like to think the personal can be kept out of them.