Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bush Knows How to Look Like a Failure

Sidney Blumenthal/Guardian

Each Bush presidency is unhappy in its own way. George W has contrived to do the opposite of his father, as if to provide evidence for a classic case of reaction formation.
Rather than halt the army before Baghdad, he occupied the whole country. Rather than pursue a Middle East peace process that dragged along a recalcitrant Israeli government, he cast the process aside.

"Frustrated?" President Bush volunteered in his Monday press conference. "Sometimes I'm frustrated." His crankiness has deeper sources than having truncated his usual month-long summer vacation in Texas.

"Rarely surprised," he continued, extolling his world-weary omniscience. "Sometimes I'm happy," he plunged on. "This is - but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times."

Bush is trapped in a self-generated dynamic that eerily recalls the centrifugal forces that spun apart his father's presidency.

It was not until the Gulf war that the public became convinced that the elder Bush was a strong leader and not the "wimp" stereotypically depicted.

Then came a recession. Bush's feeble response was not seen as merely an expression of typical Republican policy, but as a profound character flaw. If Bush was strong, why didn't he solve the problem? .....

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