President Bush's emotional disconnect

Via Atrios, I find this post from James Wolcott. Kathryn Jean Lopez, a commentator for the National Review Online, and frequent poster to its blog, the Corner, wrote yesterday that Bush seemed quite chipper at his press conference; she noted that it seemed like he was starting to enjoy doing them. How interesting. Earlier that same day, K-Lo posted these items to the Corner:
"31 DIE [KJL] in a Marine helicopter crash in Iraq. Posted at 09:43 AM "FYI [KJL] W is holding a press conference at 10 a.m. Posted at 09:39 AM"
So, just over 15 minutes before the press conference, the news broke that 31 servicemen had died in Iraq. What, precisely, was the President so goddamn fucking chipper about?
Imagine if Bill Clinton had been chirpy and chipper having just received the news of 31 soldiers dying in the theater of combat--Rush Limbaugh would have devoted three hours to it, and Fox News would have dragged Dick Morris out of the all-you-can-eat buffet for his "expert analysis." When Bush did address the soldiers' deaths, he said that we "weep and mourn" when Americans die, but as he was saying it his hand was flatly smacking downwards for emphasis, as if he were pounding the table during the business meeting, refusing to pay a lot for a muffler. The steady beat of his hand was at odds with the sentiments he was expressing--he didn't look or sound the least bit mournful or sombre. And why should he? Death doesn't seem to be a bringdown for him. There isn't the slightest evidence that he experiences the anguish LBJ did as casualties mounted in Vietnam. His record as chief executioner in Texas is of a man for whom the death of another is an administrative detail, a power exercise. As Sister Helen Prejean wrote in The New York Review of Books: "As governor, Bush certainly did not stand apart in his routine refusal to deny clemency to death row petitioners, but what does set him apart is the sheer number of executions over which he...presided. Callous indifference to human suffering may also set Bush apart. He may be the only government official to mock a condemned person's plea for mercy [Karla Faye Tucker's], then lie about it afterward, claiming humane feelings he never felt. On the contrary, it seems that Bush is comfortable with using violent solutions to solve troublesome social and political realities."
I've despised Bush ever since he told the world that his most influential political philosopher was Jesus Christ. (Along with complete wackjob Gary Bauer. Forbes, Hatch, McCain, and even Keyes took the question seriously and named actual philosophers (Locke) or politicians (T. Roosevelt, A. Lincoln)): Quote:
But George Bush and Gary Bauer apparently refused to treat the question seriously. Bush claimed that Jesus Christ was his favorite political thinker "because he changed my heart." When pressed for an actual answer, he continued, "when you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as a savior, it ... changes your life and that's what happened to me." Bauer at least quoted scripture and pointed to Christian obligations to unborn children and the poor.
He has done nothing in 4+ years to change my mind. Nothing.

No comments: