EDITORIAL: Bush’s bullshit

Bush’s bullshit

In his eighth year as president, George Bush still lacks the courage to address anyone but an overly sympathetic audience. Indicative of his plummeting approval rating, he now has to travel six thousand miles to find such company. Should we be surprised that in front of the Knesset he would come out with a crowd pleaser like this?

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

That so many would be now be trotting out a prissy line like, “…beneath the dignity of the office of the president…,” is probably comforting to both Bush and McCain. It shows the GOP how easily Democrats will rise to the bait. That said, at least Joe Biden gave a straight response: “This is bullshit.”

Meanwhile, Bush said something else that is sure to be ignored: his prediction about when a Palestinian state will come into existence.

In 2002, Bush supposedly boldly crossed a political frontier by becoming the first president to express his commitment to seeing the creation of a Palestinian state. Bush was so full of it at that time that he suggested it could come into being by 2005.

By 2004 he started hedging, saying 2005 was unlikely. He pushed back, but still said, “I’d like to see it done in four years. I think it’s possible.”

So now it’s 2008 and what does Bush see in his crystal ball? A Palestinian state some time in the next sixty years! This is Bush’s bold vision: By the time Israel celebrates it 120th anniversary there will be a Palestinian state.

Were it not for global warming, I’d say that the pace Bush has set for advancing the peace process is glacial in its speed. Unfortunately in this era, glaciers actually move faster – but like the peace process, they move in the wrong direction.


Going back to Bush’s appeasement line, it does articulate something worth noting. That is, the Bush communications model.

Here’s how Bush defines “negotiate”:
1. Use words to force the other party to think the way you do, or if that doesn’t work,
2. Use the threat of violence to bend your opponent’s will, or if that doesn’t work,
3. Use violence to force your opponent into submission, or if that doesn’t work,
4. Use violence to annihilate your opponent.

What the Bush communications model precludes is the possibility that Bush can or ever will change the way he thinks. What this suggests is that the Bush brain is impervious to any influence whatsoever from experience. In other words, the Bush brain is a closed circuit that can neither process nor be modified by new information.

Essentially, the president is brain dead.

Let’s not get too agitated about what comes out of his mouth.

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3 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: Bush’s bullshit

  1. Lance Winslow

    I believe President Bush was right to make that statement. If Obama, Carter, Kenedy, Kerry, Pelosi, or whoever cannot handle the reality, maybe they need to rethink things.

  2. Phil Sheehan

    LW: Which “reality” do you mean? As Paul points out in “Talking to Hamas,” it was McCain who, two years ago, realized — of Hamas — that, “They’re the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them… it’s a new reality in the Middle East.”

    Let me suggest, as a bit of revisionist history, that the core of our problem with Hitler was not that we did not have him assassinated, but essentially that we ignored him. Granted, Senator Borah might not have calmed him down (though he could scarcely have done worse than Chamberlain). Still, it would not have required a reverse blitzkrieg — shock and awe of the Thirties — to save tens of millions of lives.

    As for Presidential eloquence, Calvin Trillin writes in today’s LA Times, “You wouldn’t think that eloquence is the sort of thing that needs defending, but it has taken some hits during the presidential primaries…. [T]here was something dismissive when Barack Obama’s eloquence was mentioned by other candidates, as if making inspiring speeches is an inconsequential pastime unconnected to the serious business of governing. The same tone was taken by most television commentators…. Speaking of Obama’s ability to ‘fill a stadium,’ they sounded like particularly esoteric academics discussing a colleague who was gauche enough to have produced a bestseller.”

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