October 24, 2003

Hatred of Success

Stephen at Absit Invidia points out:

We all know that upwards of 330 Americans have been killed in Iraq but, suspiciously, we've never seen arrival ceremonies for deceased soldiers on their return to American soil. No flag draped coffins, no honor guards, no solemnity, no tears.

Know why that is? Because your government has banned any press coverage of those events.

He asks "Where's the outrage."

Where's the outrage? Right here, buddy. Right here.

If I posted my first reaction to the news every day, my entire blog would be about Bush.

I have been a Bush opposer for a long, long time. But I look back at some of the silly things Bush has been criticized for and I almost think that somewhere along the line, Bush said "You want something to criticize? I'll give you something!" and went on from there. But, seriously, I noticed during the 2000 election cycle that Bush seemed to go nutso under pressure. The veneer would crack when things didn't seem to go his way. And I've seen the whole of the Bush-supporting nation exhibit a similar response. Yeah, there's the slime and defend we've heard so much about. But it's worse than that. They get shrill. They seem to abandon what previously were core values.

My recent conclusion hearkens back to why many of these same people hated Clinton. "Yes," they had ideological differences. And "yes" there was the whole Monica affair. But before that they hated him. And I realize now that they hated him for the same reason that some say the terrorists hate us. They hated his success.

They hated everything Clinton didn't fail at. They wanted a president who they could provide as an example of a conservative success - an answer to Clinton. Instead, they got Bush. And they never imagined he would provide so many opportunities for criticism. Heck - even I never imagined it. When I see so much contradiction and confusion in Bush-support-land, I have to think that there is a deep-seated disappointment there. The hatred of Clinton now becomes fury with the folks that didn't share their Clinton hatred who are now attacking their avatar.

I recall the SNL skit from before the election when glimpses of the future were offered as to what would happen if Bush, Nader or Gore were elected. In the Bush alternate future, the president, wild-eyed and stressed out declared "The Great Lakes are on fire. Even I know that's not good!" And reality has proven to be worse than that.

And with the Bush administration's betrayal of much that people thought they stood for, and the apparent confusion, warring and shenanigans which are happening within their ranks, the resentment that they deserve for letting their supporters down is turned elseward. Liberals are treasonous. You're with us or you're against us. Slime and defend. Free-floating anger.

I thought the close election of 2000 was completely understandable. I didn't like Gore much either. But, having had a taste of Bush, I will be perplexed if he is re-elected. Someone will really need to explain it to me.

Conservative or liberal, at the very least we need a leader we can trust. "Leader" and "trust" both being operative words.

Posted by James at October 24, 2003 3:59 PM
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"Bush seemed to go nutso under pressure."

Mr. Bush also seems thin skinned. This is from Lewis Lapham's essay in the October 2003 issue of "Harper's" (I encourage you to pick this up, if you can still find it, and read it in full).

"Expressed in the acquisitive instead of the investigative case, the question becomes "What about me?" which was the form used by President Bush at a news conference in Crawford, Texas, on August 13, when he was surprised by the temerity of a reporter describing the entry of the actor Schwarzenegger into the California gubernatorial race as "the biggest political story in the country." The coloquy merits quotation in its entirety:

THE PRESIDENT (insulted): It is the biggest political story in the country? That's interesting. That says a lot. That speaks volumes.

FIRST REPORTER: ...You don't agree?

THE PRESIDENT (irritated): I don't get to decide the biggest political story. You decide the biggest political story. But I find it interesting that that is the biggest political story in the country, as you just said.

SECOND REPORTER: You don't think it should be?

THE PRESIDENT (cute and sarcastic): Oh, I think there's maybe other political stories. Isn't there, like, a presidential race coming up?

"In California, the Hollywood press corps would have known better. It's never any good mentioning the names of two action-movie stars at the same news briefing."

Posted by: Patti M. at October 24, 2003 4:21 PM

Arnold is an action movie star who thinks he is a Governor. Bush is a president who thinks he is an action movie star.

Wonderful.

Posted by: James at October 24, 2003 5:37 PM

I swear to god this was a headline* in the A section of the Providence Journal today:

"Bush surprised by foriegn criticisms"

I am stunned. How can someone so focused and "determined" be leading a war in which radical Islam is a central part, when he has no idea what is going on in the non-radical Islamic world? He always says (depsite statements to the contrary by appointees) that we are not at war with Islam, but with terrorists. Doesn't he wonder why his staff makes sure he says that? Is he really surprised that not everyone in the world reads the "news" that comes out of the White House and believes every word?

*(and the article bears it out, this wasn't just a treasonous liberal socialist headline writer)

Posted by: Bil at October 24, 2003 7:09 PM

I think it caught him by surprise because he didn't care and didn't figure anyone else cared either. He does his best to avoid information he doesn't like, and when he's forced to confront the truth he loses his marbles. Inasmuch as he has any.

Anyway, of the two men, I have far more faith in Arnold. And that reflects a lot more on Bush than it does on Arnold.

Posted by: julie at October 24, 2003 9:25 PM

Oh yeah, I remember that skit. I think the US was being attacked by ostriches. Or possibly emus. Now I can only imagine how much easier our lives would be if emus were in charge.

Posted by: Julie at October 24, 2003 9:28 PM

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