It’s obvious why his handlers keep him as far as possible from reporters’ questions and live microphones; as soon as Dubya starts extemporizing, the level of fear, both at home and abroad, ratchets sharply upward. His latest comments, in which he dismissed anti-war protestors as something he needn’t concern himself with, provided a nice example. It’s interesting to me how a presidency turns from hope and promises to whatever derisive epithet a jaded public chooses to file it under. Nixon: crook. Ford: bumbling. Carter: malaise. Reagan: Actually, I don’t know. I guess we never came to a consensus on that one. Befuddled, maybe? Bush the Elder: out-of-touch ( that’s one word, right?). Clinton: philanderer. And with dubya, I don’t think there can be any doubt at this point: arrogant. Check out this nice image, for example, courtesy of Bravo. The president likes to characterize himself as “respectful” towards those he disagrees with, but that’s bullshit. He consistently displays a dismissive arrogance toward dissenting views that is the exact opposite of respect. You can gloss it over if you want, call it “honesty” or “conviction,” say that the president is just being a Texan straight-shooter and calling it like he sees it, but there’s something darker there. There’s an undercurrent of anger, a score he wants to settle, and not just with Saddam Hussein.
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