Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The frat-boy-in-chief

Commenting on Bush's boorish behavior at the G-8 summit, Maureen Dowd in today's NYT says:
Catching W. off-guard, the really weird thing is his sense of victimization. He’s strangely resentful about the actual core of his job. Even after the debacles of Iraq and Katrina, he continues to treat the presidency as a colossal interference with his desire to mountain bike and clear brush. In snippets of overheard conversation, Mr. Bush says he has not bothered to prepare any closing remarks and grouses about having to listen to other world leaders talk too long. What did he think being president was about?

Another indication that, in the parlance of "Presidential Character" by James David Barber, Bush is an active-negative, like Nixon, LBJ, Hoover, and Wilson. Barber classified active-negatives as the most dangerous Presidential personality types.
He seems to have no clue that his own headlong, heedless actions in the Middle East have contributed to the deepening chaos there, and to Iran’s growing influence and America’s diminished leverage. Mr. Bush may resent the sophistication required of a president. But when the world is going to hell, he should stop chewing and start thinking.

On Bush's groping (or uninvited shoulder massage) of the Chancellor of Germany, Republic of T comments:

At best it’s assuming a familiarity that doesn’t exist between two people. At worst it’s a way of dehumanizing someone reducing them to a body part to be groped, and it’s a way of asserting dominance; an unspoken way of saying “I can put my hands on you any time I want, and there’s not much you can do about it.”

The difference between the president and most gropers, though, is that the rest are usually smart enough not to do it when there are cameras rolling.

Says Jon Stewart: "The chancellor of Germany disengaged herself from the president of the United States using a move she learned in date rape prevention class"