Thursday, April 17, 2008

book notes

The Bush Tragedy by Jacob Weisberg

G.H.W. Bush had a closer relationship with Herbie Walker than Prescott Bush, despite the fact that GHW adopted Prescott's public-service ethos.

G.W. in particular is very much a Walker: rash, impulsive, aggressive, super-competitive, and overconfident/insecure.

G.H.W. pioneered to Texas to catch the 50's oil boom. G.W. stuck around after the easy money had already been made. Jeb kept more in the spirit of the original move by going to Florida real estate.

After GHW and Barb's daughter died, GHW retreated into non-stop "business trips," and Barb fell into depression, 8-year-old GW became a surrogate husband. I wonder if GW's rage at GHW's cut-and-run on the family was replicated in his disdain at GHW's cut-and-run on the Iraqi Shiites in 1991.

"A son who tried to vindicate his family by repudiating his father's policies ended up doing the opposite of what he intended. He showed the world his father's wisdom and brought shame on his name."

Rove's real agenda was a political realignment that went beyond Bush (Much as Cheney's real agenda was unfinished business in Iraq)

"The memo Dowd distributed in December suggested that Bush's centrist strategy had been flawed from the outset. Over the previous 20 years, the share of the electorate available to candiates on either side had dwindled from 24 percent to 6 percent."

Bush's concept of freedom -- in the form of democracy -- as a "gift from God" has no basis in the Bible or any other theology. The Old Testament favored monarchy; The New insisted on communism.

Six phases of the Bush Doctrine

- 1.0 Unipolar Realism (we make reality in our own image)
- 2.0 With us or Against Us
- 3.0 Preemptive attack
- 4.0 Democracy in the Middle East
- 5.0 Freedom Everywhere
- 6.0 No doctrine at all

Tells the great story of Bush with the Lt. Gov of Texas in which Bush says, "I don't fuck before kissing."