Friday, July 13, 2007

Not a Care in the World

Peggy Noonan has decided that maybe ''Bush Derangement Syndrome'' really isn't such a problem now that he's creeping her out too. Well, bully for her.


"As I watched the news conference, it occurred to me that one of the things that might leave people feeling somewhat disoriented is the president's seemingly effortless high spirits. He's in a good mood. There was the usual teasing, the partly aggressive, partly joshing humor, the certitude. He doesn't seem to be suffering, which is jarring. Presidents in great enterprises that are going badly suffer: Lincoln, LBJ with his head in his hands. Why doesn't Mr. Bush? Every major domestic initiative of his second term has been ill thought through and ended in failure. His Iraq leadership has failed. His standing is lower than any previous president's since polling began. He's in a good mood. Discuss."

There are two things that Bush does in interviews that strike me as funny. The first thing is that expression he makes whenever anyone asks him a question, which seems to indicate that he thinks it's the stupidest thing he's ever heard. You expect him to roll his eyes and start making the "crazy" hand motion around his ear. He almost seems like he thinks having questions is a sign of intellectual weakness. Actually, I've seen the same thing in all the true believers I've ever met. It's what's striking when you watch Louis Theroux interviewing the Phelps clan; they think he's stupid for even having questions (or doubts) when all the answers that you need to know are in the Bible. I've seen the same thing in members of more extreme political organizations.

With Bush, it's not clear if he thinks the answers are to be found in the Bible or history; he actually invokes the judgment of history far more often. There's something weirdly Hegelian about it- as if there is a providential direction to history and he's somehow privy to it. I've never trusted people who talk about the judgment of history- they're too willing to blame whoever they see as going against the supposed direction of history for whatever disasters befall them. It's one reason that I was never a Marxist. Future human behavior cannot be predicted with any accuracy. With Bush, it's as if he thinks that he knows something that the rest of us don't see about history. Maybe he's got a time machine. Or the date of the rapture circled on his calendar.

The other thing he does, which still makes me laugh, is that whenever anyone asks him a question that is too hard for him, he just changes it to a really easy question in his answer.

Reporter: President Bush, how do you feel about those Republicans who are starting to fear that we simply cannot win the war in Iraq?

Bush: Well, look, I suppose that some people just don't believe that we should be fighting terrorists. They think that we should just surrender to the terrorists, and put them up in our homes, and wash their cars, and give them back rubs. Well, honestly, I just don't agree with that. I'm sorry, but I don't.

So, yeah, he's a little creepy. But, hey, at least, he's happy!


Holly said...

Back rubs and home stays might actually do the trick. Everyone feels better after a weekend at a B&B, and maybe terrorists would, you know, cool it. Love yer enemy, and all that.

Rufus said...

It's too bad we can't just get them laid and have that be the end of it.