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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Profiling the Texas Barbarian

Paul Berman, writing in the Nov. 28 & Dec. 5 New Republic (“The Anti-Anti-Americans”) puts his finger on why the mention of President George W. Bush sends his haters here and in Europe rushing to the vomitorium.

“…[E]verything about the new president, each strange tic and motion—the street thug’s swagger, the inability to compose his face into a civil expression, the problem with alcohol, the apparent lack of formal education, and so forth—conjured in Europe the worst of clichés about Texas barbarism.”


Anonymous said...

Note the phrase "the apparent lack of formal education." Now, we all know that GWB was born into wealth and received a degree from Yale. So why does it seem like he just rode in from the range? Well, the populist Texan act comes in handy when trying to convince farmers that the Estate Tax would take away the family farm. When you launch a war based on known falsehoods (see the Downing Street memos, study up on the goals and membership of the Project for the New American Century), it's sure helpful to seem dumb when it all blows up in your face.

I don't give a rat's ass whether he swaggers, staggers, drawls or drools. Results are what matters.

Dennis Byrne said...

Results, indeed. Two of the world's most despotic regimes are history.

Over at the New York Times at least, how Bush walks appears to be important. Before the 2004 election, the paper devoted an entire article to interpreting his appearance, coming to the conclusion that holding his hands and arms away from his sides indicates that he's ready to call you out and draw you down. Journalism at its best.

Active Observer said...

Perhaps you’re looking at a different Constitution than I am, because my copy doesn’t mandate the President to take out despotic regimes across the world. While this isn’t a bad thing in itself, and it’s sometimes necessary for our security or in extreme cases such as stopping genocide, this country would quickly become bankrupt, vulnerable and hated if we truly made this our mission in the world. Not that this has ever been our foreign policy when there was a Bush in the White House.

Given that the Bush administration is strongly implicated in backing coups against the democratically elected governments of Haiti and Venezuela instead of dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia (the country most connected with the attacks of 9-11, incidentally), and that Rumsfeld and Bush Sr. both helped arm Saddam in the first place, it’s a bit rich to point to Iraq as an example of our freedom-loving foreign policy at work.

Yes, it’s funny how the New York Times runs articles on Bush Jr.’s body language. If they did any actual journalism there they might print the relevant sections of the Downing Street memos that showed the Bush administration knew there were no WMD. They might have printed the letter signed by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld urging Clinton to invade Iraq. They might have done a lot of things that would cause conservative journalists such as yourself to scream bloody murder. Instead, they just print the little that Bush tells them, which turns out to be lies, and then they run puff pieces guessing at what his gestures might indicate.

If the NYT is the best example of liberal bias in the media, conservatives have won the media war.