Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

March 30, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

BLEATING AROUND THE BUSH....Ryan Lizza writes today that former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card viewed his job less as running the White House and more as being George Bush's ultimate spear carrier:

As his White House service wore on, this ostentatious modesty morphed even further into creepy masochism. He seemed to delight in the most painful assignments. After his own father died of Parkinson's disease, Card became a supporter of the life-saving potential of stem-cell research. Yet, when Bush limited federal money for the research, it was Card who made the rounds on the Sunday shows to cheerily defend the policy.

But this is less a reflection on Card than it is on Bush. After all, what kind of man would allow (or force?) a loyal retainer to do something like this? Answer: The same kind of insecure blusterer who repeatedly humiliates his aides in public with remarks like, "He's a PhD, see I'm a C student. Look who's the President and who's the advisor." Or who's so famous for surrounding himself with toadies that it's considered newsworthy when he appoints someone who doesn't decorate his office with pictures of George Bush.

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?

Kevin Drum 3:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (269)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?Kevin Drum

It's not like he's surrounded himself with people who are really all that much smarter than he is.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

This is the great mystery of our times, isn't it? I think Jeff II has part of the answer. I also think that what they're really loyal to is an ideology - which Bush just happens to represent for the moment.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 30, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

I'm not surprised liberals like Kevin Drum would ask such a question why so many Americans support George W Bush. His fanatical hatred of Bush blinds him to the answer that people support Bush's conservative values especially after years of philandering by liberal Democrats like Bill Clinton. Liberals will continue to lose elections so long as they persist in their angry hatred of Bush.

Posted by: Al on March 30, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?
And the central mystery of the Democrats is how Bush managed to get elected twice. Aren't you glad Bush is just is mediocre man-child?

I see the Dems have come out with their new strategery paper. You guys are going to have a hard time retaking government with material like that.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 30, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II got part of it

and worship of Ignorance

"...It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins..." - Benjamin Franklin

Posted by: daCascadian on March 30, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

For the immediate circle around him, ummm, what is that five-letter word that rhymes with 'honey?'

These people have learned to never, ever bite the hand that feeds them.

This is the reason I despise an aristocracy in place of a meritocracy - the elevation of mediocrity.

As Alek said, the people outside Bush's immediate circle project their ideology onto Bush. They are loyal to their ideology and mistakenly think Bush personifies their ideology.

Posted by: Tripp on March 30, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

It's easy Kevin. The White House is like a frat house. Bush is the older frat boy and his advisers follow his lead, because in their eyes, he's cool.

One day they'll leave and look back wondering why the hell they let that dimwit give them wedgies all the damn time. Until then, we all suffer.

Posted by: enozinho on March 30, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

It's so funny to watch Kevin Drum, the classic underachiever, whine about Bush-the-dummy being president.

This comes from a guy who lives off his wife's salary, plays tennis several times a week with other rich white people, and takes digital pictures of cats.

Posted by: FrequencyKenneth on March 30, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut >"...managed to get elected twice..."

Wrong !!!

Appointed once and, maybe, elected once

Stick to the facts (I know it is real difficult for those of you in the Bush Handlers, Inc. Cult but how about actually trying)

details of Florida 2000

"...We don't have news, we have stories inspired by current events..." - Stirling Newberry

Posted by: daCascadian on March 30, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

This is the reason I despise an aristocracy in place of a meritocracy - the elevation of mediocrity.

Tripp, thanks for bringing this up. It's a little off topic, but I've been wondering to myself why I'm not going to vote for Hillary if she runs. I think we need to put the whole idea of political dynasties to bed, no matter how painful it may be in the short term. We need to send a message to Hillary and to Jeb that we want to live in a meritocracy, not a monarchy.

Posted by: enozinho on March 30, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The post by Kevin is pathetic. Our presidents are human beings, not gods. Most have had incredible quirks and failings of a myriad sort. Bush is no different than the others.

The post says more about the boredom someone without power has to face. It reminds me of a famous saying of an Italian politician, Giulio Andreotti, who always managed to get re-elected even though he was a favorite target of so many:

"Il potere logora chi non ce l'ha."

Which means (loosely translated), power deranges those who don't have it.

Posted by: JohnFH on March 30, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

:: sigh ::
Just calm down, everyone.

Posted by: Frank J. on March 30, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush White House probably has all kinds of factions and backstabbing, but you never hear about it because the message control is so good.

This is the mistake people always make about Bush- he is not some kind of God that inspires undying loyalty. But his press machine makes it look that way and he has a habit of hiring people who value money and job security over their own ambitions.

Hiring ambitious people would make it really obvious that Bush has a lot of shortcomings- this is probably one of the reasons no one in Bushland pushed to make Rudy Giuliani Homeland Security secretary. Rudy running around looking competent would not only boost his own Presidential chances but it would make Bush look really inarticulate by comparision.

Of course everyone at the White House is dreamy for Bush. Like all dysfunctional companies run by idiot sons, all the really talented people get fired or learn to work elsewhere.

If Bush was really the second coming of Reagan, there should be job application lines around the block to get in filled by ambitious young people. The fact that there are key posts at departments like TREASURY and STATE unfilled for years tells you what you need to know. Remember- they could all be filled by John Bolton types. Yet, they are begging for applicants.

Posted by: Alderaan on March 30, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised liberals like Kevin Drum would ask such a question why so many Americans support George W Bush. Posted by: Al

Not such a mystery, though I never would have put the number of Americans being dumb as stumps at 35-38%. I believe 10-15% has been the historic number. The additional 20% or so reflects in part, I'm sure, the Right's hatred of public education and their nearly three decade effort now of trying to end it all together. Al is clearly the result of the success of this campaign to date.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: And the central mystery of the Democrats is how Bush managed to get elected twice.

No mystery at all about that: by lying, cheating and stealing. That's the only way Republicans can win national elections.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 30, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think they stick around in hopes of getting one of those spiffy nick names he gives out instead of trying to remember real names.

Really how can people defend over and over this failed human being? A person who exibits this much cluelessness should not be protected and encouraged, but shown the exit so the adults can fix the mess he makes.

Posted by: TomStewart on March 30, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

You know the saying: First-rate leaders hire first-rate staffs; second-rate leaders hire third-rate staffs.

Posted by: Molly, NYC on March 30, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Appointed once and, maybe, elected once
Appointed? I see you forget that the FL Supreme Court overturned its lower courts, only to get slapped down 9-0 then 7-2. The only court that ruled in your favor was the FL Supreme Court. Appointed isn't the word you're looking for.

And Secular
Apparently, nobody has any evidence of lying, cheating and stealing; so whatever evidence you're sitting on: get it out in the open so we can make use of it!

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 30, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

They're not loyal to Bush -- they're loyal to power.

Posted by: Disputo on March 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

How does GWB inspire such loyalty?

It's the power of money and connections. Not since JFK (or FDR) have we had a President who was directly, as a matter of birth and upbringing, part of a huge family/culture of wealth and power. He doesn't have to be smart, he doesn't have to be polite, he doesn't even have to be mature.

Posted by: dan on March 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?

That's something I've always wondered. Previous rulers who built a cult of personality around them usually at least had some sort of personality or at least achievements to base it on, whereas Bush seems lacking in both. Hitler really was charismatic and a war hero, and was himself responsible for building up the Nazi Party; Stalin was an outsize psychopath who seized power from among the most vicious and ruthless men in power; Mao led the revolution against the KMT; Castro overthrew Batista, etc. Whatever their many faults, most of these men had at least some backstory of courage and sacrifice, of personal achievement in the face of great odds, that they could build their legend on.

In contrast, Bush has...what? Desertion from the TANG, a string of failed business ventures and bailouts from his Daddy's rich friends, a history of cocaine and alcohol abuse, and, as president, falling down on the job of protecing America from the worst act of mass murder in its history. In short, a spoiled, petulant, psychologically remote man who has a history of being rescued by others from his own spectacular failures and so has never had to learn to confront reality, a bully who is so unsure of his own worth that he must demean others in order to gain some brief flicker of superiority.

Is it precisely because Bush is such an empty vessel of a man, such a blank slate, that his supporters can ascribe whatever virtues they desire onto him? Is it because he has no real stable personality of his own that his sycophants can see whatever they want to in him?

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Because his family is a nexus of power in this country, and especially now that he is President, he is an avenue to power for some. They invest loyalty with the hope of getting payed some sort of dividend at some point.

Even if he himself is somewhat impotent, didn't earn the position, his backers who put him there have a lot of power, and he is an avenue to that power.

Posted by: Adam Piontek on March 30, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Il potere logora chi non ce l'ha."

I think I like the original Latin better:

Irrumpo te.

That's "F you!" for those of you who didn't suffer two years of Publius and Secunda.

Posted by: Tripp on March 30, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Our presidents are human beings, not gods. Most have had incredible quirks and failings of a myriad sort. Bush is no different than the others. Posted by: JohnFH

In all due respect John, fuck you!

Bush isn't allowed to have "quirks" or too many "failings of a myriad sort" (which is really bad sentence construction, but I'll kick you in the nuts on that one later) because he's the president of the most powerful and, for better and worse, most important nation in history. And he's failed miserably at this job.

Failing to heed terror threats is not a quirk, but it is an enormous personal failing.

Deciding to wage war on a country that was no threat at all to the U.S. or even any of our allies is not a quirk, but it is an enormous personal failing.

Not having the first fucking clue about economics or any other domestic policy area, and surrounding yourself with people that may be even more incompetent than you are is not a quirk, but it is an enormous personal failing.

Bush can't go on Oprah in the fall of 2009, cry and ask forgiveness for this. He ought to be, at the very least, in jail.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush White House probably has all kinds of factions and backstabbing, but you never hear about it because the message control is so good.

There have been a number of former Bush officials who have trashed the president after leaving from Paul O'Neil and Richard Clarke to Andrew Natios recently. For some reason these people drop down the memory hole and the MSM goes back to the "fiercely loyal" meme. If these guys had been from a democratic administration there would have been an endless series of stories about White House "disaray and infighting".

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on March 30, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: Is it because he has no real stable personality of his own that his sycophants can see whatever they want to in him?

Chauncey Gardner!

Posted by: conscious1 on March 30, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

But this is less a reflection on Card than it is on Bush.

Still, it brings up so many questions about Card, and why he stayed in such a demeaning position. Did he think his career would implode if he left? Did his image of himself as a man of loyalty require his sticking it out? Were there some money issues involved in staying? (I'm ruling out a Waylon Smithers-style crush.) Did he keep telling himself that every humiliation was unintentional or unimportant, or something he'd imagined?

It's like watching some woman finally walk out of a bad marriage.

But women who do that, after a refractory period, often wracked with long-denied anger, frequently grow in ways you wouldn't have expected--which I think is why ex-Bush staffers are so often critical of the administration.

It'll be interesting to see what Card does in the next year.

Posted by: Molly, NYC on March 30, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

There have been a number of former Bush officials who have trashed the president after leaving from Paul O'Neil and Richard Clarke to Andrew Natios recently. For some reason these people drop down the memory hole and the MSM goes back to the "fiercely loyal" meme. If these guys had been from a democratic administration there would have been an endless series of stories about White House "disaray and infighting".

Excellent point.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

It's enough to make me believe in God so long as God's name is Satan.

Posted by: kaarog on March 30, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I still think the Religeous Right has flogged Bush as the antiClinton (who was the subject of the 'slick Willie'campaign) so hard that morons fall for what their preacher (on radio, especially) tell them. He's a faithful husband, he's bornagain, he believes in the 'Left Behind' eschatology.
Kevin Phillips might be right on this one. This sort of thing is not heard or felt in most urban areas outside of a marginalized church community.

Posted by: Mr. Bill on March 30, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

How appropriate to have a comment from the frozen tundra regarding the Mafioso Andreotti.

Oh, shucks and bedamn, the Court of Appeals said that the statute had run on the Mafia ties. And the same court overturned his murder conviction.

Why didn't you also post his quote about why he alligned himself to so many corrupt individuals?
His reply was that "Trees need manure to grow".

Hmmm, Aspens need their roots and a whole lot of manure has been dumped at 1600 for the Twig to try to become a shrub. Must be a lot of Hemlocks growing there.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 30, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

We can allow at least one of them to speak for himself -- Karl Rove, who upon meeting the callow youth that was GWB in his wastrel years (I mean the years where he was wasting ONLY his own life)...
Well. let's let ol' Karl tell us in his own words (as quoted in the Nicholas Lemann New Yorker profile of May 12 2003):
"I can literally remember what he was wearing: an Air National Guard flight jacket, cowboy boots, bulletins, complete with the-in Texas you see it a lot-one of the back pockets will have a circle worn in the pocket from where you carry your tin of snuff, your tin of tobacco. He was exuding more charisma than any one individual should be allowed to have."
You can almost see the slo-mo shot of young W, hair gently tousled by the breeze, with the smitten, adoring Karl gazing (if not drooling), rapt (cue the violins), eyes fixed firmly on W's ass.
In his case, at least, it's obviously true love.
"The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know."

Posted by: smartalek on March 30, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's the power of money and connections. Not since JFK (or FDR) have we had a President who was directly, as a matter of birth and upbringing, part of a huge family/culture of wealth and power. He doesn't have to be smart, he doesn't have to be polite, he doesn't even have to be mature.
Posted by: dan

Big difference is that both FDR and JFK had these qualities in spades. Oh, and they were Democrats.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Oklahoma, and have for all my forty years. Most of you are aware that the largest religious denomination in the state is Oklahoma football.

In the 1990s, just prior to Bob Stoops' arrival, OU's coach was John Blake. A former Sooner player from the early 1980s, he was hired to arrest the program's obvious decline as it had occurred under the previous two coaches. But Blake was the weakest of the three - in his three seasons he finished with an overall record of 12-22. He hired mediocre assistants - his offensive coordinator was notoriously clueless, laying out poor, unimaginative game plans and growing petulant and defensive when sports-talk radio callers would challenge his decisions. Blake was also completely inarticulate, unable to explain his own philosophy or decisions (one was especially infamous in these parts, when he fumbled around an explanation for why he kicked an extra point in a situation that clearly called for going for two).

All this was a problem. It was obvious. It was reflected on the scoreboard.

Still, for all this, when sports-talk radio hosts would criticize him, legions of callers would leap to his defense, saying that we had to "support" the coach. It didn't matter how obvious it was that he was a failure - no matter how plainly wrong his decisions had been, no matter how inarticulate he was - these callers were offended that anyone would have the temerity to criticize their coach.

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 30, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Because the modern GOP is less a political party than a cult. The slavish, defensive, "Bush can do no wrong, ever" comments of the trolls on this blog only support this.

Posted by: Mike Still on March 30, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I can literally remember what he was wearing: an Air National Guard flight jacket, cowboy boots, bulletins, complete with the-in Texas you see it a lot-one of the back pockets will have a circle worn in the pocket from where you carry your tin of snuff, your tin of tobacco. He was exuding more charisma than any one individual should be allowed to have."

That's a promising intro to some George and Karl slash fiction right there....

I mean honestly, I think that's the gayest thing I've ever read, and I've read Edmund White and Armistead Maupin....

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Recent research in neuro-psycho-chemistry suggests that the human brain is wired to search for a smarter and more generous person, and, once such an other human is found, to be intensely loyal to him.

Although this model mdoes explain the behavior of Andrew Card and other Republicans, the obverse specter of so many liberals hating the President with so much intensity still remains inexplicable.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 30, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Even better:
Consider that Bush is really Karl Rove's puppet - Rove's political strategy clearly is what's guiding policy - and Bush may be the C student, but Rove did not get a degree at all.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 30, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats believe this, and the far-left here certainly does, why did they run a man-child named Kerry against him ? Kerry has married two rich women and that is his resume. Pretty good gigolo, I guess but no legislation and Ds at Yale.

Clinton lined up his cabinet and asked them to lie for him about sex. That's a lot creepier.

Posted by: Mike K on March 30, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Alek Hidell: I think you can see where I'm going with this.

I cannot possibly think what that reminds me of....

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Is it precisely because Bush is such an empty vessel of a man, such a blank slate, that his supporters can ascribe whatever virtues they desire onto him?

Bingo.

He's the Golden Calf of Texas. Follow the shoe!

Posted by: Windhorse on March 30, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Very, very interesting thread. Lots of good stuff here.

And then there's this: Clinton lined up his cabinet and asked them to lie for him about sex. That's a lot creepier.

I find the hundreds of thousands of unnecessarily dead bodies creepier, but I'm just sensitive that way.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty good gigolo, I guess but no legislation and Ds at Yale.

My father quit Fordham in his last semester, after watching his grades plummet. Why? Because he was drafted and was headed to Vietnam right after graduation. I'm sure this happened to a lot of people. Maybe Kerry too. What's Bush's excuse?

Posted by: enozinho on March 30, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Is it precisely because Bush is such an empty vessel of a man, such a blank slate, that his supporters can ascribe whatever virtues they desire onto him?

This was pretty much the first thing that occurred to me. The other, of course, is that however dimwitted he may be, he represents power. And everyone worships power, though conservatives seem to really need some power to worship. I think it's their defining characteristic.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

FDR and JFK had a sense of "noblesse oblige"

Shrub has a sense of "Recedite, plebes. Magister mundi sum." which means "Stand back, little people; I am Master of the Universe".

The lovely mental picture of Rove and Shrub - Well, Gus van Zant missed out on the other "Brokeback" movie, perhaps there is still time.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on March 30, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

In terms of sheer psychoanalytic insight, I think Stefan gets pretty close with his comments upthread.

You've got to factor in the fundie factor as well. Very close friend of mine is a deeply fundamental, Earth-is-10,000-years-old-and-Satan-planted-the-dinosaur-fossils fundie - he is baffled by Bush's decisions and has had it with Bush's monumental incompetence, but still supports him because Bush has been, well, appointed by you know who...

Posted by: Wonderin on March 30, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

And everyone worships power, though conservatives seem to really need some power to worship.

This may be true of the end-timers in general, but you have to remember that we're talking about his advisors, some of whom have known him for decades.

Posted by: enozinho on March 30, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget that Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau went to Yale with George W.

Here's a excerpt from "Rollng Stone"

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6298171/doonesbury_goes_to_war/?rnd=1143754961161&has-player=unknown

R.S.: Did you know Bush as a student?

GT: We both served on the Armour Council, which was the social committee for our residential college. Nobody in my freshman dorm knew what the council was. But I apparently had shown some leadership qualities in the first three or four days of school, so I was elected unanimously. George Bush was chairman. Our duties consisted of ordering beer kegs and choosing from among the most popular bands to be at our mixers. He certainly knew his stuff -- he was on top of it [laughs].

Even then he had clearly awesome social skills. Legend has it that he knew the names of all forty-five of his fellow pledges when he rushed Deke. He later became rush chairman of Deke -- I do believe he has the soul of a rush chairman. He has that ability to connect with people. Not in the empathetic way that Clinton was so good at, but in the way of making people feel comfortable.

He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable. He was very good at all the tools for survival that people developed in prep school -- sarcasm, and the giving of nicknames. He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.

Posted by: ferd on March 30, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well Kevin, it goes like this: Bush was handed his first victory by the SC rightly or wrongly but was none to impressive until 911 (not even a year into his first term), where even as a progressive, I'll admit he did well in Afghanistan. He also skillfully set himself as the rock solid father figure to a nation with serious anxiety about 911. He had the steely resolve, the no none scense attitude that we craved after being attacked. I rememeber seeing Kerry and Bush in a debate and although Kerry out-debated Bush, Bush had the phrases that made us feel secure even while we scratched our heads about Iraq. So his win in 2004 was 911. But now, the bloom is off the rose. An eight year old sees his father as a hero no matter what a boob he really is. But by 17, the boy understands a lot more and views his father more realistically. There will always be the religious base that loves Bush and the sheep that listen to only Rush and think the WMD are in Syria (like my mother-in-law), but the rest of us have about had enough of the great man-child.

Shorter TFFA, after 911, we wanted our daddy and Bush was there in all him simplicity, reading us a story about a goat.

IMHO, w/o 911, bush would be a single term preznit, unless the SC interviened again.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on March 30, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Alek,

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Did the scoreboard have LEDs?

Posted by: Tripp on March 30, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Because these loyalists only seem "great" when compared to Bush or as in the case of Rove, Bush is just a pawn in their own power grab.

Posted by: DingaDong on March 30, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

I mean look at all the people that blindly defend Bush there all dumber than a box of rock.Tbroz,Al and CN will lie through there teeth to try and make Bush's blunders look good.By all means call us Bush haters class 2 because nobody tops the Clenis haters but I suppose I would be mad as hell if I got Clenis on my face everytime I opened my mouth.

Posted by: Right minded on March 30, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to always bring up Nixon, but what choice does this administration give me?

The Nixon White House was staffed by people who throve on a siege mentality. A shared, insane ideology and the slobbering pursuit of wealth and power may be what brought the Bush inner circle together, but dehumanizing all political and civic opponents is what cements it. They want a constant state of war, both outside and inside the country.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

" even as a progressive, I'll admit he did well in Afghanistan."
Posted by: the fake Fake Al on March 30, 2006 at 4:55 PM
If outsourcing our armed forces' mission to the Northern Alliance, who then let OBL slip out the back door, constitutes "doing well," I'd sure hate to see your definition of "miserable failure."

Posted by: smartalek on March 30, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

why shouldn't they be loyal? they can do a piss-poor job at something they're not remotely qualified for, and then get medals.

Posted by: EM on March 30, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

"throve?"

"Throve?!"

Well lah dee dah.

Posted by: Tripp on March 30, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

They want a constant state of war, both outside and inside the country.

Yes, very perceptive. And that also applies to the religious loonies who are somehow simultaneously in control of the entire government, yet constantly under siege by powerful forces they cannot control...

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

And that also applies to the religious loonies who are somehow simultaneously in control of the entire government, yet constantly under siege by powerful forces they cannot control...

Sure. An abusive marriage made in heaven.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

ferd at 4:54 tells us what we always suspected was true - there is no escaping High School.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable. He was very good at all the tools for survival that people developed in prep school -- sarcasm, and the giving of nicknames. He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.

And here we have the key....

One thing to remember about Bush is that he has always labored in his father's shadow. Bush senior, for all his other faults, is a tremendously accomplished man -- youngest fighter pilot in the Navy in WWII, war hero, varsity athlete in two sports at Yale, good student, branched out on his own to start a successful oil business, elected Congressman, head of CIA, Ambassador to China, Vice President and President of the CIA, etc. He has one of the best resumes of his generation.

Bush, like most elder sons, tried to follow in his father's footsteps, but he always fell short. Was mediocre at Andover where his father was a star, was a cheerleader at Yale where his father was a two-sport letterman, went AWOL from TANG where his father was a combat fighter pilot and war hero, went bust in the oil business where his father was a success. Every step of his life he's tried to do what his father did, and every step of his life he's failed. Hell, he couldn't even get elected president in his own right, but had to rely on his daddy's cronies on the Supreme Court to pick him.

Think what that will do to someone's pscyhology, to always try and fail, to constantly be reminded of how someone else has done it better than you have. The bullying and sneering and mastery of the slight, therefore, are defense mechanisms he's built up in order to protect his fragile psyche, to give himself some sense of power and mastery -- much like a junior high "mean girl" does.

So just think of Bush as the leader of a cliquish junior high coterie of immature girls, all insecurity and ruthlesness and snobbery and fear of social ostrascism, and all will be clear....

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,
Yes, and it's rather disturbing to realize that Nixon's inner circle and Bush's consist of some of the same guys (e.g., Rummy, Cheney). I guess that was part of your point?

Posted by: Wonderin on March 30, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I have an "angry hatred" of Al.

If Bush wasn't such a toady himself, the evangelical/vigilante party would just put another cheerleading figurehead in place.

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on March 30, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

ferd at 4:54 tells us what we always suspected was true - there is no escaping High School.

Sad but true. So we beat on, boats against the current.

Yes, and it's rather disturbing to realize that Nixon's inner circle and Bush's consist of some of the same guys (e.g., Rummy, Cheney). I guess that was part of your point?

It was, Wonderin, but I've repeated it here so many times I thought I'd give everybody a break.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Think what that will do to someone's pscyhology, to always try and fail, to constantly be reminded of how someone else has done it better than you have.

Which brings us, inevitably, to Bush's obsession with invading Iraq. The cold, cruel irony is that Bush the Lesser's incompetence have done nothing but prove that his father, and Colin Powell, were right in their stated reasons not to take Baghdad despite an undisputed ability to do so.

Posted by: Gregory on March 30, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

So just think of Bush as the leader of a cliquish junior high coterie of immature girls, all insecurity and ruthlesness and snobbery and fear of social ostrascism, and all will be clear....

(Staggers drunkenly toward Stefan) Oh, yeah? Oh, YEAH, old man? Want to go mano a mano?

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

As his White House service wore on, this ostentatious modesty morphed even further into creepy masochism. He seemed to delight in the most painful assignments. After his own father died of Parkinson's disease, Card became a supporter of the life-saving potential of stem-cell research. Yet, when Bush limited federal money for the research, it was Card who made the rounds on the Sunday shows to cheerily defend the policy.

"I can literally remember what he was wearing: an Air National Guard flight jacket, cowboy boots, bulletins, complete with the-in Texas you see it a lot-one of the back pockets will have a circle worn in the pocket from where you carry your tin of snuff, your tin of tobacco. He was exuding more charisma than any one individual should be allowed to have."

Now I understand why these people got so worked up over Brokeback Mountain...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 30, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush was one of the Heathers! I knew I recognized him!

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bush as Lord of the Manor:

Bush will tease Card in meetings for his long-windedness and tendency to veer off on tangents. People who have watched them together say the president will sometimes order Card around in a tone that suggests he's talking to a servant. In "The Price of Loyalty," former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill describes a scene in which Bush impatiently demands that Card get him a cheeseburger. WaPo

Matters of State for the Chief of Staff to the President of the US:

"Meanwhile, the cheeseburgers haven't arrived, so Bush, as O'Neill tells it, kind of snaps up from the conversation and says, 'Where are the cheeseburgers?' Andy Card, the new chief of staff, is summoned, and he says to Card, 'You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting some cheeseburgers?' You know, not friendly. Card all but runs out of the room..." Anecdotage.com

Posted by: JimPortlandOR on March 30, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I know that Bush hails from a powerful dynasty, but I think the man is so obviously mediocre and untalented that there's a very strong element of underdog worship in the phenomenon of Dubya loyalty. It must tickle someone like Karl Rove -- surely a geek who was picked on mercilessly in high school or a loser who could never get a date with the hot cheerleader -- silly pink to be able to watch his boss best all them high achieving Ivy League types who populate liberal circles. Bush is a proxy for a lot of conservative anger at our powerful liberal culture and the accompanying desire for revenge.

Posted by: Harry on March 30, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that our own trolls don't (or can't) give reasons for their "intense loyalty." They talk about dems not winning elections and they trash Kevin, but that's it.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 30, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Following on from Stefan's last post, the W's "do you want to go mano a mano" incident with his Dad is particularly telling.

Posted by: Wonderin on March 30, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Which brings us, inevitably, to Bush's obsession with invading Iraq.

Yep. Bush governs by the negative -- whatever his father did, or whatever Clinton did, is what's he's determined to do the opposite of, like a particularly petulant teenager angrily rejecting his father's advice. It's a pity for Iraq and for us that Bush playing out his Oedipal conflict requires him to kill and maim hundreds of thousands of people....

Come to think of it, the Greeks had a word for Oedipus. What was it again? Ah, yes: motherfucker.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that our own trolls don't (or can't) give reasons for their "intense loyalty." They talk about dems not winning elections and they trash Kevin, but that's it.

I noticed that.

I also wonder to what extent this Bush-licking is the mirror image of the Clinton-hating. They hated Clinton precisely because he was so smart, so clearly interested in and a master of policy. God that drove them nuts!

So now, with Bush as the anti-Clinton, who makes sneering at the smart, popular kids cool again, they have someone they can invest all of their acne-ridden, can't get a date angst in.

Man, the whole world thrown into war because Rove couldn't get laid. How fucked up is that?

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's so funny to watch Kevin Drum, the classic underachiever...

Uh oh. Looks like another troll has changed his spots. Was it Patton or Norman that always tried to take pot shots at Kevin's career instead of staying on topic?

Posted by: ckelly on March 30, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

And thinking about Brokeback Mountain, the Greeks, Jeff Guckert, and all that, it just had to come to this:

Q: How do they separate the men from the boys in the Bush Administration?
A: With a crowbar...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 30, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

"years of philandering by liberals like Bill Clinton". Oh my golly, this is the reason you give for the success of President Bush? What do you know, really? President Bush is only marginally successful. He is the epitome of one born with a silver spoon in his mouth. President Clinton came from nowhere to be president. The very worst he did was to commit a personal sin in sexual behavior. President Bush and his congressional cronies have led us into an unneccesary, tragic, and (we now know) illegal war, brought great economic hardship on the poor and much of the middle-class while giving billions to his buddies in the economic stratosphere. Who will pay for his sins. We will, and our children will. So, please grow up. Be the adult you are supposed to be. Denton Kees

Posted by: Denton on March 30, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Read Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and study the Renfield character, then you'll understand.

I bet Bush hates garlic.....

Posted by: GOPNemesis on March 30, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Q: How do they separate the men from the boys in the Bush Administration?
A: With a crowbar...

Reminds me of a joke my ex-roommate's boyfriend once told me: "What's the difference between a gay man and a Marine? About four shots of tequila."

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that our own trolls don't (or can't) give reasons for their "intense loyalty." They talk about dems not winning elections and they trash Kevin, but that's it.

I forget where I read it, but someone pointed out these are the little toadies who like to suck up to authority and power, as they themselves are mostly insignificant middle managers in the burbs, bitter they had to wait until marriage.

They like to envision themselves as the powerful ones, but since they neither have the brains or the drive, the next best thing is to stand in the crowd to be 'one of the guys' to add to the chorus, yea, that howard dean is a traitor!

Posted by: The Media on March 30, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Read Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and study the Renfield character, then you'll understand.

I bet Bush hates garlic.....

Posted by: GOPNemesis on March 30, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I can understand why Kevin is having a bout of BDS. I think he's under the weather. Don't know what everyone else's excuse is, especially the bitterness oozing off of Ryan Lizza.

This is so common with the Left. Their superiority is so obvious to them, along with the inferiority of their opponents. Why can't other people seem to see it?

If the Democrats don't get the House or Senate back this fall, this is going to descend into first class psychosis. Not going to be pretty.

It's fun to look back at JFK and FDR. Not so much fun when you look at the lineup you've got on the bench now, is it? I can understand it, though. Wish Goldwater and Reagan were still around, myself.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 30, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I know that Bush hails from a powerful dynasty, but I think the man is so obviously mediocre and untalented that there's a very strong element of underdog worship in the phenomenon of Dubya loyalty.
Posted by: Harry

People forget that Jeb's considered the smart one, and the one that was to follow in his father's foot steps.

However, he's been pretty much nothing but a fuck-up during his tenure in Florida, so he's a real long shot for president at this point.

I think the family's pretty much played themselves out.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Man, the whole world thrown into war because Rove couldn't get laid. How fucked up is that?

It's the old story. It's all about sex, but the world does NOT move with a woman's hips, David Byrne's pretty line nothwithstanding. It moves with the sexual failures of monster-men like Rove.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

The other day when Bush had finished a full cabinet meeting, for some reason all cabinet secretaries had to line up as a backdrop for a short news conference. I was wondering what Kevin is wondering as I watched the backdrop squirm while Bush was mangling his sentnences and taking an inordinate length of time to decide what word to use. I mean, they looked seriously uncomfortable as it was obvious what an idiot he sounded like. It really beats me why someone would want to work for him.

Posted by: sage country on March 30, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

People have always worshiped authority.
People will always worship authority.

B knows this.
He uses it as a lever.

The most interesting thing about that lever is that it works both ways.

B can say things like this with satisfaction:

"He's a PhD, see I'm a C student. Look who's the President and who's the advisor."

But there are thousands of mediocre and mean thoughts in his head that the lever prevents him from saying.

In other words: Being president constrains him.

I absolutely love that last fact.
B has to swallow heaps and heaps of his own bile.
He wants to tell people to fuck off and obey.
He can't.
That's not good for his organism.
It ages him.

Along these lines... the best insult you and I can give B is to laugh in his face.

Loud.
Uproariously.
Continuously.

Laugh at his language.
Laugh at his pratfalls.
Laugh at his looks.
Laugh at his overt stupidity.

He is defenseless against this.
Better... he believes he is deserving of the highest respect.

There is no more stunning insult human beings can deliver to someone in power.

Against humor... even a C+ Augustus contends in vain.

Laugh outloud at B... every chance you get.

Posted by: koreyel on March 30, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

I can understand why Kevin is having a bout of BDS.

...and with this post, tbrosz becomes more of a self-parody than the tbrosz parodies themselves. Congratulations.

Posted by: Gregory on March 30, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

He is the epitome of one born with a silver spoon in his mouth. President Clinton came from nowhere to be president.

That always drove them crazy, the fact that Clinton came from literally nothing -- born to a widowed single working class mother in the South, with no money and no connections, growing up in an abusive and alcoholic household, and through sheer intelligence and drive working himself up to Georgetown, a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, Yale Law, and ultimately the Presidency. Clinton showed them all what it was possible to do if you were smart and worked hard, and they hated him for it.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

....where even as a progressive, I'll admit he did well in Afghanistan.
Posted by: the fake Fake Al on March 30, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Consider the objective in Afghanistan:
Get Bin Laden.
Prove to the world that if you shelter terrorists, we'll fuck you and get the terrorist anyway.

I wouldn't say he did well in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is sheltering Bin Laden. And we're selling them F-16s.

Kerry has married two rich women and that is his resume. Pretty good gigolo, I guess but no legislation and Ds at Yale
Posted by: Mike K on March 30, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

He brought down BCCI.
Bush hung out with the people who ran BCCI.

Who would you rather trust you financial security to? The guy who goes after embezzlers, money launderers, terror and drug traffic supporters?

Or the guy who hangs out with them?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on March 30, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Look in the mirror, tbrosz. You think the anti-Bush comments on this thread are rough? Do you remember the Clinton years and the libel and slander that was tossed around then (and still gets tossed around)?

How often does this have to be pointed out to you?

Posted by: Wonderin on March 30, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: ...and with this post, tbrosz becomes more of a self-parody than the tbrosz parodies themselves.

I was just thinking the same thing. The merge is complete.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Apparently, nobody has any evidence of lying, cheating and stealing;

Not only are you a stupid, ignorant liar, but you are by far the stupidest, most ignorant, most dishonest dumbass ever to post a comment on this site.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 30, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton showed them all what it was possible to do if you were smart and worked hard, and they hated him for it.

In a nutshell. Nicely said. I guess when blacks said that Clinton was the first black president, they understood the subliminal "uppity nigger" better than the rest of us. Or at least sooner.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats don't get the House or Senate back this fall, this is going to descend into first class psychosis. Not going to be pretty.

Yes, especially when compared to the maturity displayed by the people who actually have power. Gimme a break.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Wish Goldwater and Reagan were still around, myself. Posted by: tbrosz

That's pathetic. The former probably wished he could have openly belonged to the Klan, and the latter needed a daily nap, had policy influenced by astrologers, and wasn't much brighter than Shrub.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan (5:09) is all over the psychology of Bush. And Gregory adds W's obsession over invading Iraq. Right on gentlemen. Still doesn't explain to me the loyalty of others toward W.

Posted by: ckelly on March 30, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Old canard: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

Russell's Corollary: "Those who can do, often can't teach."

Posted by: Russell Aboard M/V Sunshine on March 30, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Well, as someone said, here's tbrosz or a reasonable fascimile thereof, who can't give a clue as to why he supports Bush.

What is it, tbrosz? The Bush dedication to balancing the budget, the steely-eyed determination not to engage in fruitless 'nation-building', or the fact that the guy is such a 'winner'?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: serial catowner on March 30, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: You guys are going to have a hard time retaking government with material like that.

Gee, more advice from someone who wants Democrats to lose.

Let's see, that's kinda like the Vatican getting advice from Satan on how to win converts to Christianity, eh?

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 30, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Jeff II, toward the end of his life the neo-cons openly said that Goldwater had lost it as he repudiated the religious right's stranglehold on his party and urged the Republicans in congress to stop wasting time on their irrational pursuit of Clinton's "scandals".

Posted by: J Bean on March 30, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, more advice from someone who wants Democrats to lose.
Actually, I was reading a Democrat taking it apart. It didn't even impress one of you.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on March 30, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God on March 30, 2006 at 5:44 PM:

Let's see, that's kinda like the Vatican getting advice from Satan on how to win converts to Christianity, eh?

Hey, whatever works...Gotta fill those pews, you know...Just not with so many of those brown people...

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI on March 30, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I rather object to that slur on Pope Benedict. The Catholic Church has many faults, but rascism is not one of them. In fact, the Church is experiencing its greatest growth in Third World areas such as Africa.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bleating! Funny!

Posted by: skimble on March 30, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well, as someone said, here's tbrosz or a reasonable fascimile thereof, who can't give a clue as to why he supports Bush.

Two words, serial catowner: tax cuts.

Posted by: Gregory on March 30, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, the Church is experiencing its greatest growth in Third World areas such as Africa.

Is this anything like Nestle's efforts there?

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

two words, serial catowner: tax cuts.

Actually, I think that tbrosz's pathology on this subject is a little more subtle. It basically amounts to "the worst Republican in the world is still better than the best Democrat." And say what you want about that, it saves time thinking.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?

You don't need Sigmund. The answer is simple. Bush supporters are the 2-3 generations of people who've grown up with the folksy-but-ballsy heroes of the movies. Start with John Wayne. How about Walking Tall (the original). Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry Movies. There are any number of them.

You should start a new blog post asking for comments: What movies did did the George Bush and his minions see and love? Or: Name the movie character this Bushie most closely resembles.

I'm dead serious. Remember Reagan? He started this trend. He kept remembering things that never actually happened - except in a movie he was in.

My own definition of "truthiness" is: "Something you saw in a movie."

Posted by: Libby Sosume's nicer twin on March 30, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

I rather object to that slur on Pope Benedict. The Catholic Church has many faults, but rascism is not one of them. In fact, the Church is experiencing its greatest growth in Third World areas such as Africa. Posted by: Stefan

Well, we found Stefan's blind spot.

"The Church" has pretty much nothing but faults.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

aWol is just a vessel, as was Reagan. All they want is low taxes and a pro-business climate. In that, this administration must be pig heaven.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 30, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Man, the whole world thrown into war because Rove couldn't get laid. How fucked up is that?

...the world does NOT move with a woman's hips, David Byrne's pretty line nothwithstanding. It moves with the sexual failures of monster-men like Rove.

To all you wonderful ladies out there, fuck a nerd for your tomorrow.

Posted by: Goran on March 30, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Libby Sosume's nicer twin: Remember Reagan? He started this trend. He kept remembering things that never actually happened - except in a movie he was in.

George W. Bush is a non-actor playing the role of Ronald Reagan who was a grade-B actor playing the role of a cowboy playing the role of President.

At least Ronald Reagan was actually an actor. He was a bad, grade-B actor, but nonetheless he was a trained actor. He could read stuff off a teleprompter and make it sound like he understood what he was saying and he meant it. Unlike George W. Bush who always sounds like he's mechanically mouthing the words phonetically and doesn't have a clue what he's saying.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 30, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

a pro-business climate

Pro-business is one thing; anti-everything else is something else entirely.

Posted by: craigie on March 30, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

I remember watching some speech by Card many years ago on C-Span... It was clear he had drunk the kool-aid and wasn't that smart a guy, just gullible enuf to buy into the W cult. The perfect kind of guy to have "running the white house" while Rove and Cheney really rule.

Posted by: anon on March 30, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, "bleating" is the perfect word to describe conspiracy nut's comments: the sound made by a distressed sheep.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 30, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

(switching out of the funny hat)

Kevin Drum wrote:

How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Ego preservation. They've invested so much of themselves in their faith into Dubya that they just can't let go when they really know they ought to.

That's not the only thing, but I'm sure it's part of the reason behind it...

Posted by: grape_crush on March 30, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we found Stefan's blind spot.

What, it took you this long? Believe me, I have many many more blind spots than this -- just ask my girlfriend.

"The Church" has pretty much nothing but faults.

Eh. The Church is a large institution made up of human beings, and as most such institutions it has its good and bad points. While I disagree with and object to many of its policies, I also recognize that it does good work in speaking out against the death penalty and war and in working for social and economic justice. Racism, for one thing, has never been a serious charge laid against it in the modern age. The Catholic Church (or at least elements thereof), for another example, was often instrumental in standing up to repressive regimes in Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and Latin America.

But back to the topic at hand....

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Alek Hidell wrote: "Still, for all this, when sports-talk radio hosts would criticize him, legions of callers would leap to his defense, saying that we had to 'support' the coach. It didn't matter how obvious it was that he was a failure - no matter how plainly wrong his decisions had been, no matter how inarticulate he was - these callers were offended that anyone would have the temerity to criticize their coach."

We've certainly seen that attitude here, most notably from Joe Schmoe, but also from quite a few of the trolls (and even some of the non-trolls).

In Joe's case, the adoration pretty clearly originated in fear. He projected onto Bush the qualities he felt that the president needed in order to keep Joe and his family safe, despite the fact that Bush has never had those qualities. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan wrote: "Is it precisely because Bush is such an empty vessel of a man, such a blank slate, that his supporters can ascribe whatever virtues they desire onto him?"

Remember that poll that came out before the 2004 election, in which Bush supporters and Kerry supporters were asked to identify which policies their candidate supported? I think Kevin had a post on this and if I recall correctly the Bush supporters were much more likely to be wrong about Bush's policies than Kerry supporters were about Kerry's.

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bush supporters are the 2-3 generations of people who've grown up with the folksy-but-ballsy heroes of the movies. Start with John Wayne.

Appropriately for Bush and his minions, John Wayne also never served in World War II. He had "other priorities," i.e. maintaining his acting career. While most of his compatriots (Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, David Niven (who, incredibly enough, was one of the founders of the British commando units)) went off to war, Wayne stayed behind in Hollywood.

Shows the power of myth, doesn't it? So many American boys grew up watching Wayne play a war hero in movies such as "The Sands of Iwo Jima" that they came to believe he really was one. Meanwhile genuine WWII heroes, such as George McGovern, a decorated Army Air Corps bomber pilot, were derided by the right wing as soft and unpatriotic.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly wrote: "Was it Patton or Norman that always tried to take pot shots at Kevin's career instead of staying on topic?"

Patton may have done it, too, but that was one of dear little Normy's trademarks. I wonder if they realize that when they resort to such tactics, they are admitting that they have lost the debate?

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: "I can understand why Kevin is having a bout of BDS. I think he's under the weather. Don't know what everyone else's excuse is, especially the bitterness oozing off of Ryan Lizza."

Q.E.D. Poor tbrosz....

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

(switching back into funny hat)

Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 6:03 PM:

I rather object to that slur on Pope Benedict.

Well, we are getting getting advice from Satan on how to win converts to Christianity, aren't we?

By-the-way: You should see my stand-up routine. BIG laughs on the Oral Roberts jokes...It's not easy trying to be 'Pope Funnycus XXX' behind that bulletproof Plexiglass...

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI on March 30, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure where Al gets off citing Bush's"conservative values compared to Clinton's Philandering." Look at the history Al. It's W who paid for the abortion of the waitress in Houston who suddenly (Since W started in politics) lives in a shiny big house with no visible means of support...

Posted by: DanZo on March 30, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Why are they so loyal?

Conservatives are more likley to accept an authoritarian heirarchy, in general. The Bush white house makes them very comfortable.

AND one does not have to think for oneself and really shouldn't. Just parrot whatever talking points Rove hands out, and you win a place at the power table, and later, a cushy lobbying job.

And everyone knows that the Bush family prizes loyalty above ALL ELSE, so if you want to keep your job, thems the rules.

Posted by: lilybart on March 30, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

craigie wrote: "It basically amounts to 'the worst Republican in the world is still better than the best Democrat.'"

Pretty much. I think it was the thread on the incredibly stupid prescription drug program where tbrosz basically insisted that a Democratic version of the program would have been worse. Pressed to defend this remark, he was not able to do so. It was simply an article of faith to him.

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Eastern Europe, the Philippines, and Latin America. But back to the topic at hand....
Posted by: Stefan

The local branches. The Vatican and the minions of Satan that run the main office have pretty much taken a hands-off approach to politics in the modern age. Poland was the exception, but only because the Pope was Polish.

It has rarely taken the position of the oppressed. Remember that the Rat was instrumental in shutting down priests in Latin American who were in opposition to the oligarchs.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

...Of course, I don't have to deal with too many hecklers...The moment I hear a 'YOU SUCK, PADRE!', I damn their soul to Hell.

Shuts 'em up real fast.

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI on March 30, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe now that America realized what an incompetant little boy they elected preznit, they will finally lose that stupid "who'd you rather have a beer with" measure for electing the next president. For most yokels and other assorted idiots I guess drinking a crappy Amurican beer is the most important thing for them to consider when choosing the leader of their country.

Americans really are that stupid. They believe anything, as long as they don't have to think about it for more than 30 seconds or as long as you don't interrupt American Idol.

We drank with Bush for 8 years, and see how it turned out.

Posted by: The Media on March 30, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Is this anything like Nestle's efforts there?

Damn funny!

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Americans really are that stupid. They believe anything, as long as they don't have to think about it for more than 30 seconds or as long as you don't interrupt American Idol.

Hopefully the epigram, variously attributed to Lincoln and to P.T. Barnum, that "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cant fool all of the people all the time" may finally be coming true.

Then again, there's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee, fool me once, shame on...shame on you. If fooled...eh...you can't get fooled again.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Then again, there's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennessee, fool me once, shame on...shame on you. If fooled...eh...you can't get fooled again. Posted by: Stefan

More cowbell!

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Can't get fooled again.

I remember sitting in the theater at the end of Fahrenheit 911, grinning in enormous admiration of Moore's skill as the screen went black and the music and credits started rolling.

Those were the days when I thought America would awake from its long winter's nap, and change course, and start reparing the damage, and...

Guys! We were having so much fun! Back to the comedy!

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

It's not loyalty to the person, but loyalty to the family. The Bush family is nothing to be sneezed given their hand in practically every military, oil pie world wide. Young Bush is just the current scion. It's not personal loyalty its organizational loyalty.

Posted by: patience on March 30, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

The stumblebum bush presidency is draining us, a dirge of disaster. Bush talked a good campaign in 2000, but his lying and evil agenda began before his inauguration was complete - denying health care to pregnant women worldwide. From the podium.

I predicted, then watched a multifaceted foolishness, fueled by wrong ideas, a (sometimes) purposeful and comprehensive ignorance coupled with a rampaging arrogance that begs reckoning. Hes taking us all down.

How does he have any approval? Who would follow a drunk driver into the ditch, then let him drive on? I watch the polls and wonder. Do his supporters know the true story? What fantasy world do they live in? Faux Fox facts? Or, do they approve of the lousy policies so poorly implemented? Do they approve of torture, worldwide and world class lying, destructive deficits, lost alliances, outlaw policies, abrogated treaties, and a ravaging of our Constitution? Dont they know or dont they care?

Are they so scared that they would savage their own country? Has bush or Osama so frightened them - beyond our WWII enemies, beyond the Cold War USSR - so frightened them that they would sacrifice Liberty for a poorly done defense? What would Benjamin Franklin say?

Posted by: Richard W. Crews on March 30, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

What would Benjamin Franklin say?

"A Republic--if you can keep it."

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

One word FEAR

Bush, like many alcoholics, has a horrible temper, by all accounts. If you dont believe me, ask Al Hunt, the Wall St. Journal columnist whom Dubya verbally assaulted in front of his young son in a restaurant in 1986, for criticizing his daddy. George W. Bush is a man of very low moral character anyway, as numerous people on this thread have pointed out. Most dysfunctional failures like him have an underlying current of rage that they keep hidden, but that springs out in private settings. Im sure Andy Card is a hollow shell of a man, after getting reamed out so many times by this degenerate. I sure hope he gets counseling.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 30, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hate to live up to my pedantic reputation, but consider the following:

(1) Irrumpo te isn't Latin for "fuck you;" it isn't in fact Latin for anything. Believe you were looking for "Te irrumo," which isn't "fuck you" but is certainly sexual.

(2) I believe George Bush I was not a fighter pilot but the pilot of a torpedo bomber. How the skill and risk of a TB relates to a fighter I don't know -- I would guess less skill, more risk, but that's only a guess.

(3) Morris Goldwater's grandson was hardly a likely candidate for Klan admission. I went to high school in the 60's with a pack of guys that were little GWB's, also with a guy who was a friend of the Goldwater family and a political follower of Barry's. Had great respect, and good debates, with the latter, no respect and no reason to talk to the former.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady on March 30, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

I love all the conservative talk about "irrational Bush hatred." Given the string of disasters brought about this man, any dislike of him seems pretty rational.

It's the fawning love for him that seems irrational. You people are like an abused wife, fending off the police with cries of "He's a good man, officer! He didn't mean it!"

Posted by: Otto Man on March 30, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Full disclosure: I hate George W. Bush.
Here's the secret. George, while being a lowlife, moral degenerate, is smart. The regular dumb guy thing is an act. He had better SAT's than Al Gore.

Posted by: Joe on March 30, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

(2) I believe George Bush I was not a fighter pilot but the pilot of a torpedo bomber. How the skill and risk of a TB relates to a fighter I don't know -- I would guess less skill, more risk, but that's only a guess.

I stand corrected. That's right, he was pilot of a plane with, I believe, a three man crew.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

. . . also with a guy who was a friend of the Goldwater family and a political follower of Barry's. Had great respect, and good debates, with the latter, no respect and no reason to talk to the former. Posted by: Gene O'Grady

So? You didn't personally know him, and apparently aren't aware of his racism. The guy makes current Republicans look like flower children. This is the guy who would have just as soon as used nuclear weapons in Vietnam and be done with it. The thought of him as president used to give Curtis LeMay a hard on.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

I am so happy this happend...

White House Chief of Staff Andy Card Resigns

Posted by: hans on March 30, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

It's a matter of the basics here.

Just as there's no point trying to explain or understand the rise of Republicanism and Radical Conservatism over the last 40 years without first taking into account the Southern Strategy, there is no understanding of the last 5 years of politics without first factoring the 9/11 effect.

Going into 9/11, Bush's Presidency was going nowhere fast. His numbers were mediocre. The honeymoon period was just about over. He would have been destined for unpopularity, and the entirely inevitable decline in loyalty that entails, except for the events of 9/11.

After 9/11, his popularity went sky high, for reasons that have nothing to do with man, his shallow character and personality, and his weak and unfocused mind. The American people invested in him characteristics that they were desperate to believe he actually possessed. They bought every grand story his hagiographers could invent for him. He became a parable.

Bush could do no wrong; not in foreign policy, not in the domestic scene. Criticism of him was easily branded as unpatriotic. Loyalty to him became a paramount public virtue. His people insisted on this loyalty because they could. Others -- even his natural political enemies -- fell in with it, because they knew that to do otherwise would ruin them.

For four long years this dynamic has ruled the American political scene. It is falling apart now because, due to the very ineptness inherent in him, combined with his arrogant dismissal of the demands of actual governance (enabled for so long by the 9/11 effect), his approval numbers have collapsed.

If there's anything more to the story here that really counts, I'm not sure what it might be.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 30, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

I am so happy this happend...

White House Chief of Staff Andy Card Resigns
Posted by: hans

Hans, dude, what's the punch line? This happened yesterday, and most people think it doesn't amount to anything, unless he turns state's evidence or goes to the press.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does.

It's a mystery we've been trying to solve for ages, from little Corsican corporals, to Austrian paperhangers, to Cuban baseball rejects. The cult of personality is a powerful thing, and I think Stephen K. hits on a big aspect above. Rationality goes out the window when you're blinded by fear. Fear of the black man, fear of the empowered woman, fear of the empowered poor, fear of the Muslim...

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on March 30, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

...Problem is, my speech writers wouldn't know funny if it was tatooed on an altar boy's left hindquarter...

Now those Monty Python chaps, they knew how to write and perform religious comedy, even the dead gay fellow that's down in Hell...I have 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' on my IPod. And the "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" skits are comedy GOLD!...

Posted by: Pope Benedict XVI on March 30, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the secret. George, while being a lowlife, moral degenerate, is smart. The regular dumb guy thing is an act. He had better SAT's than Al Gore.

Actually, Gore's SAT scores were higher than Bush's (625/730 vs. 566/640 verbal/math)

Posted by: Alf on March 30, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

My mistake.
It was Bill Bradley I meant. Bush had better SAT's than Bill Bradley.
http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh081904.shtml

Posted by: Joe on March 30, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

"This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does."

It's simple, he pisses off all the right people: liberals, media twirps, academics, pinkos, vegans, dopeheads, slackers, Hollywood, hippies, moonbats, rock stars, elitists, Eurotrash, abortionists, femimists, bureaucrats, unions, bloggers, environmentalists, socialists, etc, etc...

Basically, the annoying losers in the American experience.

Simple

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on March 30, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Group dynamics is part of it. Once a bandwagon starts moving, it's pretty hard not to jump on board.

Start with the tribalism of US politics, and mix in the fear that 911 generated.

It has simply taken this long for the bandwagon to slow, and the whole nation rubs it's eyes and starts to wake up.

Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule. Nietzsche

PS regarding Goldwater - read the first part of 'Christians and Cannibals' by Mailer. It disects the Goldwater win at the Republican convention so well it makes the hair rise on the back your neck.

Mailer notes they played bagpipes there during the convention - he feels with a shock the tribalism of the Southern Protestants and the almost sensual relishment of the coming Apocalypse.

Tribalism and group dynamics. Bush might be an idiot but he's really beyond the point.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 30, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's pretty simple, really. There are two parts, one of which has been captured by several folks here, including Adam Piontek:

Because his family is a nexus of power in this country, and especially now that he is President, he is an avenue to power for some. They invest loyalty with the hope of getting payed some sort of dividend at some point.

Even if he himself is somewhat impotent, didn't earn the position, his backers who put him there have a lot of power, and he is an avenue to that power.

The second part is that, ever since Bush and Rove began to build the GWB power base, Rule #1 for entry into the club has been "Be loyal to the boss." Those who remain loyal are rewarded with all the power and perks that the Bush family can provide, and they are significant. Those who are disloyal are ruthlessly punished (see the disinformation campaigns conducted against Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill, or figure out why John DiIulio, inventor of the phrase "Mayberry Machiavelli," decided to clam up forever after receiving one mysterious phone call from Karl).

This has been Rule #1 for the two decades or more than Bush and Rove have worked together. The most powerful and influential members of the club are those who have been in it the longest and presented the most proof that they will always follow The Rule. With a few hard-line old-timers at the very top of the organization enforcing loyalty above all, and with new entrants force-fed The Rule and educated as to the consequences of following it or failing to do so, you get a pretty doggone loyal organization.

Carrot and stick, except it's more like caviar and a chain-saw. Simple enough.

Posted by: Trickster on March 30, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

I seen this Guy AL i think its really AL K. Hawlic
anyway I seen this Guy AL running around jacking his jaw about Ideas..

Has ANYONE here ever seen AL post an Idea?
I have seen a few of the posts, but NADA do they contain...
So Is AL full of AL?

Posted by: Hamster Brain on March 30, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mystery Of Bush LMAO!!!!
Whats Mysterious about Gomer Pyle?

Posted by: Hamster Brain on March 30, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Pressed to defend this remark, he was not able to do so. It was simply an article of faith to him.

I might add, Paul, that your statement could well apply to many of tbrosz' postings.

And yet tbrosz once huffed -- heigh-ho! -- that his kind of analysis is useless here. I simply rejoinded that his kind of fallacious, intellectually dishonest analysis is useless anywhere.

Except at PowerLine, of course.

Posted by: Gregory on March 30, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

SAT's dont mean Squat I failed every School test intentionally !!

SAT on yer ASS
My IQ is well above 160 and no thanks to any Brain dead ass teachers or 'Intellectual Parrots'

Why Yes Platoism. Taoism,. sociialism, Neo-conism, Trotskyism, ism ism ism...

Your a bunch of fecking rote trained parrots
George Chopped down the cherry tree..
BULLSHEET!!

SAPER AUDE!!

Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 30, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

You FECKIN idiots

BUSH was trained by some 30 ministers, thats WHY he speaks the Lies/Lingo of the Falwell Televangelists.


Posted by: one eye buck tooth [X^B on March 30, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory wrote: "I might add, Paul, that your statement could well apply to many of tbrosz' postings."

Yup, like his posts about "Bush hatred," or his posts about how much we all want the Iraq war to fail and Iraq to descend into chaos (another statement he was wholly unable to defend, of course), or his posts about Social Security, or his posts about Medicare and national health insurance, or his posts about the tax cuts and the costs thereof, or his posts about Iraq ... it's all part and parcel of his belief system and to hell with whether any of it even remotely makes sense.

Posted by: PaulB on March 30, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Hopefully the epigram, variously attributed to Lincoln and to P.T. Barnum, that "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cant fool all of the people all the time" may finally be coming true."

More likely Maverick's coinage:
"You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time--and them's pretty good odds."

Posted by: Steve Paradis on March 30, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Joe on March 30, 2006 at 8:17 PM:

Bush had better SAT's than Bill Bradley.

You mean as in 'Graduated with honors from Princeton' Bill Bradley? Rhodes Scholar Bill Bradley? Oh, add honorary Doctor of Civil Law (Oxford) and Eagle Scout to that list as well...

...And he played a pretty good game of hoops as well.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 30, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Since no one has answered the question--Dead some 47 years now.

Posted by: lee on March 30, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Make that 67 years.

Posted by: lee on March 30, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

There was an image during the Recount Fight in 2000 that will forever stick in my mind. Bush, and his campaign and braintrust, were all in a room, commenting on the status of the recount.

Most of his people - including Cheney and, IIRC, Baker - were sitting in a group in the center of the room, leaning forward, heads down, talking.

Bush was apart from them, sitting in an armchair, peering out around it to his left at the reporters. He looked like a little kid at a family gathering, shuffled off to one side while the grownups talked about serious stuff.

And he had a little kid's expression on his face: a little kid who had to talk to strangers while his family talked among themselves; a little kid who wasn't sure what was going on, and was uneasy about it.

Now, this was before everything; before any of the misbegotten crap, arrogance and lies that started the minute he entered the WH. Before the energy meetings, before the Chinese airplane imbroglio, before the end of the peace initiatives in the ME and the Koreas; and long before 9/11, much less Iraq.

So I, at least, didn't have much of an impression of Bush yet, as a person, apart from the image created and marketed for the campaign.

And that scene just astonished me. Because Bush was so very, very clearly out of his depth... because he was so very, very clearly aware he was out of his depth... and because he was so very, very clearly not the person in charge in that room.

Posted by: CaseyL on March 30, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's all a brilliant ruse so that Jeb Bush will look better by comparison for being able to speak in complete sentences and not starting an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Posted by: david on March 30, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?Kevin Drum

Good observation. Life is full of ironies.

The Chinese Communist Party leads the fastest growing, least ethical, Capitalist country

A C-student leads some of the smartest neo-cons around

And Bill Clinton, who bonks younger women in affairs and uses them as ashtrays, is still one of the most popular figures with American women.


Posted by: McA on March 30, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

It's not about loyalty at all; it's really about indulgence. (Bush's answers come from a "Higher Father" and no other, thus his absence of doubt. All that's left is the indulgence, and anyone who challenges his indulgence is thrown off the ship for disloyalty.) Loyalty to George W. brings with it the titillating possibility of equal indulgence; and loyalty is a price eagerly paid.

Bush's problem is that despite his years, he still thinks that wisdom equals weakness, and that doubt equals shame.

Posted by: Jon Karak on March 30, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, Alf et al.

I agree. I don't think Dubya is dumb. I think he has a cunning and a manipulative side that is much more developed than the average person. I just think he is a spoiled, Oedipal brat who has never done an honest day's work in his life and has never been held accountable for anything. As a result, his moral character is very low.

He is incapable of admitting he did anything wrong - ever. And only in admitting that we have made a mistake can we self-correct. As a result, his life is a downward spiral. Unfortunately, most of the world has been drawn into this spiral.

Stephen Kriz

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 30, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You can't define why some people can get other's to do their bidding.

It's a gift.

regardless of what GWB has done with his life he has an innate ability to get folks to respond to his requests.

He likes to use a chainsaw on cedar trees, and seems to know how to manage large tracts of his Texas ranch, thus he resonates with oodles of folks who can also fire up a chainsaw,etc.

He also has a way of spouting the need for a deity in his life, capitalizing on the "faith-based" mentality of millions.

I see him as a guy who killed a few too many brain cells in his earlier years.

He is our commander in chief, god help us.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on March 30, 2006 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, look at the kind of people in this comment section alone who are for George Bush. Quality of loyalty counts. I don't think Bush has anything to be proud of in the loyalty he inspires!

Posted by: PW on March 30, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

I just have to say how PROUD I am of the president, and how impressed I am with the job he is doing.

I mean look. These are difficult times, tough times. And, dammit, George Bush just gets it. He doesn't waste time on politics, he just gets into Gannon's pants and goes to work. I mean this guy has just had one success after another. And they just keep coming!

Is there a problem George Bush can't solve?

I mean seriously.


Posted by: norman licked my pee-pee on March 30, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to understand the mentality of the trolls here and Bush sheep in general, simply picture French collaborators in WWII. Imagine if you will the USA defeated by some vastly superior enemy and occupied by a tyrannical dictatorship. We know Bush fanatics won't serve in defense of their country. What is more to the point, if we were conquered by this unimaginable enemy, these same folks would be the first to turn on their neighbors and families for an extra ration of chocolate. Fucking Vichy trolls, each and every one of 'em.

Posted by: solar on March 30, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

He is our commander in chief, god help us.

Er, no, he's not. He's the commander-in-chief of the military. Since most of us are not in the military he's not our commander-in-chief.

Article II, Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States....


Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, Abraham Lincoln failed at every job he had before he was President.

Those who are afraid to fail never succeed. I have a feeling most of the people posting here never run the risk of succeeding. It's easy to criticize when you're on the sidelines, isn't it.

The plain fact of the matter is that people take their potshots at winners. It's a very difficult thing, being a winner.

Posted by: egbert on March 30, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

What is more to the point, if we were conquered by this unimaginable enemy, these same folks would be the first to turn on their neighbors and families for an extra ration of chocolate.

Exactly. They worship power, and will attach themselves to whatever they imagine the most power-hungry ideology to be. If this were 1930s Germany, they'd be Nazis, if this were the old Soviet Union, they'd be Communists, and if they lived in present-day Iran they'd be fundamentalists allied with the mullahs. The ideology always changes, but the underlying behavior -- ignorance, nationalism, worship of the group, unthinking obedience, a slavish desire to take orders, paranoia, fanaticism, a constant search for enemies, etc. -- is always the same.

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Era of Bush has demonstrated that there are more people who buy into myth than there are people who rely on reason. Whoever made that crack about the "reality-based community" was right on.

Posted by: crow on March 30, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Those who are afraid to fail never succeed.

Those who are not afraid to fail because Daddy will bail them out if they do sometimes succeed through the agency of others.

I have a feeling most of the people posting here never run the risk of succeeding.

You have a feeling?

Good for you.

Funnily enough, I've pretty much succeeded at my life. I'm content and happy with who I am.

What about you?

It's easy to criticize when you're on the sidelines, isn't it.

Spoken anonymously, on a blog.

The plain fact of the matter is that people take their potshots at winners. It's a very difficult thing, being a winner.

Yeah, Bill Clinton understands exactly what you mean.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 30, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, Abraham Lincoln failed at every job he ever had before he became President.

I knew Abraham Lincoln. I worked with Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was a friend of mine. And George W. Bush, sir, is no Abraham Lincoln.

Besides, that's laughably ignorant. Lincoln didn't fail at every job he ever had -- he served four terms in the Illinois state legislature, was a leader of the Whig party there, and was an accomplished lawyer (responsible for some of the leading railroad and other corporate cases of the day), and was a founder of the Republican Party (something I'm sure he rues as he looks down at this country....).

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, that's laughably ignorant. Lincoln didn't fail at every job he ever had...

Silly Stefan! egbert's just trying out the new talking point: "Smirky: Maybe He's a Late Bloomer."

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, Abraham Lincoln failed at every job he had before he was President.

Maybe he was thinking of Harry Truman, who, if memory serves, wasn't very good at his business?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 30, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

The haberdashery shop didn't go so well. But Harry was one sharp-dressed may-un.

Posted by: shortstop on March 30, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of misplaced loyalty, President Bush said of Vladimir Putin this week, "I'm able to walk into the room with the President of Russia and him not throw me out." It's no wonder, given Bush's repeated praise for dictatorship in the past...

For the full story, see:
"The Bush-Putin Soulmate Watch."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on March 30, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Was he referring to Putin's black belt in judo?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 30, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

The plain fact of the matter is that people take their potshots at winners. It's a very difficult thing, being a winner.

Let's see -- World Trade Center destroyed, Pentagon attacked for the first time in history, New Orleans destroyed, surplus gone, record deficits, anemic stock market growth, job losses, whole country in hock to the Communist Chinese, quagmire in Iraq, tens of thousands of US casualties, 33% approval rating, America hated and despised throughout the world and its reputation in tatters -- yep, looks like a winner to me!

Posted by: Stefan on March 30, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan and Solar at 10:42 and 10:58, truer words were never uttered.

Posted by: Roli on March 30, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think you're all wrong.

It's not absolute "worship of power".

It's that Bush drives Liberals crazy. He represents everything they're against. Bush was selected to represent the neocon cablal specifically for this reason. The more Liberals got angry about Bush, the more their Mighty Wurlitzer could proclaim that "Attack attack attack - it's all Gore knows" "liberals are shrill" "liberals are just haters" "culture of hate" "culture of death" "elitists" "Bush Derangement Syndrome".

It's really not a brilliant, genius trick. Pretty much anyone could pull it off with the backing of the corporate-dominated media, and billions of dollars of covert-operative organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Cato, and other root-connected Aspens.

Rove's strategy is based on getting liberals pissed off. And anything that pisses off liberals, gets rednecks exited and happy. Because liberals have been framed by the media as french-loving immoral surrender monkeys. It's not really much more complicated than that.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on March 30, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but I think what Kevin's post was really getting at...

After all, what kind of man would allow (or force?) a loyal retainer to do something like this? Answer: The same kind of insecure blusterer who repeatedly humiliates his aides in public with remarks like, "He's a PhD, see I'm a C student. Look who's the President and who's the advisor."

... is less the "loser" thing than the "bully" thing. This was also what struck me really strongly about the "provocations" stuff from that most recent NYT story on the Blair-Bush memo, the whole fake-UN U2 flight idea: it's classic schoolyard bully stuff. "Hey, kid - slap my hand. C'mon, go ahead, slap it. What's the matter, you scared? Aw, c'mon, don't be scared. What do you think, I'm gonna punch you? You think I'm some kind of asshole, who asks you to slap my hand and then punches me? You calling me an asshole? No? Okay, so go ahead. What's the big deal? Just slap my hand. C'mon, just slap it, I'm getting tired of this. Do me a favor, man, just slap it." (Slap.) "Did you fucking see that? This kid just hit me. This little twerp just hit me. I think I might just have to hit him back." (Pow. Oof. Uh. Kick. Groan. Etc.)

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 30, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Ooook, speaking for those with whome "america's...reputation [is] in tatters", I'm starting to get with the BDS annoyance. Not that it isn't fun, bitching about how americans could screw up the first time, but then be so impossibly dense TWICE. But.

Can you please figure out how to regain your ally's respect, by shoving america's bad side, aka the republicans, back in the closet? Ie, sort out how to win? It's looking kind of pathetic from out here.

My own theory: too much jerrymandering has lead to the democrats in office not having enough turnover. This affected the republicans less because they most recently achieved majorities, and so have more "new hires". Not necc substance (clearly the country is being run into the ditch), but at least energy.

So, firing as many lacklustre incumbants as you possibly can in the primaries, is that possible?

And, does anybody even care that NASA's space science budget has just been cut in half by Bush & Co ?

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on March 30, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce, how about you guys in the provinces all apply to become American states? That'd swing the next elections nicely to the Dems.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 30, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

>Bruce, how about you guys in the provinces all apply to become American states? That'd swing the next elections nicely to the Dems.

Well, that's the only reason we haven't been invaded yet, and probably never be invited. We'd counterbalance the south.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on March 30, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Ie, sort out how to win? It's looking kind of pathetic from out here.

we already know how to win. But the people with all the money aren't about to bribe congressmen to pass laws to take away the influence of money. There's no hope for America, we're fucked. With jackasses like Lieberman carrying water for the Republicans, and occupying the space where a legitimate opposition party should be, there's just no chance at all.

I'm just hoping that when global warming really kicks in, and Canada's climate becomes inhabitable, that Canada has either a decent immigration policy, or as lax border security as the US currently does in Mexico. (BTW, I'm a good gardener, and carpenter - I assume an illegal won't be able to get a job programming in Canada).

And, does anybody even care that NASA's space science budget has just been cut in half by Bush & Co ?

Gee. Looks like other countries are going to have to pick up where the US left off. (hint, hint). It's not like we've got a patent on space travel.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on March 30, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Joe on March 30, 2006 at 8:17 PM:

Bush had better SAT's than Bill Bradley.

You mean as in 'Graduated with honors from Princeton' Bill Bradley? Rhodes Scholar Bill Bradley? Oh, add honorary Doctor of Civil Law (Oxford) and Eagle Scout to that list as well...

...And he played a pretty good game of hoops as well. Posted by: grape_crush

I find that assertion to be a load of crap as well. People with low SAT scores don't get into Princeton, but they may get into Yale as a legacy.

Dollar Bill would have made a fine president. Better than Gore.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 30, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, that's the only reason we haven't been invaded yet, and probably never be invited. We'd counterbalance the south.

Nah, we'd just declare you guys "guest workers". That way you wouldn't have the privilege of voting for whatever idiots we decide to put up this year.

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 31, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Nah, we'd just declare you guys "guest workers". That way you wouldn't have the privilege of voting for whatever idiots we decide to put up this year.
Posted by: brooksfoe

Screw up the exchange rate as well. One's entertainment and recreating dollar just wouldn't go quite as far in BC if we annexed our friends to the north. Why would we want to screw up such a nice country anyway?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 31, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

However, "bullies" is a subset of "losers". Or is it a subset of "wankers"? Or maybe "amoral avaricious dullards"? Sigh.... The distinctions are difficult to keep straight these days. Let's face it, GWB's rich, subtle and nuanced character defies easy categorization.

Posted by: has407 on March 31, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

One might conclude it has much to do with people's perceptions of the alternatives.

Posted by: pencarrow on March 31, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

You don't have the key to anything if you equate Bush to "the leader of a cliquish junior high coterie of immature girls, all insecurity and ruthlesness and snobbery and fear of social ostrascism, and all will be clear...." What about a clique of BOYS? Don't lay all this crap on women, PUH-LEEZ.

Posted by: omar on March 31, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Gee. Looks like other countries are going to have to pick up where the US left off. (hint, hint). It's not like we've got a patent on space travel. OBF

Actually, India is on track to put an unmanned probe on the moon by the end of next year.

NASA's sending along a payload as a paying customer.

Posted by: floopmeister on March 31, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

The way Bush inspires that loyalty is that loyalty is the one thing he values. If you supply it, he will reward you, regardless of your other failings. That kind of leader tends to attrack a certain kind of follower: people who would not necessarily have been able to succeed on their own abilities, but who can suck up to the boss until the cows come home.

Posted by: John Callender on March 31, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Just remember, Abraham Lincoln failed at every job he had before he was President.

...and Bush has gone Lincoln one better, being an abject failure both before and since becoming President.

Posted by: Gregory on March 31, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK


solar at 10:42 PM,
Ah, you speak of a common species of bird.


...............................ll................................
..............................00...............................
............................(.v.v.)............................
..........................(..........)...........................
........................(..............).........................
......................(..................).......................
.....................(....................)......................
.......................|................|........................
......................m...............m.......................
FANGED VICHY CHICKENHAWK
..................................................................


Posted by: Apollo 13 on March 31, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

>Gee. Looks like other countries are going to have to pick up where the US left off. (hint, hint). It's not like we've got a patent on space travel. OBF

Even if you could convince the ESA to double their space science budget, the trouble is that the timeline for those missions - whether earth observation or astronomy - is around a decade. Worse yet, they break up and lay off the teams involved. The total setback might be closer to ten years, unless some other nation bought the plans and hired the workers.

Not all of it is made up of probes that can just be done later, either. A lot of the climate science, etc, is lost, if not picked up now. And this is the kind of work that makes a leading nation, a genuine leader.

Unless, of course, the actual "leaders" in charge just try to impress with military adventuring and bluster. Not that that's going all that well.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on March 31, 2006 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

AL: about not understanding "why so many Americans support George W Bush"...

How many, exactly, and what does that matter anymore? This "crazy liberals hate Bush" meme is one of the weakest last resorts one could ever imagine, but probably a sign of feebler things to come.

Posted by: Kenji on March 31, 2006 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

good thread
why the strong public support for an obvious fuckup?
Compassion fatigue is followed by R. Reagan. The New Deal was the real deal but you can only build so much highly effective infrastructure so rapidly once. Once people lose sight of what is important, they get just plain self centered. Tax cuts and religion is what turns them on. fuck the rest of the country. Clinton scared because he oblivously wanted to go somewhere. They thought that Bush had no big plan and was safe. Boy, were they ever wrong. Stefan has it cold re bush and his father. #51 fitted right into the rich set and little George did not -- time to get revenge. I'd love to know what his father's nickname is. As for the staff. George has spent a lifetime picking them up, he's not about to throw them away. Why do they stay? Hey, there are lot of bondage freaks out there -- seriously, these people have no self esteem. Bush is dependent on them -- he actually hates them but he keeps the charade going. I'm reminded of the many monkey trainers. They spend their whole life getting the monkey to amuse the crowd -- shitty job and not much success, but they sure feel superior to the monkey.

Posted by: wisedup on March 31, 2006 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

wisedup:

No wonder people think liberals are idiots. You don't even know American history. The New Deal began with Herbert Hoover, not FDR in practice if not in in name. I think... America had 25% unemployment in 1932, but hey it's sure a parallel to today's 4.8% unemployment! I mean gawd, this is the worst economy since Herbert Hoover!

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on March 31, 2006 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

ah DC, remember there lies then there are statistics. The actual unemployment rate is much higher than 4.8%. Bush has fucked what truth was left in Govt so facts these days are completely suspect. I did not claim FDR was the originator, did I? Big chip on your shoulder is there?
Best economy? for who? We are spending close to a billion an hour more than we make and what do we get for it? Are we getting new highways? are we getting completely new schools systems? are we getting total security? are we getting 10 new international allies ready to support us? The conservatives are miserable and want everyone else to be miserable. Your life sucks and you just know that its because the 10 commandments are not posted in every crapper in the country. Forget the courts, lots more time spent in the crapper -- more time to learn. You'll still be miserable so I suppose you'll want them tattooed on our foreheads. This is the true tragedy of Bush. Forget good governance and just do what feels right -- to you. Sounds like the dark old hippy days.
And as for that Neuhaus fella, he's so sure that old time religion is needed why doesn't he move to Italy?

Posted by: wisedup on March 31, 2006 at 4:42 AM | PERMALINK

i didn't make it through the comments (so maybe
it has already been said) but there's an obvious
answer why bush receives such blind, undeserved loyalty:
BECAUSE he is such a doofus. card, for instance,
can tell himself that bush NEEDS him, would fall
apart without him. add masochistic lover complex
to nest-feathering self-interest and you're almost there.

Posted by: daveminnj on March 31, 2006 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

irrumpo, -ere, -rupi, -ruptus, tr. and intr., burst, break in, rush into, burst into.

A perfectly good Latin verb, but "Fuck you" probably should be rendered with an imperative, don't you think? And the Romans didn't care where they put the accusative;either before or after the verb.

Anyway Te irrumpe! would communicate very well.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 31, 2006 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin asks: This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?

Let's answer Kevin's question with our own:

Why does a Cal-tech dropout need so desperately to believe he's so much smarter than our President who is a graduate of both Yale and Harvard? A President who was a succesful businessman, a twice elected Governor of Texas and a twice elected President of these United States.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on March 31, 2006 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

for Norman, keep clappping, clap harder, if ignorance is bliss you are sure are in Nirvana.

Posted by: wisedup on March 31, 2006 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Norman follows suit, bashes Kevin rather than offer any reason for loyalty to Bush. (He also reveals abysmal knowledge of how legacy worked at Ivy League schools in the 60s.) But good slogan to emblazon over Presidential library entrance: He's no Kevin Drum"

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 31, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

A13- Best fanged chickenhawk, ever, I'm sure.


Norman- thinking that Bush was a success in business is just more proof that you are unemployed. Why do you hate capitalism?

Posted by: solar on March 31, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

How does this mediocre man-child manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?


Simple: It pays. Billions. Those in this (mis)administration rightly expect huge bonanzas from the corporate interests who have done so well out this mess.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05352/624259.stm

Presidential Pipeline: Bush's top fund-raisers see spoils of victory

Sunday, December 18, 2005
By Jim Tankersley, Joshua Boak and Christopher D. Kirkpatrick, The Toledo Blade

"President Bush's corporate champions see the spoils of his administration in coal. And timber. And credit-card payments, Afghan electric lines, Japanese bank transfers and fake crab.

America's business leaders supplied more than $75 million to return Mr. Bush to the White House last year -- and he has paid dividends.

Bush administration policies, grand and obscure, have financially benefited companies or lobbying clients tied to at least 200 of the president's largest campaign fund-raisers, a Toledo Blade investigation has found. Dozens more stand to gain from Bush-backed initiatives that recently passed or await congressional approval.

The investigation included targeted tax breaks, regulatory changes, pro-business legislation, high-profile salaried appointments, and federal contracts.

Mr. Bush's policies often followed specific requests from his 548 "Pioneers" and "Rangers," who each raised at least $100,000 or $200,000 for his 2004 re-election. The help to business fund-raisers sometimes came at the expense of consumers or public health concerns.

Timber barons who pay lower tax rates on logging sales and face fewer barriers to harvesting trees in national forests because of administrative changes and laws Mr. Bush signed.

Energy producers who dodged potential legal fees and cleanup costs after federal officials revised clean-air standards.

Heads of stock brokerages and other multinational firms, which, under a special tax incentive in the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, are bringing hundreds of millions of dollars they earned or stored abroad back into the United States this year at reduced rates.

Executives of defense contractors United Technologies and The Washington Group, which won contracts potentially totaling more than $6 billion to supply American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and rebuild both countries' infrastructure. The same contractors won far less government work under President Bill Clinton.

Mining executives who tapped new veins of coal, thanks to administrative rule changes that opened swaths of hills and forests to their backhoes and left once-protected streams vulnerable to pollution."

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

But good slogan to emblazon over Presidential library entrance: He's no Kevin Drum"

Well, if there's justice in the world, and I'm not sayin' there is, Congress will assign Smirky's papers to the National Archives for safekeeping after the resignation, a la Nixon.

Then the Bush "library" can be a private, non-official effort just like Nixon's. If you Californians haven't been there, you have to check it out. The revisionist Watergate room (last of the museum; hideously designed and lighted to encourage visitors to skip reading its ludicrous version of events) alone is worth the trip.

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

In fact, the Church is experiencing its greatest growth in Third World areas such as Africa.
Posted by: Stefan

And you believe this is a good thing?

I mean given that the RC church refuses to sanction condom use even to combat AIDS? And their hostility to family planning helps matters how exactly?

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

for Norman, strange you should bring up Bush's business acumen. Let's see what he has done while in the WH.
Bush has plainly said, forget the hard stuff of working hard, drop your morals --you don't need 'em, forget that MBA crap of being efficient, you don't have to worry about Adam Smith, I am here to make you rich.
America has lost its soul in this pit of corruption. Is there anyone who has world-class balls in business today? All I see are a pack of complainers and bribers. We were good once, and look how far we have fallen - to pay homage to little george.
sorry for the dark rant but these are dark days and Norma is not helping.

Posted by: wisedup on March 31, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

I am not sure if this is more of a slight on Andy Card or GW, but nevertheless it is one of the most obsessive reaches of GW hatred I have ever read. You guys really have to get a life. BTW, Clinton had four COS, does that mean that they grew tired of his lying and disloyalty?

CF.....
Do you think that this is the first time in history that large contributors to a Presidential campaign reaped some rewards in the following years? If so, you are pie eyed little boy aren't you. But let's examine this:

"The timber barons"......isn't it great that the timber industry is creating jobs, harvesting lumber for homes for minorities and managing the forest at the same time helping to prevent out-of-control wildfires.

"Energy Producers"........are now able to invest money in creating jobs and finding alternative energies instead of throwing money at an antiquated, feel good, achieve nothing government program.

"Heads of stock brokerages"......are now able to bring their money back into our economy and spend it, creating jobs and indirectly paying those taxes (you seem to think they got away with), instead of keeping the money off-shore.

"Executives of defense contractors".........you don't want to supply the troops and help rebuild two other countires that need our help? Pretty selfish I would say.

"Mining executives"........This is a reach. I believe Sago has and will change that industry.

Do you just think that every corporation and wealthy person in the country sould focus 100% of their attention on the things you deem a priority? Do you realize that 5% of the wealthiest Americans pay over 70% of the tax base and that nearly 30% of Americans pay almost nothing. Is that not enough? Should they give more so that you can have your medical bills paid for?

Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what my mother said:
"They like him because he's dumb like them."
And fuck you in advance in you're going to pick on my mother!

Posted by: Neil' on March 31, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

And you believe this is a good thing?

Er, where did I say that? It's a simple statement of fact. Saying "X is Y" does not imply that it's a good or bad thing that "X is Y."

I mean given that the RC church refuses to sanction condom use even to combat AIDS? And their hostility to family planning helps matters how exactly?

You might have noticed the sentence which began "While I disagree with and object to many of its policies..."

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut and all those who brag about Bush getting elected despite being so awful:
Lots of voters are dumb assholes who think with their brain stems, and you know it. And don't give me crap about how liberals don't respect the public they pretend to fawn over etc. : conservatives and libertarians have long bitched about "mob rule" and how we are a republic precisely because the people are too stupid to govern directly, blah...

Posted by: Neil' on March 31, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Bush inspires loyalty in *certain* people (and revulsion in others) because he touches on their desire to attach to something simple and childish and impulsive, not bound by rules that adults are supposed to follow. Children naturally follow peers who have personalities much like Dubya's. As most kids mature they see that such people are lacking in important mature attributes and should not be trusted. Some of them don't mature in this way and become hardcore Republicans. I think this condition can respond to therapy but we'd need a longitudinal study to prove it.

Posted by: clb72 on March 31, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

I had an office next to Bud Krogh in the early '80s. He had just been reinstated to the Washington Bar. He talked a bit about when such awewsome power as the power of the presidency is conferred on a mere mortal, the presence of that power can be a blinding force on otherwise intelligent individuals, and believe me, Bud is a very smart man. He spoke of his arrest, conviction, imprisonment and disbarrment as tearing the blinders off.

I think that individuals who so loyally support a President as evil as Bush, would be unwilling, absent events as cataclysmic as those that occurred to Bud, to really dispassionately analyze the situation and their real role in it. Those who have been fired by Bush have been put in such a situation and as a result are no longer drinking the Kool Aid, but those who keep their jobs have a vested interest in maintaining the fiction that affords them legitimacy.

Posted by: moe99 on March 31, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Lots of voters are dumb assholes who think with their brain stems" - Neil'

And therein lies the problem with the democratic party.

"The public is not smart enough to take care of their own health care"

"The public is not smart enough to handle their own retirement finances"

"The public is not smart enough to vote for the right people"

The main problem is that too many people are smart enough to see through the transparency of the democratic agenda.

Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Back to Bush, I just wanted to expand on one point I made earlier. Remember that he's always felt inferior, both to his father and to his classmates -- he's never been as smart, or as athletic, or as disciplined.

Yet at the same time he's also characterized by a great deal of arrogance and entitlement, stemming not from his own achievement but from his family wealth and pedigree. Most of what he's achieved in life has been due not to his personal merit, but to the fact that he's a Bush, that his family has a great deal of wealth and prestige and connections.

Now imagine you're a vain, entitled young man, but without any substantive achievements of your own. You look around at your hard-working, high-achieving classmates at Andover and Yale and Harvard, and you can come to two conclusions: realize you're not as good as them, but try to work harder to make up for it, or, as Bush did, protect your fragile psyche by pretending that hard work and intelligence don't matter, that only idiots work hard, that the smart thing is to coast on your charm and family advantage. Suddenly you're not a loser, you're a winner; suddenly you're not an also-ran, you're a player.

It's classic back of the classroom, class clown, sneering rich kid behavior -- you can't achieve, so to make yourself feel good you mock and belittle those who actually do achieve. Suddenly the smart kids aren't smarter than you, they're just "eggheads," figures of fun, wasting their time in the library while you run off and play.

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

You might have noticed the sentence which began "While I disagree with and object to many of its policies..."

Posted by: Stefan

Just trying to clarify matters. You might have noticed a question mark after 'good thing'...

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Phillips has been going around saying some very smart things. Among them, he feels for those who have practically pinned their whole lives to the ascendency of George Bush and now have to face what a dunce he is. Talk about inner conflict and turmoil. If we can summon compassion for people who have made it their policy to have none, we should feel it.

But looking from the other side, something good is happening. All along, the selfish, theocratic right has been the peanut gallery for President Howdy Doody. He says Jump, they say, How high? As he falls, it looks to me like he is bringing the whole smelly edifice down with him, opening a window for some real progress to be made. Don't be shy about championing a complete overhaul of the health care system, liberals. Our moment is arriving.

Posted by: James of DC on March 31, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: If so, you are pie eyed little boy aren't you.

Boy? Me? Man, you're such an raving idiot.

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

moe99, as a Watergate junkie, I was very interested in your post. Krogh has long struck me as the only one of those convicted who undertook a legitimate soul searching after the fact. (Sorry, can't count Magruder and Colson in that category.) Every once in a while Krogh surfaces with something public to say about Watergate, and it's always worth listening to.

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Bush had higher scholastic scores at Yale than Kerry did. What would have that made for a Kerry Presidency? A complete and utter failure who married money and made it to the top?

Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Penis envy CF?

Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Jay - don't just blab about the political implications, give me a reason to think my diss-off was *false.* And I note you didn't address the traditional contempt Republitarians have had for the voters and participatory democracy. (Did you know that the current misadministration is interfering in traditional State prerogatives to advance it's agenda? As a presumptive "conservative" do you care?)

BTW, the issue is the current administration/Congress and it's idiocies and incomptence, not to be confused with "conservatism" as a venerable philosophy of government.

Quit thinking with your brain stem.

Posted by: Neil' on March 31, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, if Bush has pedophiles like the David Koresh-worshipping coward Cut 'N Run Jay in his corner he must be doing something right!

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, India is on track to put an unmanned probe on the moon by the end of next year.

NASA's sending along a payload as a paying customer. Posted by: floopmeister

Unless you know they've test fired rockets and such, I wouldn't hold my breath on this happening as planned.

The Japanese, who are in many ways much more technologically advanced than the U.S. and many times wealthier as a nation than India, have a space program that is a miserable failure. If the Japanese have problems getting it up, I imagine the the Indians will too. It's one thing to toss a satellite into orbit. It's another project all together to go the moon.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 31, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

"The public is not smart enough to take care of their own health care"

Not everyone has time to doctor shop. What does protecting overpaid ceo's of insurance companies and for profit health conglomerates have to do with health care.

"The public is not smart enough to handle their own retirement finances"

How much money does the average household have to invest? Isn't it great that for a small sum you can have a guaranteed retirement benefit. In a time when corporate America is turning it's back on the working class by with holding promised pension benefits.

"The public is not smart enough to vote for the right people"

The main problem is that too many people are smart enough to see through the transparency of the democratic agenda.

What is the republican agenda besides lining the pockets of the favored few?

Posted by: Neo the commissar on March 31, 2006 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

And therein lies the problem with the democratic party.
Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

That's bullshit Jay. Neil's opinion (which happens to be very well supported by fact, in this case) is not the democratic agenda. The notion that wanting to help poor people in a society that is structured by the rich for the rich, comes from elitism is absolute bullshit. Let me know when Bush deigns to actually follow a law he signs. That's right - the Constitution isn't for him, it's for the little people. Laws congress passes about torture and privacy aren't for him, they're for the little people. Tell me who's elitist you dishonest fuck.

"The public is not smart enough to take care of their own health care"

Nobody on the Dems side says that. We're saying that MOST people can no longer afford a doctor's care - even WITH health insurance, who usually just scam us into paying premiums with no real benefit, and no enforcement of fraud laws. We're only asking the government to do it's fucking job instead of sucking Insurance Company CEO cock.

"The public is not smart enough to handle their own retirement finances"

Nobody says that. We're only saying that even middle class people don't earn enough money that it's possible to feed our kids or own a house AND save for retirement. Social Security Insurance is security - it IS the smart thing to do, for individuals, and for society as a whole.

"The public is not smart enough to vote for the right people"

It's not about smart or dumb. It's about being well informed, which is not possible in today's over-consolidated unregulated profit-driven media feeding frenzy.

The main problem is that too many people are smart enough to see through the transparency of the democratic agenda.

The main problem is that apparently you are not smart enough to listen to Rush Limbaugh, and not buy into his bullshit assertions that wanting to help people who are kept down in an elitist society, does not equate to an elitist attitude.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on March 31, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that you two disagree with me convinces me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am right. I am not happy with the level of spending and the scope and size of the current government, therefore I will be voting for someone more conservative next time around, as will most of those in the disatisfied category. You seem to think they will be voting Democrat.....WRONG.

Posted by: Jay on March 31, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Neither can Jay give a reason for loyalty to Bush. He probably will vote for the "He's No Kevin Drum" "library" slogan just like Norman.

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 31, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon me for committing the sin of posting first and reading later, but I was struck by how many writers have real insights into Kevins central question. Better than Freud, actually. Equally as wondrous to me is how multi-faceted they are. This is a complex question with complex answers and seems to lead many into the interior of human nature. Nice discussion question, Kevin old boy.

Posted by: James of DC on March 31, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

> How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people?

Lots of comments, no time to read them right now so I don't know if this thought has already been expressed.

It occurred to me that this sort of relationship is not rare. Three words: Junior High School.

spec

Posted by: Speculator on March 31, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe he was thinking of Harry Truman, who, if memory serves, wasn't very good at his business?

That occurred to me too, but while the haberdashery eventually went belly-up, Truman wasn't always a failure (nor was Lincoln, as has been pointed out).

As a young man Truman was a competent and respected clerk in a Missouri bank. He was a successful (and well-liked) officer in World War I. And he was a well-respected figure in politics from the start - from his beginnings in local Missouri affairs to his tough-but-fair conduct of the Truman Committee that investigated war profiteering in WWII.

It's interesting to note, as I have pointed out before, that none of our great Presidents has come from the business world. (At least I can't think of any who have.)

Posted by: Alek Hidell on March 31, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

The main problem is that too many people are smart enough to see through the transparency of the democratic agenda.

The main problem with Republicans (aside, of course, from their notorious mendacity, incompetence and corruption) is that they can't attack the Democratic agenda with anything other than straw men, as Jay has just ably demonstrated.

Posted by: Gregory on March 31, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

One of the reported problems with "ghetto" culture is that it glorifies gangsta behavior and demeans socially good behavior such as studying, learning, working hard. Those are labeled as "selling out" to whitey.

In many ways Bush has the same appeal to America and in many ways it is just as destructive to America as "gangsta" values are to the ghetto.

Bush appeals to the dumb because he tells them they are really better than those eggheads and liberals.

He appeals to a small group of smart people because he is seen by them as their path to wealth and power.

He appeals to some religious people because they project their ideals onto him and see what they want to see.

In our American culture for every winner there are ten losers and Bush appeals to the losers.

Posted by: Tripp on March 31, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

"You seem to think they will be voting Democrat.....WRONG."

Jay, you hit the nail right on the head. As you wade through the muck of the liberal echo chambers, it's really funny to see the moonbats slapping each other on the back thinking they have won the 2006 and 2008 elections because of some meaningless poll numbers. They seem to extrapoliate current popularity numbers into future election results. But I guess that's what you do when you have nothing else to go on. This hope that disaffected conservatives, libertarians, and even conservative leaning independents are going to start voting for democrats is laughable. Of all my right leaning friends, if I asked them if they were happy with Bush, they would say no. If I asekd are you then going to vote for a democrat, they would probably spit on me.


When two canidates are selected for a race, everything resets. The problem for the democrats is that in an actual election they actually have to put someone up who is well, a democrat. Good luck with that.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on March 31, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

In many ways Bush has the same appeal to America and in many ways it is just as destructive to America as "gangsta" values are to the ghetto.

Hmmmm, very intriguing point, Tripp.

And I always enjoy Alek's presidential musings. I'd like to get a look at his library.

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Of all my right leaning friends, if I asked them if they were happy with Bush, they would say no. If I asekd are you then going to vote for a democrat, they would probably spit on me.

Nice friends you have there. Listen, if they spit on you because you ask them a question they don't like, they're probably not your friends.....

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"The Church" has pretty much nothing but faults."

no, the Church has pretty much nothing but vaults.

Posted by: EM on March 31, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

When two canidates are selected for a race, everything resets. The problem for the democrats is that in an actual election they actually have to put someone up who is well, a democrat. Good luck with that. Posted by: BlaBlaBla

Yep. Just like 1974 and 1976.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 31, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

no, the Church has pretty much nothing but vaults.

Hey, have you seen its cupolas?

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

If you Californians haven't been there, you have to check it out.

Indeed. I will have to take the girls there. "See," I'll say to them, "this is the last time the Republican party actually cared more about the country than about itself."

And they'll roll their eyes and say "daaaaaaad, can we gooooo now?"

Posted by: craigie on March 31, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Not even blablabla (perfect name choice, by the way) can talk about anything but Democrats losing elections. No troll yet has revealed his motives for devotion to Georgie!

Posted by: Ace Franze on March 31, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Do you realize that 5% of the wealthiest Americans pay over 70% of the tax base and that nearly 30% of Americans pay almost nothing."

What do the other 95% of the wealthiest Americans pay?

I'm also sure that when the lunatic fringe sits around "extrapoliating" "canidates" there is a lot of spitting involved (some drooling, too, no doubt).

Posted by: solar on March 31, 2006 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

"No troll yet has revealed his motives for devotion to Georgie"

I have no devotion for any politician. The fact that you beleive any politician will have some positive effect on your life is perhaps the root of your problems.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on March 31, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

And they'll roll their eyes and say "daaaaaaad, can we gooooo now?"

But you can buy them magnets picturing a stoned Elvis presenting a gift gun to Dick! And then almost get the gift shop guy fired, using mildly flirtatious questioning to get him to admit that the library's version of 1972-74 is complete bunk! It's better than Disneyland!

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Penis envy CF?
Posted by: Jay

Certainly not yours.

Ugh.

>>>shudders

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

It's better than Disneyland!

Until they sell blue cotton candy at the Nixon library, I doubt it. At least for a 6 year old. For me, probably!

Posted by: craigie on March 31, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

The US population is represented along the length of the football field, arranged in order of income.

Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)

--The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.

--At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.

--The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.

--From there it keeps going up...it goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!

Adding to what solar was saying, Who says we don't have royalty in the states

Posted by: Neo the commissar on March 31, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Court of the Idiot King.

Most likely it's that they don't regard him as responsible, so needn't feel offended when he says something wrong. They are the ones who are actually running the White House and policy, and he's the syphilitic drooling prince who they protect from the public eye while they go about the business of running the country.

Okay, maybe not syphilitic --- I got carried away.

Posted by: catherineD on March 31, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Adding to what solar was saying, Who says we don't have royalty in the states
Posted by: Neo the commissar

Focus on income alone is always misleading. The rich have enormous control over what they realize as income and when they do so.

The wealthiest 200 (yes, 200) individuals have a net worth of $1.9 Trillion (yes, trillion).

Back in the 80's there was a lot of pressure being brought to bear on Costa Rico to reform land holdings. Their parliament got fed up and issued a challenge to the US.

They said if we were in the least serious about land reform we'd start in Texas where 95% of the land in private hands belonged to 2% of the population.

And still does.

Posted by: CFShep on March 31, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

"In short, a spoiled, petulant, psychologically remote man who has a history of being rescued by others from his own spectacular failures and so has never had to learn to confront reality, a bully who is so unsure of his own worth that he must demean others in order to gain some brief flicker of superiority."

What's utterly mindboggling is that Bush is still doing this bullying frat boy crap despite holding an office where lifelong best friends suddenly think they have to call you Mr. President, where your most offhand musings get reported on the next day's fron pages.

Preidents live in a bubble that really does cause them to think that everything they do it right and correct and that everyone loves them.

Not this idiot. He's still the same insecure little shit he always was.

Posted by: auto on March 31, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

no, the Church has pretty much nothing but vaults.

My church has nothing but default gestalts.

Posted by: Tripp on March 31, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bush Derangement Syndrome, BDS, is a mental affliction characterized by the compulsion to defend the object of one's political value system against all factual examples of failure. For many suffers, that defense is motivated more by hatred of anyone who dares to point out those failures than by adherence to their supposed "core principles." This obsession to defend is actually Stalinist in its manifestation because the believers will hold two mutually contrary beliefs concurrently. An analysis of those with BDS has found that, for the most part, they are immature white males with a decided lack of empathetic qualities and a laughable overestimation of their own abilities. Those with BDS generally feel powerless when confronting complex social issues. Supporting politicians who spout simplistic sound bites gives them feeling of superiority: intellectual, racial, and cultural.
Those with BDS are authoritarian people who do not need a charismatic or articulate leader, only one who can play the role while others actually make policy decisions.
BDS sufferers will proclaim their support for such noble ideals as egalitarianism, democracy, godliness, liberty and patriotism, but their support for privileged aristocrats shows the cynical hollowness of their ideology. When challenged to defend their professed principles, those with BDS will instead attack the supposed failings of their opponents, hoping thereby to change the subject.

Posted by: Mike on March 31, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I think you should put that up on wikipedia.

Posted by: craigie on March 31, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

My respect for Bush the man-child is expressed in one word:

Vaffanculo.

Posted by: a_retrogrouch on March 31, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Vaffanculo.

Now that's Sicilian!

Posted by: Stefan on March 31, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Neil: conspiracy nut and all those who brag about Bush getting elected despite being so awful:
Lots of voters are dumb assholes who think with their brain stems, and you know it.


democrats --think-- red staters are stupid...


bush and rove --know-- it

Posted by: thsispaceavialable on March 31, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK


stefan: Most of what he's achieved in life has been due not to his personal merit,

i remember reading that peter ueberoth hired gwb for the texas rangers....solely....because gwb's father was president at the time.

as a result...

gwb was given 1-percent of the rangers...who used eminent domain and taxpayer money to cash in...and led to the biggest pay day in gwb's life...


that we currently know about...

Posted by: thsispaceavailble on March 31, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

The ultimate manipulative jerk backed up by a powerful family with powerful associates to bail him out every time.

He's not likeable, but has the amazing quality of making people want to kiss his ass.

Posted by: Mister Go on March 31, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, guys, he's got a mediocre mind. Somehow he keeps outwitting you.

What's that tell you?

Posted by: Charlie (Colorado) on March 31, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

What's that tell you?

That the game is fixed.

Posted by: craigie on March 31, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, you are confused (probably not an infrequent event). He keeps outwitting YOU.

Posted by: solar on March 31, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Card is yet another in the long list of one-time Bush employees who has realized that now would be a good time to jump from the sinking ship. Colin Powell, John Snow, Richard Clarke, even Richard Perle have all made this move wisely.

I'm sure the book will be in shops very soon.

=//Turnquest

Posted by: Tommy Turnquest on March 31, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly