Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 28, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

"HE TRULY ENJOYS GETTING PEOPLE TO KNUCKLE UNDER"....I'm reading Ron Suskind's The One Percent Doctrine right now, and it's been an odd experience. Yes, it has quite a few anecdotes that make George Bush and Dick Cheney look bad, but at the same time it frequently paints a fairly sympathetic portrait of them as men who are reacting as well as anyone could to the furious real-time cascade of genuinely frightening and confusing events in the early days after 9/11.

More on that later, though. For now, here's one of those anecdotes instead. It's set at Harvard Business School in 1975, where Bush was captain of his class's basketball team. His team is playing the Class of '76 team:

The game was tight. The other team's captain, Gary Engle...went up for a shot. Bush slugged him an elbow to the mouth, knocking him to the parquet. "What the hell are you doing?" Engle remembers saying. "What, you want to get into a fistfight and both of us end up in the fucking emergency room?" Bush just smiled.

Moments later, at the other end of the court, Engle went up high for a rebound and felt someone chop his legs out from under him. Bush again. Engle jumped up and threw the ball in Bush's face. The two went at it until two teams of future business leaders leapt on their captains, pulling them apart. Engle, angry and vexed by what had happened, began wondering why the hell Bush would have done what he did. He lost his composure, and his team lost its leader.

A few years later, Engle...bumped into Jeb Bush....Engle, a Republican contributor, had thought from time to time about his game against George. Nothing like that had happened to him before or since. This was his chance to get a little insight about it. He told the story. Jeb kind of laughed, Engle recalled. "In Texas, they call guys like George 'a hard case.' It wasn't easy being his brother, either. He truly enjoys getting people to knuckle under."

This, apparently, is the real Bush Doctrine: America's goal is to get the rest of the world to knuckle under to us, one dimwitted action at a time. Suskind calls it Bush's "global experiment in behaviorism." Doesn't seem to be working too well so far, though, does it?

UPDATE: Added a couple of sentences that I left out of the original excerpt.

Kevin Drum 6:11 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (146)

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Comments

What do you mean? It has worked perfectly -- neither Al, Am Hawk, nor I have wet the bed in weeks!

Viva la Studly Bush!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 28, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

We had other names for guys like that where I came from. Assholes.

But, then again, his knuckle under strategy seems to be working well with the MSM.

Posted by: Rick on June 28, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

The desire to "win" is basically a selfish one. Decent human beings channel that instinct into something productive--win the Presidency so you can improve the world and the lives of people in it. Bush just wants to win because then he's the winner.

He's a stupid, mean, strutting, macho, petty boy. Why are we surprised he's utterly incapable of leadership?

Posted by: theorajones on June 28, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Cheaters never win,Winners never Cheat!

Posted by: Mann Coulter on June 28, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Suskind's book is the best I've read yet of the period from 9/11/01 to 11/3/04. It sounds very much to me like the definitive history that will be read long after Cheney and Bush are gone. In a cool, even respectful way, Suskind paints a picture of the exercise of power at the top that is frightening. Make no mistake, Cheney is the man behind the curtain; Bush is merely a front man. He may be a "hard case" as they say in Texas, but he is also uninformed, uninquisitive and unaware of what he should be doing to run the nation (often purposely so, on the orders of the real president, Dickhead Cheney).

Posted by: Bob C on June 28, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I had to deal with one of those kinds of assholes on my high school swimming team. Eventually it took beating the holy living shit out of him in the shower room, leaving a scar over his eye that was still there 9 years later when he was buried, having been shot by his own troops in Vietnam - for being a worthless asshole. (And for the two years after that we were both on the team, he never came near me.)

Too bad someone didn't beat the shit out of Boy George when he needed it. Gary Engle could have been a real hero to history if he'd been given five more minutes with Dear Asswipe.

Posted by: TCinLA on June 28, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Suskind calls it Bush's "global experiment in behaviorism."

More like his "global Milgram experiment."

Posted by: NTodd on June 28, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen basketball play bring out the worst in a number of otherwise rational professional men. It is a strange phoenomena. However, I think you guys are reaching if you think a basketball game from 30 years ago tells us anything meaninful about Bush.

Any other examples of similar conduct since that noteworthy basketball game?

Getting people to "knuckle under" to us -- Gadaffi, Hussein, the Taliban - not a bad list so far and, for the evil folks of the world, probably not a bad strategy.

Posted by: brian on June 28, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

To dismiss Bush as Cheney's puppet doesn't paint the whole picture. For the most part, I think Bush is in total agreement with Cheney - at least as much as he knows or understands about what is going on. He's not inquisitive - that we know, so chances are he doesn't ask Cheney too many questions, and Cheney is probably careful to tell him as much as he thinks Bush ought to know. To this extent, Bush thinks that Cheney is doing his bidding, and he's in charge (the decider). I'm sure he thinks that if Cheney steps out of line he can reign him in. In this, I think he's wrong. Cheney is Frankenstein - a monster has been created, but Bush actually thinks he's in control. He actually thinks Cheney's his monkey.

Posted by: ExBrit on June 28, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK


Bush's basic pose is Extended Elbows and an F You Smirk. No wonder Christians love him. He's Jesus without the sappy compassion stuff.

Posted by: walt on June 28, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has been notorious for changing the rules if he's losing, simply in order to win---the kind of guy who plays a sudden-death game, then when he loses, makes it 2 out of 3, and then when he loses, insists that it be 3 out of 5. One guy who encountered this in the adult Bush said that you have to lose or you'll be at it all night long, until he can win.

Posted by: LeisureGuy on June 28, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

the Taliban

If you define 'knuckling under' as 'waiting a few years until we're mired in Iraq, then taking over Afghanistan again,' well then you're right.

Posted by: Stranger on June 28, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
However, I think you guys are reaching if you think a basketball game from 30 years ago tells us anything meaninful about Bush.

The person who stated that the basketball game was illustrative of some larger part of George W. Bush's character is, if Suskind is to be believed, Jeb Bush.

I would suspect that Jeb Bush would have the wider experience of George W. Bush to place this into context, and the statement doesn't seem to obviously reflect a natural bias one would expect of Jeb.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 28, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

FLASH: 30 f**king years ago somebody fouled twice in a f**king non-NCAA scrimage basketball game that no one outside of one writer remembers or cares about. And this means what? This is pointless, affects nothing, and proves nothing except that people hold grudges.

Furthermore, anyone awake during the 2000 election knows that W's past was somewhat reckless until he decided to pull himself together when he turned 40 (or whenever). America (and anyone who's voted for him) has ALREADY TAKEN the "youthful indiscretion" or "sorry, I was a headstrong dumbass who drank and did drugs" aspect INTO ACCOUNT.

Incidentally, this is why the TANG crap didn't work in 2004 (and in fact, back-fired). People either: didn't care about it, already knew about it, or actually came away more impressed by Bush than before since they hadn't envisioned him as a pilot in the first place.

Now, can I have my 3 minutes back please?

Posted by: J.C. on June 28, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

This was obvious in hurricane Katrina, as well. Bush didn't look at Katrina as a situation where he needed to help. He looked at it as an opportunity to get Gov Blanco to "knuckle under" and get he to sign over all authority to him. One could speculate that he specifically waited to do anything until this opportunity came around.

Posted by: Constantine on June 28, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK
brian 6:33 PMGetting people to "knuckle under" to us -- Gadaffi, Hussein, the Taliban -...

Here's another famous example, Bush's Rugby punch
As for getting the people to knuckle under, you need to read the news from Afghanistan on the resurgence of the Taliban, the news from Iraq on the power of the insurgency, and the reports on Libya on why Momar Kadafi agreed to a treaty [hint: it was diplomacy, not Bush]

Posted by: Mike on June 28, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I was going to link to the same picture. It's his character.

Posted by: Babba on June 28, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gore, Kerry, Clark, McCleland, Daschle, Lieberman, Schroeder, Saddam, Qadaffi, the Democratic Party, ...

Seems like it's a good strategy that works.

Rove and Bush make a lethal combination.

Good for them. May be not so good for the country.

Posted by: nut on June 28, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

And this means what? This is pointless, affects nothing, and proves nothing except that people hold grudges.

This is just one of many stories that show Bush's lack of character and judgement. In his case, once a dick always a dick.

Now, can I have my 3 minutes back please? Posted by: J.C.

I'll trade you your worthless three minutes for six years, 500 billion dollars, and 2,500 U.S. service personnel. Deal, asshole?

Posted by: JeffII on June 28, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

I usually have a more nuanced attitude toward people. But Bush came out of the womb an asshole and he'll go into the grave one too. And the sooner the better for the rest of us.

Posted by: JJF on June 28, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is exactlly the kind of story that increases people's respect for Bush. He wants to win, and does everything he can to do so.

Liberals would rather have a loser as a president, someone who would enjoy knuckling under to other countries. Someone like Al Gore.

Here's hint, when you elect someone, choose someone to protect your interests.

And by the way, sitting in around and reveling in "nasty stories" about Bush from 30 years ago is really just pathetic. I guess this is why the Democrat party doesn't have time to come up with any new ideas.

Posted by: Rock on June 28, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I have an example of Bush's character, which is much more disturbing than behavior in a basketball game. When born again christian Karla Faye Tucker was sentenced to die, she pleaded for mercy (to be sentenced to life in prison). Bush, in an inverview with talk magazine, mocked her saying "Please, don't kill me"...

Posted by: Dave R on June 28, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

A "hard case"? Where I come from, that kind of person is called a "flingin' flangin' asshole."

IMH, that kind of person -- the guy who consistently punches or tries to injure opponents because he's getting his ass kicked on the court or field -- is the worst kind of person in the world. Cheating in a sport to hurt someone because you can't hang with them within the rules is indicative of a much deeper sociopathic problem.

Posted by: skeptic on June 28, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

McCleland

WTF? Anyway, I don't read much into this kind of stuff. Except for the whole "Harvard Business School Basketball Team". Could you get any more dorky than this? So, either Bush is a total nerd or he is the type of mediocre jock that gets a kick out of dunking on pencil necks.

Posted by: enozinho on June 28, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush's basic pose is Extended Elbows and an F You Smirk. No wonder Christians love him. He's Jesus without the sappy compassion stuff."

Walt, I must say that this is one of the finest posts I have ever seen anywhere regarding the Connecticut Cowboy!

Posted by: fred on June 28, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

men who are reacting as well as anyone could to the furious real-time cascade of genuinely frightening and confusing events in the early days after 9/11.

Does Rumsfeld get kudos too for his 30 minute stroll around to the far side of Pentagon -- leaving command and control during the heart of the attack? NORAD SMORAD they don't need orders or anything.

Not to mention this:

"best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." meaning Saddam Hussein "at same time. Not only UBL"

Posted by: B on June 28, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

good point that the significant information comes from Jeb (if true), not the basketball game.

i still think the evidence is pretty small about Bush being a jerk. you really don't hear much. the rugby photo is both inconclusive as to what is shows and 40 years ago. i am somewhat impressed that bush played rugby and was captain of a basketball team. Generally, those were positive attributes for a college guy in the 60's.

hard to believe so many liberals seems to: (1) root for come backs by bad guys (i.e., Talaban) because it fits the talking point of Iraq diverting attention; and (2) blame Bush for actions by bad guys.

Posted by: brian on June 28, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

That GWB is this all powerful man and Rove is a close second confirms my faith in non-existence of God.

Posted by: nut on June 28, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen basketball play bring out the worst in a number of otherwise rational professional men. It is a strange phoenomena. However, I think you guys are reaching if you think a basketball game from 30 years ago tells us anything meaninful about Bush.

Any other examples of similar conduct since that noteworthy basketball game?

Why yes, yes there is. I documented several not too long ago here:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2003_03_30_digbysblog_archive.html#92001931

A quick exerpt detailing what USA Today [USAT] had to say about Bush and how that compared to traits of a sociopath from "The serial bully: Identifying the psychopath or sociopath in our midst. [TSB]


[USAT]: He rarely jokes with staffers these days and occasionally startles them with sarcastic putdowns.

[TSB]: is frequently sarcastic, especially in contexts where sarcasm is inappropriate and unprofessional


[USAT]: ''He's got that steely-eyed look . . .'' says a friend who has spent time with the president since the war began.

[TSB]: often reported as having an evil stare, sometimes with eyes that appear black rather than colored


[USAT]: He's infuriated by reporters and retired generals who publicly question the tactics of the war plan. Similar complaints continue, and some people outside the administration are pressing current Bush advisers to urge him to retool his war plan. The president's aides say he's aware of those efforts but ''discounts'' them.

[TSB]: displays a compulsive need to criticize whilst simultaneously refusing to value, praise and acknowledge others, their achievements, or their existence


[USAT]: His history degree from Yale. . .

[TSB]: often fraudulently claims qualifications, experience, titles, entitlements or affiliations which are ambiguous, misleading, or bogus

[USAT]: . . . makes him mindful of the importance of the moment.

[TSB]: has a short-term focus and often cannot think or plan ahead more than 24 hours


[USAT]: He's a critic who sees himself as the aggrieved victim of the news media and second-guessers.

[TSB]: feigns victimhood when held accountable, usually by . . . claiming they're the one being bullied and harassed

[TSB]: presents as a false victim when outwitted


[USAT]: Bush, who was drilled in corporate style while earning his MBA at Harvard, prefers his days to be structured.

[TSB]: is fastidious, often has an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness or orderliness


[USAT]: Bush has imposed an almost military discipline on himself.

[TSB]: finds ritual important and comforting, and frequently indulges in ritual and ritualistic activity


[USAT]: He understands that he is the one person in the country, in this case really the one person in the world, who has a responsibility to protect and defend freedom.

[TSB]: is selfish and acts out of self-interest, self-aggrandizement and self-preservation at all times; everything can be traced back to the self

[TSB]: is convinced of their superiority and has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation, trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness)

[TSB]: wraps himself or herself in a flag or tradition and usurps others' objectives, thereby nurturing compliance, reverence, deference, endorsement and obeisance; however, such veneration and allegiance is divisive, being a corruption for personal power which exhibits itself through the establishment of a clique, coterie, cabal, faction, or gang


Does this qualify as "any other examples" of bullying behavior?


Posted by: Thumb on June 28, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Another Bush "Ten Minute Hate" thread. Yawn.

How many of you people are still going to be sane by January of 2009?

Posted by: bill on June 28, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

The really scary thing about this personality type is that they are terrified of not being in total control of their environment.

Since this is impossible to accomplish in a universe made up of probablilities and uncertainty, the "hard case" must learn denial and willful ignorance as basic tools to acquire and maintain the illusion of control.

logic, historical reference, and critical thought are inimical to this artifical world view. You wind up with the "We create reality" meme, and no other world view is more dangerous to the subjects of the unitary executive.

Fear drives bluster, and that is the absolutely worst personality type to have in charge of "The Most Powerful Nation in the World".

Posted by: Pat Ryan on June 28, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

I can't comment on Suskin's book, since I haven't read it, but in general, it's easy to give people a little wiggle room when it comes to making mistakes in difficult circumstances. With time, we grow and learn; that's why we forgive people for poor grades when they first get to college, for instance, or for a number of other things they do when they are young. Nobody should expect perfection from any person all of the time, nor should we have expected it from the Bush administration directly following 9/11. Yet it's been years since the tragedy, and in the time since, particularly with the enormous resources afforded to them, they should be better at certain things. And while I am no military expert, I don't see what is so different about the project in Iraq as compared to most other military situations, so I give them even less leeway there.

Posted by: Brian on June 28, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

There's a difference between being tough and being mean. Harry Truman didn't look to me like a guy who ever played basketball, but he certainly had the intestinal fortitude to do what he thought was right. Franklin Roosevelt could hardly stand, but he did stand for many of the speeches he gave, with his aides worried sick he might not be strong enough. And Roosevelt, like some other WW II leaders, literally worked himself to death for what he believed in.

In contrast....well, let's not even think about Bush for a while. Gawd will I be glad when the Bush years are over. Talk about your bad role models.

Posted by: serial catowner on June 28, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

brian, it's his job to kick the Taliban's ass and he's not doing it. Unless you think the brilliant, well trained and well armed Taliban outclases us, then yeah, it's Bush's fault.

Posted by: Boronx on June 28, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

hard to believe so many liberals seems to: (1) root for come backs by bad guys (i.e., Talaban)

In case you're pointing that comment in my direction...

How does pointing out that the Taliban are making a comeback in Afghanistan magicallt translate into rooting for a comeback by the Taliban?

I'm geniunely interested in how, precisely, you make that leap.

Posted by: S on June 28, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

I've been saying for years the guy is a two-bit thug.

And that without his "family ties" he'd be wrenching on his tricked out TransAm, wearing a bowling league shirt, and be snaggletooted from bar fights.

This anecdote is nothing new.

'nuf said.

'cept this:

He is your prick
And your president.
I wouldn't shit on the fucker if he was on fire.

Posted by: koreyel on June 28, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Did someone mention the Taliban?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/usafghanistanmilitary;_ylt=AoTT6B8YgOv0l7IZICaC_IkDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBhcmljNmVhBHNlYwNtcm5ld3M-

Posted by: klyde on June 28, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me or do the most avid Bush supporters seem completely incapable of EVER holding their dear leaders accountable for anything?

They don't care how bad they fuck up, just as long as they can have bragging rights.

Typical. I swear today's modern Bush licker behaves just like the turncoats in occupied France in the 40s. They'd sell out everyone if it meant they got an extra ration and a chance to kiss the Germans asses.

Posted by: G on June 28, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

You know what happens to guys like that on the basketball court in the real world? They get punched in the mouth and end up spitting out their teeth.

Gonna be an ugly summer.

Posted by: patience on June 28, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

i am somewhat impressed that bush played rugby and was captain of a basketball team. Generally, those were positive attributes for a college guy in the 60's. Posted by: brian

God, are you completely clueless about Bush's bio? The rugby photo is from an intramural team, not even Yale JV. And as for being the captain of a basketball team in B-school (now the 1970s, not 1960s), the average age of the players was probably late 20s to early 30s, it was rec league, and most of them probably weren't all that athletic. Bush certainly never was.

Bush almost instinctively managed to always be in the center of the action, an ubiquitous, noisy presence at school events. He was the head football cheerleader his senior year, a member of his class rock-and-roll band, the Torqueys not singing or playing an instrument but clapping and organizer of the school's stickball league. (snip)

"He was kind to the athletically challenged," said Wofsey, now a Pennsylvania psychiatrist.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072799.htm

Posted by: JeffII on June 28, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

From Klyde's link:

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, Eikenberry said the Taliban had reconstituted itself, particularly in southern Afghanistan, since being ousted from power by a US-led military campaign in late 2001.

"We are seeing enemy forces now operate in formations of 40 to 50 fighters, they are demonstrating better command and control, and they are fighting hard," he said.

Hey, Brian - why is Eikenberry rooting for a Taliban comeback? Damn liberals!

Posted by: Stranger on June 28, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

koreyel, not that it matters and not that I ever disagree with a word you say, but where do you live, if you don't mind my asking?

Posted by: shortstop on June 28, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

George Walker Bush = He beg war, Gore lurks

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 28, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - doesn't surprise me that a tennis player like you would recoil in horror at the things basketball players do.

Run along now, Biff is waiting for you at the tennis court.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on June 28, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus, I hate people who characterize "behaviorism" as something other than what it is. Suskind obviously doesn't know what behaviorism is and he perpetuates a false stereotype.

Signed,

university psycholoyy professor smiley

Posted by: smiley on June 28, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, anyone awake during the 2000 election knows that W's past was somewhat reckless until he decided to pull himself together when he turned 40 (or whenever).

Invading Iraq was also very reckless.

Posted by: Bud on June 28, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

professor smiley:

Okay then, how about "operant conditioning."

As in Bush thwacks you until you do what he says.

:)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 28, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Don't want to grind this axe too finely, but the arm-twisting, knuckle-under, bully stuff is often associated with alcoholism. Reddening face, set jaw, unable to maintain self control... Familiar stuff if you know any alcoholics...

Posted by: PW on June 28, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me or do the most avid Bush supporters seem completely incapable of EVER holding their dear leaders accountable for anything?

It's the heterosexual Bush man love syndrome. They just can't find a way to quit him.

Posted by: klyde on June 28, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Any basketball players here? IIRC, Bush is around 5' 10", maybe 170lbs (I am guessing a college weight).

That is roughly my size, and I can promise you from my days of intramural basketball - if a guy my size is bullying the other team, the other team has a real leadership problem.

Well - do any SEC filings include height and weight?

Posted by: Tom Maguire on June 28, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Doesn't seem to be working too well so far, though, does it?"

Does REVERSE MIDAS ring a bell ?
.

Posted by: VJ on June 28, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Why does Engle hate America?

Posted by: craigie on June 28, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

I guess that means Bush is butch.

Posted by: Hostile on June 28, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Rock nails it!!!

It is my understanding that the title of the book refers to the quote by Cheney (paraphrasing) that if there was a one percent chance of a state providing WMDs or other support to terrorists that state would be subject to the full power of the US including regime change to get it to "knuckle under to us." Cheney believed that without the support and protection of a state, the ability of Al Quada (sp?) and other terrorists group to inflict massive attacks on the US would be greatly diminished.

From the Frontline "The Dark Side" program, we learn that since his tenure as SecDef, Cheney viewed the CIA as much of incompetent bureaucrats, having missed every significant international development since the fall of the Soviet Union. That explains his motivation for getting the Pentagon more involved in the intelligence gathering and analysis.

I agree with Cheney. To those of you who dont, what would be your geopolitical strategy for the US to fight the global war on terror? And if it doesn't include getting the world to "knuckle down" to our goals, then don't be surprised when the American people refuse to entrust the protection of the country to you.

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 28, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

"...probably not a bad strategy".

Brian, do personally feel that it is worth dying for something you so ringingly endorse? Or is just the brown people who should get killed, just in case it all kinda, you know, works out in the long run?

Posted by: Kenji on June 28, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Take the toys
Away from the boys.

Posted by: Nell on June 28, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

However, I think you guys are reaching if you think a basketball game from 30 years ago tells us anything meaninful about Bush.

I have a picture from his yearbook of him sucker punching an opposing rugby player in the face (an illegal move) if it will help you see the man for what he is. A pathetic little bully.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on June 28, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

When he was 26, Bush was driving drunk with his brother Marvin in the car, ran over a trash can, and drove home with the trash can stuck under the car. When his dad confronted him, Bush challenged him to "go mano a mano right here."

Posted by: croatoan on June 28, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Rubbing of bald heads, the giving of demeaning nicknames.

Posted by: Boronx on June 28, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Cheney. To those of you who dont, what would be your geopolitical strategy for the US to fight the global war on terror? And if it doesn't include getting the world to "knuckle down" to our goals, then don't be surprised when the American people refuse to entrust the protection of the country to you.
Posted by: Chicounsel

1) stop illegally invading other countries on the basis of lies, and thereby creating more terrorists.

2) stop arming strongmen who may one day decide to overreach, mistakenly thinking that they had our blessing. ie, saddam gasses kurds with weapons he bought from us ... acceptable; attacks kuwait, not OK. ... I can see how saddam got mixed messages.

3) stop arming local strongmen who may one day decide to use their training to orchestrate some planes flying into some buildings.

4) stop the massively one-sided support of israeli aggression.

5) stop tying international aid with bullshit xtian evangelicalism.


... internet tough guys like yourself are a dime a dozen, and despite the muscular talk, have repeatedly been revealed to be little pussies, wetting their beds and willingly giving up their liberties (and assholes) anytime someone mentions terrorists.

also, despite your talk of getting the world to knuckle under ... there are more non-americans than americans. ... keep treating the rest of the world like shit, and the rest of them will, understandably, destroy us. economically, militarily, scientifically ...

rarely do we see the cowardly wingnuts so OPENLY call for the destruction of our country.

Posted by: Nads on June 28, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

How come no one is talking about Sen. Grassley's Pimp Tax?

Posted by: elmo on June 28, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Eric,

Your post is an example of how Bush hatred affects people. That photograph is ambiguous. You attach the worst possible interpretation and even extend back to events prior to the photograph in claiming it was a sucker punch.

Many of you folks won't give Bush a break on anything, personal or policy. It is a stange phoenomena. There really are not many stories about Bush's conduct that suggests he is a bad guy -- most stories indicate he is a nice guy.

On the Taliban, I don't think I was referring to S specifically. But the tone of many commnets seem to want or even relish the re-ermergence of the Taliban. I think it is because of the democrat talking point that Iraq diverted attention for the Taliban, which itself is a phony way for anti Iraq and anti miliary liberals to sound like they are tough.

Posted by: brian on June 28, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

To those of you who dont, what would be your geopolitical strategy for the US to fight the global war on terror?

From a standpoint of US security and threats to the nation, the so-called global war on terror is small potatoes compared to nuclear threat reduction.

Unfortunately, being an asshole and bully in real life and on the world stage just drives people to try to protect themselves, like the guy in the basketball story lashing out.

So if you constantly threaten people, and refuse to play by the rules... Well - Iran knows that there are no refs out there in the real world. That's why they talk about nukes - to maybe get the bully out of their face.

Making other people "knuckle down" may pander to some section of the American public - the frightened ones. But it's going to drive the rest of the world into alliances with China and/or Russia.

Posted by: Wapiti on June 28, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

You don't have to have a rape van and a chainsaw to be a sociopath.

I'm pretty certain history will determine Bush to have been a high functioning sociopath controlling the American executive branch from 2000 to 2008.

Posted by: Triskele on June 28, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Many of you folks won't give Bush a break on anything, personal or policy. It is a stange phoenomena. There really are not many stories about Bush's conduct that suggests he is a bad guy -- most stories indicate he is a nice guy.
Posted by: brian

please provide one ... and driving his girlfriend to GET the abortion probably shouldn't count.

Posted by: Nads on June 28, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to slug Bush in the mouth.

For starters.

Posted by: renato on June 28, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't hate Bush in the beginning, he's earned it. At first in 1999 I was just mildly distrustful due to his financing and lack of any real government experience. Then bit by bit with incessant work on his part he has earned the hatred. Massively incompetent at anything involving government, but great at photo-ops and all things political. Runs a great campaign, doesn't have a clue what to do after he wins. Seems to first think of what to do to win the next election and never of the consequences of any other actions or activities. No, he's earned the hatred. By working hard for it.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 28, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Serial Cat Owner got it right: the hoops story--which is consistent with other info we have--shows that Bush is mean, not tough. Jeb's comments validate our conclusion.

That's the profile of a bully. The info available to us indicates that Bush is a truly despicable personality type--the rich boy bully. Not tough, but, since the people around him aren't tough either, capable of humiliating and dominating them through sheer viciousness.

And TCinLA got it right, too: the only thing such people understand is (in Kant's words) "a right good beating." If he'd have grown up outside the protected circle of the preposterously rich and powerful, he'd have never stopped getting his ass beaten.

I mean, think about this: what kind of an asshole is a big enough asshole that some people think that the choice between siding with him and siding with Saddam may require more than one second's thought?

Posted by: Winston Smith on June 28, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Cheering on a resentful bully because he's a resentful bully is just the kind of lame, vicarious me-tooism we've come to expect from Bushists.

Bush's drive to win is completely divorced from the putative objectives of winning (say, for example, a peaceful and democratic Mid-East) but is, instead, rooted entirely in his own ego gratification. He doesn't just want to win; he wants to rub peoples' noses in it and stand over them crowing.

That maybe works okay when you're dealing with people who've never outgrown high school. But it's not the most productive methodology when you're dealing with heads of state, populations of other countries, long-term national finances, national defense, natural disasters, and climate change.

Posted by: CaseyL on June 28, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

But the rugby photo is ambiguous.

Posted by: Winston Smith on June 28, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

The best fictional portrait of George W. Bush so far is Hoyt Thorpe, the mean, drunken fraternity boy in Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons." He's a bad boy, but also, if you knew you were going to get in to a fight, somebody you'd want as your leader.

Bush is the Peter Principle version of Hoyt Thorpe: a good guy to follow in a drunken campus brawl, but, unfortunately, not a good guy to have as your President.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on June 28, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Charming. What a lovely man - It only reinforces my impression of Bush as a petty, petulant person with a mean and vengeful streak. The sort of man who might, I don't know, take the entire country to war for infantile, egotistical reasons and not feel a shred of remorse...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 28, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Wapiti has it right.

Making other people "knuckle down" may pander to some section of the American public - the frightened ones. But it's going to drive the rest of the world into alliances with China and/or Russia.

There is perhaps no country culturally closer to the US than Canada but even here, many Canadians are working to see American power diminished. As long as America was a fairly benevolent (for a big power) democracy, we could feel comfortable with its power, but as it has morphed into an aggressive quasi-democracy (it is pretty darn difficult to look into the specifics of the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections and not come away with grave suspicions) our comfort with the elephant next door has greatly diminished. More than ever we are trying to promote multilateral alliances, to work around the US - even our conservatives (whose basic philosophy seems to be that sucking up will keep your eyes elsewhere; like your conservatives, ours seem to have a natural tendency to "knuckle under").

When it comes to the subject of America, I can share a quiet smile of shared understanding with people from almost any nationality: Japanese, Chinese, Indians, French, Omanis, Malaysians, Spaniards...And though all our leaders may mouth kind words, we are all working to weaken you. To some extent this is a reflection of changes at large in the world and would be true under any leader But Bush has greatly increased the urgency of this feeling and this is his legacy.

Here's how most of the rest of us see things: Islamic terrorism is a threat but on the scale of world terrors a pretty damn mild one (and yes that includes the WTC; compare that to Darfur for instance). It comes nowhere near to being an existential threat. Do not confuse its noise with its strength - on one September almost five years ago they got particularly lucky.

Oh yes, and Bush is an asshole (and so are those of you who let him get close enough for the Republicans to jeb the results).

(I sometimes wonder, is America becoming a frightened nation at all related to its becoming a fat nation?)

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 28, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think historians will largely approach the period of the Bush presidency by trying to understand the man himself, his character, and what was going on in his head in particular.

I've never met Bush so I don't want to assume that the stories about him being a bit of a bully are true, but you hear enough anecdotes about someone and you start to really wonder.

Anyway I've learned the most effective solution to a bully is to punch him in the face. But since I don't figure I'll get a chance to play Rugby or B-ball with the man anytime soon, I don't believe I'll get to try that out.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on June 28, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

You can listen to the Suskind interview with Leonard Lopate on WNYC here.

Posted by: Linus on June 28, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

There really are not many stories about Bush's conduct that suggests he is a bad guy -- most stories indicate he is a nice guy.

And, as I illustrated above, even the stories that are trying to show him as a "nice guy" still paint a portrait of a textbook sociopath. Or do you just skim past anything that doesn't support your view of Bush as a "nice guy?"

Posted by: Thumb on June 28, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK
He was the head football cheerleader his senior year, a member of his class rock-and-roll band, the Torqueys not singing or playing an instrument but clapping and organizer of the school's stickball league.

Is that band name derived from Torquemada?

Posted by: trbtx on June 28, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

I learned this at least 15 years ago when I read a report calling George the loyalty police for his father's administration. He like to beat up on people. He's a bully. Pure and simple. Somebody should have just beaten the living crap out of him at some point.

I saw the debate, on c-span he had with Ann Richards. I knew we were in trouble then.

In politics, being a mindless thug is often an asset. It can be effective in politcs, including corporate politics, but it produces the worst administrators. Managers and such need to be wise and circumspectual - which a bully/thug is not.

Which is why he can win elections but he can't govern. America will truly be lucky if we survive him. He is our Nero and Constantine all wrapped up in one.

(Rome survived Nero, but not Constantine - Constantine implemented the latifunde system which contributed massively to the collapse of demand leading to the collapse of Rome's commercial economy, concentrating wealth, and produced widespread squalor resulting in a collapse of tax revenue necessary to fund the fielding of army's to protect the Empire [the rich and powerful using their influence to avoid tax burdens, then as now, Rome didn't fall to a superior foe, it simply collapsed]}.

It's very possible that this country doesn't survive Bush, just as Rome didn't survive Constantine - though it took over a century for all the dominos to fall.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 28, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Jeb kind of laughed, Engle recalled. "In Texas, they call guys like George 'a hard case.'"

How quaint. Out here in the middle of the Pacific, we call these guys fucking assholes. I think our terminology is more appropriate.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 28, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, snicker-snack. I believe the US has alienated nations and people throughout the planet. We've weakened ourselves financially and ethically. We could recover but to do so we would probably need to severely rebuke these people and this government. I'm afraid that I don't see that in the immediate future. It would be our only hope towards rebuilding our position. Personally I have gone full circle. 3-4 years ago I was ready to emigrate elsewhere but within the last year or two I've seen the tide begin to turn. At first I began to believe that this is what US citizens wanted but now I see that they too have had enough. This is not what we are about. We lost our collective heads with 9/11 and let fear and hate overcome us for awhile and awol used it. But gradually we are realizing everyday that conservatives have just used the situation to rip us off. And they haven't even made us more safe. They do nothing but come up with scapegoats. We'll be along time paying for the last few years in many ways. Maybe we can recover, maybe not. Bush has been an infinately worse enemy than Osama ever could have been. But hopefully, for all our sakes, we can avert fascism. If not we'll have to be taken out. And, of course, just as assuredly as 60 years ago, we will be.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 28, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

And when George was in the third grade he called another student a poopy face! That must be why he is trying to bully the New York Times.

This is great! What other stories from the past can we come up with to show how filled with hate we are?

Posted by: Orwell on June 28, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is great! What other stories from the past can we come up with to show how filled with hate we are?
Posted by: Orwell

feel free to offer a story which doesn't show bush for the shitheaded bully he is ... try and do it without removing his dick from your mouth, if you can.

Posted by: Nads on June 28, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

but now I see that they too have had enough. This is not what we are about.

I agree and this despite the junk media you have to work through

and look forward to an America that is once again an ally and not a crazed cousin

(but remain fundamentally wary of any concentration of power; the possiblities it alludes to are almost always too corrupting).

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 28, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

But hate is good, Bush uses it so effectively. It's all he really knows how to do. But now it's starting to be pointed in his direction.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 28, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

In a way it was inevitable. We lost our one main detractant/opposition with the USSR. We could have worked for a peaceful time or without a strong power to oppose our strength we could use some excuse for wrecking havoc. So we voted in a loser that used an attack to make us a rogue nation. If it hadn't been 9/11 they would have found another reason for adventurism into Iraq. They salivated about it for years. We'll have to decide whether we want to be a world citizen with all its responsibilities or a bully with a big stick. I read Hermann Hesse and think about where we are. Fundamentalism and rampant nationalism beyond natural levels. But the tide has turned. We'll see what November brings.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 28, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Any other examples of similar conduct since that noteworthy basketball game?

You mean other than being the loyalty police in his father's regime? (How about when he snipped at Al Gore on election night in 2000) Or what he did to Paul O Neal, or Clark, or Joe Wilson? Or any number of people? How much evidence do you need befor you can't ignor it anymore.

Howabout the story of George Whailing on his wife for critiquing his speach in a failed campaign of congress. I think he ran the car through the garage door or something.

The problem isn't that Bush isn't smart, the problem is he's an emotional midget.

You don't take out someone's legs out when they are in the air. I'm sorry, I've played sports all my life. You don't threaten someones health just because you are losing (see the movie, the Karate Kid). That's a sick mentality, even if it was 60 years ago. I won and lost in sports. I was very competitive. What he did is unthinkable even for a youth - especially for a youth.

If someone did that to you now, youd beat the crap on them.

As for Bush, his emotional midgetness is what got this nation into trouble. No one attacks the World Trade Center, without expecting a reaction. The reaction is what they wanted. Bin Laden was borrowing a play from Mohammed at medina. He kept harrasing the Meccan's trade, until they had to come after him. When they failed to get him, people in the surrounding areas started flocking to Mohammeds side. A year later he was in control of Mecca. Two years after that all of Arabia. Ten years after that his successors controled all of Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt.

Bush stepped right into their crap without thinking things through. The United States was so mighty its taking two failed half wars to bleed us into looking like the Meccans at Medina - but slowly the same process is happening.

Bush is playing into Bin Laden's hands. His reaction was perfect. We are being bled to death while Bin Laden is getting stronger.

That's what happens when the presidency is run by a bully instead of someone with wisdom.

Maybe one of these days he'll go to give a vet an award or metal, for fighting in Iraq, and that vet will turn around and beat the crap out of Bush before the secret service gets a chance to stop it. Then again, maybe the secret service won't get in the way. There around that ass hole all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if they are sick of his shit too.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 28, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Where's osama.

I agree with you. Bush had an opportunity to lead the world in the fight against terrism - to create a global Super Nato. We had the whole world on our side. Even people in Iran demonstrated in their streets out of sympathy for 911.

He pissed on that opportunity because his real agenda is to advance the Neocon world cause - make the rich rich and the poor submissive to religiousity.

He could have been the greatest president, indeed leader in all of history. Easy. He had a unique opportunity.

He blew it. Bad. We might not see that opportunity again for a 150 years. If ever.

911 required a wise and comprehensive response - it got the reverse.

Bush is losing this war.

As far as our reputation - the post WWII word was designed around a global security and economic system of hub and spoke and we were the hub. That system is permanently crippled because no one ever thought the hub would become corrupt. Now that it has the model is flawed and dysfunction. Germany will suffer for 150 years the 12 years of Hitler. We'll becoming of Bush about the time they are comming of Hitler.

Though I would say that Bush has made the Germans look better in the light of history. Hitler only came to power after a major loss in WWI and two huge economic depressions, all within a period of about 12 years. That Germany imploded politically is almost understandable. We put Bush in power while we were at the hight of our power and prosperity. Ironically Hitler and Bush came to power under similar circumstances: a sizeable yet still minority vote, a constitutional crisis and then appointed to office by old men trying to solve the crisis without sacrificing their political principals. And then it all went down hill from there.

Who ever said it couldn't happen here couldn't be more wrong. And the world is holding its breath until Bush leaves. But our political system is permanently dysfunctional. A broken system can't fix itself. It took the ruination of Germany before it fixed itself politically.

People who are for Bush are simply stupid, blind or are illiterate in the field of civics.

Posted by: Bubbles on June 28, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Making other people lose doesn't make you a winner.

Posted by: Moe is me on June 28, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well we all knew he was a class act.

Posted by: Lucy on June 29, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

But they are down to 30%, less for a republican congress. A few years ago I was considering that fascism is what the electorate wanted. I fiqured that if that's what a majority wanted then we were totally fucked. But the fear and hate of 9/11 began to dissipate and the people began to wake up. Not in time for a Kerry win but without a fix in Ohio it would have happened. The climate has changed radically since then. Everyday someone wakes up and discovers how awol has screwed them. That's why the rightwing posters here are filled with such fear and disgust. They see their temporary hold over the average American is subsiding. They see how fear isn't even working anymore. They see how hatred can't be used to their advantage anymore. They are starting to stew in their very own shit and you can smell it. They're fucked and they are starting to realize it.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 29, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Assuming that story's true, there must have been no serious jocks in the game. And certainly no brothers. Otherwise, Bush would have gotten his ass kicked so hard he'd get the dry heaves every time he heard a basketball bounce.

He's a punk. Which is what they call a sociopath in Texas.

Posted by: jethro on June 29, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Worst. President. Ever.

Posted by: curious on June 29, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still amazed to see the Bush/Cheney bumper stickers. I'd be to embarassed by having my asshole reamed like that to ever drive a car with a bumper sticker like that. But then I fiqure it could be some perverse so of pride in having a bumper sticker about the worst president in 100 years, at least. In 30 years maybe we'll have enough of a sense of humor about it to joke about backing a total shit agenda. But then we may be rebuilding after the world kicks our ass too. Fascism in whatever form still loses. Hatred, prejudice always loses. It's inherent weaknesses cause it to fail. But there's a lot of pain and destruction first. Needless pain and destruction.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 29, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

I've just had a vision of Bush after his secretive mad dash flight into Baghdad, taking a covert detour through Saddam's prison in order to taunt him, then kick him in the balls.

Posted by: Boronx on June 29, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

But the rugby photo is ambiguous. - Winston Smith

Sure it is... especially if you discount the caption underneath it in the yearbook which reads "George Bush delivers illegal, but gratifying right hook to opposing ball carrier". I'm sure that the student that took the picture just made up that caption out of whole cloth, to you know, discredit Bush, embarass the school, and the team. Yeah, this was probably a plot by liberal Bush haters even WAY back then to smear old gregarious George.

You guys believe that magic bullet crap too don't you?

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on June 29, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

"But the tone of many commnets seem to want or even relish the re-ermergence of the Taliban. I think it is because of the democrat talking point that Iraq diverted attention for the Taliban, which itself is a phony way for anti Iraq and anti miliary liberals to sound like they are tough."

Brian, are you seven years old? It's time to leave mommy's computer alone and go back to bed!

Me? Like most people here, I'm awfully busy right now, relishing the "re-ermergence" of the Taliban.

Posted by: Kenji on June 29, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

i am somewhat impressed that bush played rugby and was captain of a basketball team. gives me a chubby.

Posted by: brian on June 29, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

dick's plan worked well. tell george he's in danger, george runs and hides. dick siezes power and keeps it. george doesn't care as long as he gets to play dress up and call himself Commander in Chief.

Posted by: gsalln on June 29, 2006 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

i am somewhat impressed that bush played rugby and was captain of a basketball team. gives me a chubby.

Um, brian, I really didn't need to know this.

Posted by: Adam Ennis on June 29, 2006 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

E. Paulson,

a. Even the captions are ambiguous, genius--there're two different ones, and no one's sure which is genuine.

b. "you guys"??? Don't lump me in with the Bushies just because I won't toe your party line.

Why stretch for evidence of Bush's assholosity when there's so much clear evidence available?

Posted by: Winston Smith on June 29, 2006 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

assholosity

Absolutely agree that there needs to be a term describing the quality of being an asshole. It's a glaring shortage in our collective vocabulary.


But assholosity? It sounds like a description of the speed at which you poop.

Other suggestions would include the quite banal assholeness, or the higher-than-thou sense of assholiness. There's also assholity but it sounds too much like frivolity and maybe could be used to describe this post.

In any case, it describes GW.

Posted by: Truly a Pedant on June 29, 2006 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

at the same time it frequently paints a fairly sympathetic portrait of them as men who are reacting as well as anyone could to the furious real-time cascade of genuinely frightening and confusing events in the early days after 9/11

Taking immediate, if legally questionable, action in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 is understandable. But it's nearly five years since then, and the Bush Administration has not only continued its oversight-free programs, but also used its self-declared "war on terror" to justify a disturbing expansion of unilateral Executive power, in complete and total opposition to the system of checks and balances the Founders set up precisely to prevent the accrual of too much power to a tyrannical Executive. (Talk about contempt for "original intent!")

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Bush and his minions have relentlessly used 9/11 -- the result of their own incompetence, yet! -- not to unite but rather divide this nation for their own short-term political gain.

However sympathetic their situation might have been immediately after 9/11, their subsequent conduct over the last several years is unforgivable, period, full stop.

Posted by: Gregory on June 29, 2006 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Eric Paulsen:

Did you even look at the Snopes.com link provided above?

"We should point out that even though the picture is described as capturing George W. Bush as "delivering a punch to the face" of an opponent, sports-action photos can make a perfectly ordinary portion of an athletic competition look extraordinarily embarrassing or violent a play that appears routine in a video clip can look quite different when presented in the context of a single-image still photo. (For example, a defender attempting a high tackle can easily appear as if he were trying to punch his opponent in the face, or the aftermath of a play can leave competitors in unusual positions. The caption might best be regarded as a tongue-in-cheek one."

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a very interesting article by Enchiridion Militis that might help you morons understand why you have such angst about our President, and here's an excerpt by ACE:

[The typical aging Kos reader has] been on the political and cultural losing side all his adult life. Hes tired of it. And hes found a website which, at last, makes him feel empowered. He is, in short, the typical member of the so-called netroots: the left-wing movement, organized around blogs, that seeks to take back this country from its usurpers. The netroots is a movement born of desperation and a sense of embattlement at being on the losing side of historical forces. It sees itself as the inheritor and the guarantor of true American tradition and identity, and it seeks to restore those things to their rightful primacy in national life. Critically, it choose to not merely fight its foes, but emulate them. It sees the prime virtue of its enemies as their ability to win, and if they can just crack the code if it can grasp the very methodology of victory then they will turn the tables, and victory will be theirs.

Sound familiar? It is to us. To the left, its all very exciting, and all very new. And so we see the self-proclaimed netroots go through a trajectory very much like what the Birchers went through, albeit in highly compressed time. The elements are all there: the resentment, the conspiracy-mindedness, and especially the leaders with stupefyingly poor judgment married to Napoleon complexes. Ive noted before that they are frank proponents of outright mimicry of the mechanisms of GOP ascendacy. Add to this the horrifying, alienating statements ranging from the mockery of dead Americans at war to the derision of political opponents personal sorrows. Add to this the demonization of the very people who should, in a sane world, be their friends The New Republic chief among them and the formula is complete. Messianism and paranoia marry to make this.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 29, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

you said Bush and Cheney

-- are "men who are reacting as well as anyone could to the furious real-time cascade of genuinely frightening and confusing events in the early days after 9/11."

YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEY WERE SURPRISED????

9/11 was an Israeli/American false flag operation you doofus... you do us no favors by parroting the government line on this event.

The events of that day were orchestrated to enlist American grass eaters to Israels cause... dumb shits believed it - just like Pearl Harbor.

290 million Islamophobes willing to enlist to go kill A-rabs....

I thought you had more sense....

Posted by: karen on June 29, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Norman,

That doesn't make sense since the typical aging Kos reader was otherwise alive during the 8 years of Clinton's Presidency. I also find striking similarities between the Internet of today (blogs in particular) and the accetped political communication of 1776.

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"In Texas, they call guys like George 'a hard case.'"

Not in my day. Someone who takes cheap shots and then tries to laugh it off is just called a pussy.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 29, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

karen,

So, if I hear you correctly, you are saying that both FDR and Bush had specific knowledge of said attacks (indeed may have planned them), and you are taking our host to task for not having more "sense"? Quick, do you think any Jews died in the World Trade Center?

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

might help you morons understand why you have such angst about our President

That's easy: he's a loser and we get to pay for it. And your explanation seems to forget both the entire last decade and the present exodus from the GOP.

Enjoying being a minority? Get used to it.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 29, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

That tears it. "John" == Charlie/Cheney.

Posted by: Gregory on June 29, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

But the tone of many commnets seem to want or even relish ....

As usual, they have to change the subject to us, and what we supposedly "feel" or "want." Then again, the people they support have no accomplishments to point to, so it's no wonder they have to talk about those of us who never endorsed miserable failure to begin with.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on June 29, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

I still don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

That tears it. "John" == Charlie/Cheney.

If I recall right he was 'John' once before, about a year ago. That was just after his Mary, Tom, Dick and Harry phases.

Posted by: snicker-snack on June 29, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

You must have me confused with someone else.

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Enjoy being a minority? Get used to it" GMT

Another example of the left's departure from reality. Considering the two most recent elections: '04 wherein GW won by more than 3.5 million popular votes and Bilbray in CA winning despite Cunninghams felonies and the Dems all out effort for that seat, I'd say GMT doesn't understand math all that well.

So Kevin, we're now reaching back to college extra-curricular activity days to bash the sitting president? The growing desperation and the impending implosion of the left is pure entertainment, this will be the best year evuh. Pass the popcorn please.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

karen:

Provide something other than the most tenuous of circumstanital evidence, or shut the fuck up.

I am anti-zionist. But you are a raving, anti-semitic loon.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

That tears it. "brewmn" == Charlie/Cheney.

Posted by: John on June 29, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Wow brewmn, I had missed karen's post until you just made me aware of it. That is a special case of brain damage, although I think there is more of that line of thought on the far left than you think.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

another post alluded to this earlier, but it's worth emphasizing: Bush was lucky he played sports with a bunch of Ivy Leaguers and MBAs.

His dirty play among working class Americans would have gotten his ass handed to him. He's a typical rich pussy. I'd love to punch him in his stupid, smirky face. And I'll bet he wouldn't have the balls to try and punch back. But it would be nice if he tried. If I've ever seen a politician that deserved a good ass-whupping more than Dubya, I can't remember him.

Sorry folks, he's just a tough-talking wimp-assed bitch, just like brian, Norman Rogers, Jay, Al, and all the other trolls on this site. They are all real tough when somebody else has to do the fighting and dying for them.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

This is the funny thing. People like karen chide the government for their incompetence in handling a disaster like katrina, but have no problem accepting the notion that they were able to pull off, in complete secrecy, a massive conspiracy in which they align with Israel, recruit and train anti-arab zealots for a suicide mission that rallies the west into a fervor of rage allowing them to unleash the military on unsuspecting muslims.

And this is the same gov't tha can't properly secure our borders. Ironic?

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

as brewmn talks tough from behind the keyboard........

ROTFLOL

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Someday brewmn, your adolescent rage will subside and you'll grow up and become a conservative.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Jay: Someday brewmn, your adolescent rage will subside and you'll grow up and become a conservative.

And then after that you'll die. Life sucks doesn't it?

Posted by: tripoley on June 29, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"He truly enjoys getting people to knuckle under."

Combine it with the bullying tactic of ridiculing individuals in front of a group, the foisting of nicknames on others, the juvenile "frat-boy" demeanor- isn't it obvious by now that this whole "he's so likeable" idea is complete and utter bullshit? He's a phony and a sociopath. Don't forget that in his youth, he liked to kill frogs by setting off firecrakers in them.

This whole idea that he's a man "comfortable in his own skin" is utter crap. He's a tightly-wound, small and vindictive creep whose only goal is to hide his inadequacies by bullying and dominance.

Posted by: marty on June 29, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

A commenter above said that he'd seen basketball bring out the worst in people. I'd say the worst catalyst for inducing petty and/or infantile behavior in people is the board game "Monopoly". It's an entirely mechanical enterprise. Roll the dice and whoever has the most luck picking up good properties wins. No skill. Nada. Just time lost. And yet, the game invariably produced strutting peacocks, sulking prima donnas, and vendettas that lasted long after the game had been put away.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on June 29, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

I have to admit, I share that impulse. I went to a private high school and was betrayed by an English teacher. I swore then that I would have revenge, and one day, I'm going to take it -- I'm going to hire him, then fire him, or be about to donate a huge money check to the high school and then say "Oops, sorry, I forgot that Mr. X taught here, better luck next time!" It's the supervallain in me.

But I'm intelligent and mature enough to recognize that sometimes it's in the best interests to swallow your revenge and work with the person. Crushing people who get in your way, as Calvin says, is a lot of fun, but you have to use that power sparingly.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 29, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

'Knuckle under' is kind of a funny expression, especially since Bush loves to fist fuck Iraqi children. Sorry, make that all children.

Posted by: Hostile on June 29, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

However, I think you guys are reaching if you think a basketball game from 30 years ago tells us anything meaninful about Bush.

Not to worry, brian, Bush's public life tells all we need to know about him. And it's far from flattering.

Posted by: Gregory on June 29, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hey it looks like Hostile is running for the DNC chair. With that sensible comment, is it any wonder why the left is out of power? hmmmmmmm......just can't understand the inability to win an election with that kind of sensible and balanced approach to debate.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"it looks like Hostile is running for the DNC chair"

What a sane and sensible debating point.
Thanks Jay for showing us the way!

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 29, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Glad to help Pierre.

BTW, are you related to Pepe LePew?

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the knuckling-under treatment worked with Engle, didn't it? Despite it all, he became a Republican contributer.

Posted by: nemo on June 29, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Someday brewmn, your adolescent rage will subside and you'll grow up and become a conservative.

Your typical modern day wingnuts think everyone is as warped as they are.

Posted by: Boronx on June 29, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Someday brewmn, your adolescent rage will subside and you'll grow up and become a conservative."

I'm 44 years old, dumbass. And you're living proof that some morons never get smart.

And, even if I'm only talking tough behind a keyboard, I'm not supporting the decision to send 130,000 Americans overseas to kill and be killed based on a pack of lies.

And I could still kick Bush's ass, with without his faggoty, phony overcompensating tough guy persona and propensity for the chaep shot.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Setting aside all the fun stuff about Bush's character (or lack thereof -- in college we referred to guys like this as 'pricks with ears') I'd like to get back to the main subject of Suskind's book and ask Bush/Cheney why the One Percent Doctrine hasn't been applied to the threat posed by global warming.

Posted by: topper on June 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Carey Lee Cramer is Jay's hero. Cramer slimed Clinton, Gore and several little girls.

Posted by: Hostile on June 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Being 44 years old doesn't meant that you've grown up. Just like saying that the administration told lies doesn't mean that they did. It's just that liberal universe you occupy.

Go Cramer. Go Cramer. It's your birthday.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the kind of person who would try to run over the catcher when trying to score in a softball game, and then complains to the umpire after the catcher tags him in the face.

Posted by: Wombat on June 29, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Just like saying that the administration told lies doesn't mean that they did."

Nuclear weapons?
Aluminum tubes that could be used only for building centrifuges?

They knew these statements did not have any eivdentiary support, yet they continued to insist they were true. In any world but wingnut world, that would be called a lie.

Which means that the Bush administration, and you, are liars.

Posted by: brewmn on June 29, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Eventually it took beating the holy living shit out of him in the shower room,

Engle should have punched and kicked him every single time he saw him after that game. Every time until W learned to stay out of arm's reach.

Posted by: Edo on June 29, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Little boy rage from a 44 year old. Pathetic really.

Posted by: Jay on June 29, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

xx: any other examples of similar conduct since that noteworthy basketball game?

Bush..."showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago."

- Yoshi Tsurumi, one of G. W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School 9/16/2004

"Please don't kill me." G. W. Bush impersonating convicted killer Karla Faye Tucker

Marian Fontana met G.W.Bush on the first anniversary of 9/11. He was told that her fireman husband had been killed in NYC that day and that 9/11 was also her wedding anniversary.

Bush responded. "I guess that's like the double whammy."


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

jay: Just like saying that the administration told lies doesn't mean that they did.

here are two lies:

"Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." - George W. Bush 10/07/02


"I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11." - Cheney 10/05/04

LIE


"There clearly was a relationship. It's been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming," Cheney said in an interview with CNBC's "Capitol Report." - Cheney 6/18/04

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 29, 2006 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: aacxmmc on June 30, 2006 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

brewmn, thank you my friend for helping us maintain the illusions. Of course karen is totally right -- and then some. We DO own ALL the financial institutions (all those "WASP" names like Mellon, Forbes? -- all deep cover).
We totally control ALL the pols. Bush? Ours. Kerry? Ditto. Nader? Perot? LaRouche? Rev. Moon? All part of the master plan.
And it goes without saying that we DO own ALL the media. Why do you think that RIGHT NOW, when the hated mooslims are more of a threat than even the international communist consipiracy (that was all our doing too, of course) ever could have been, is EXACTLY when all our best propaganda pushing the gay agenda is hitting home? It's all part of the scheme to weaken and break America. First we effeminize, then we deracinate, then we enslave... Bwaahahaha!
Heck, even the John Birch Society was a false-front, designed to co-opt and disinform the REAL Americans whom we had to subvert. And let's not get started on the NRA... It's all SO deep, and here's the super-kewl part: the more the karens of the world try to tear the covers off, the more insane we make them look! So the closer she gets to the truth, the less anyone believes her!
Now you'll have to excuse me, I have to go kidnap some Christian babies; the blood banks are getting low.
Happy 4th everyone! (Enjoy it while we still let you.)

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