One last jab at Decider George’s sad and nearly-innocuous good-bye address last night, an useless endeavor if there’s ever been one, and with nearly 70 percent of US peoples wanting him gone — good, good-bye to eight years of some real-bad doo-doo.
A lot commentators reflected it was Decider George’s best speech — because it was his LAST.
Stilted, cold and with little real emotion, the speech came off as another piece of propaganda the White House has been floating around the ether the last couple of months.
(Illustration found here).
One of the best overall observations about the speech came this morning from Juan Cole at Informed Comment, and without being too snarky, pulls together Decider George’s upbringing into the fold of being a total dad’s boy and complete incompetent.
- Bush is my slightly older contemporary.
I knew guys like W. in college, the frat boys who painted the local lighthouse windows red in the middle of the night after binging on cheep beer and chasing skirts instead of cracking their books.
The guys who were rude and arrogant because they did not know how to wear their inherited wealth gracefully, the loudmouths who parroted Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley without having the integrity of the former or the eloquence of the latter.
Bush was never more than a screw-up.
He admitted when running for president that there were deficiencies in his knowledge and experience, but he said he would make up for that by appointing good people around him.
It turns out that if someone doesn’t have a lick of common sense, he won’t even know which of his advisers is giving him wise counsel, and he sure as hell won’t know how to appoint wise people to advise him in the first place.
W. thought the trustworthy, competent people were Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.
He doesn’t seem to have taken Colin Powell seriously, and the way he used and discarded Powell is yet another stain on his disastrous presidency.
Bush never escaped the habits of his ne’er-do-well undergraduate days at Yale.
In the end, he replaced being drunk on beer with being drunk on power.
He replaced wooing the women with wooing the corporations.
He replaced frat boy hijinks with ruinous wars that wrought a devastation across the rugged expanse of West Asia unlike anything seen since the pagan Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258.
Cole does this whole thing without ever once calling Decider George an asshole, or a lying sack of shit, or anything like that — class talking about somebody without any.
Another good comment on the fare-thee-well speech came from David Corn, who notes the whole thing was “flat and short,” and the major point being what Decider George didn’t say:
- For most of the 13 minutes he spoke, Bush offered surface-level observations.
He provided one quote, noting that President Thomas Jefferson once remarked, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
It’s no wonder Bush fancies this line.
Given that he is passing to Barack Obama a country burdened with two unresolved wars and an economy in severe decline, Bush certainly would rather look forward (and hope his now unpopular presidency comes to be seen in better terms down the road) than face the present-day consequences of his actions and inaction.
Ernest Hemingway, I believe, once observed that what one doesn’t put on the page is as important as what one does.
And what Bush did not discuss in his farewell address also defines his presidency.
Corn then goes on to list a huge agenda of real-bad shit Decider George leaves for the rest of us to shovel (and he made no mention), such as climate change, Iran/Pakistan, Osama bin Laden, nuclear weapons, poverty, health insurance, foreclosures, Guantanamo, national debt, budget deficit, trade deficit, Wall Street, and on and on — a long spiral downward.
Read Corn’s whole piece here.