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The Banality of Harm: A Psychological Profile of George Bush

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This past weekend, I caught the last fifteen minutes of what looked like a long interview with President Bush by Bill O’Reilly on Fox.

This was a different president from what I’ve seen before. He was with one of his own: a fellow far-right conservative. He smiled a lot. He spoke in an unbuttoned, less guarded way than usual, although he was still the typically defensive politician who refused to be drawn into any controversy not of his own making. He ducked a few questions – “what interrogation methods are we talking about?” and “is waterboarding torture?” – but this was all part of the expected cat-and-mouse pantomime of a politician playing the media. He was enjoying himself. His answers shot out easily. Conveniently, all his answers were rote. One had heard them before. (This habit gives Bush the quality of a wind-up doll. It can also make him a total bore. Question: has America become as boring as our president?)

Nevertheless, what I saw changed my whole view of Bush and his presidency.

For one, I’d never seen him this real before. Here at last he was appearing as himself. The actual Oz. Authentic. What you saw was who he was. All natural, relaxed and friendly, shooting the breeze with a confidant. In this informal atmosphere, one big difference stood out between him and any other current politician of a similar standing — Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, John Edwards, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair.

A Big Bang difference. A cosmic gulf.

Bush was a gulf away from them because of one big quality, or lack thereof: he came across as utterly unsophisticated. He was to a different manor — nay, universe — born. So much so, he bordered on the simple-minded. He conversed on the level of a high-school C student. My companion was so disgusted by what she called this “low-end” quality that she left the room.

Maybe it was because Bill O’Reilly ain’t all that sophisticated himself. Still, O’Reilly looked like the smarter guy, which was pretty bizarre, given that Bush is the president.

There is literally no intellectual depth or curiosity or layers to Bush. The man is perfectly uncultured. He said he had read three biographies of Washington, but he said it as if he was reporting on assigned high-school homework. He didn’t make any interesting remarks about Washington, as you’d get from a Clinton or a Gore or a Blair. He merely said historians are still arguing over Washington’s legacy, like they will one day over his. Washington was not a separate figure; no more than a measure. For the rest, Bush’s level of language and thought was as low and flat and empty as a denuded prairie.

I thought to myself: how can this unsophisticated man come from the Bush family? His father is sophisticated. The family is a blue-blood, Yale-bred, upper-class lot.

Yet W comes across as some kind of simple-pieties-type above-his-station yokel. Why? My companion pointed out that Bush was rebelling against the sophistication of his dad.

Then I wondered: how does such an unsophisticated man manage to boss around a sophisticated man like Tony Blair? How does he lead others? What is it about him that makes people follow him? On the evidence of the interview, if he worked in the same company as me, my co-workers would never single him out as our leader, because he’d be the most unsophisticated fella among us – a candidate for a low-level job that suited his level of intellect. Yet plainly, people follow Bush. He became our President. How? How come? I would like to attempt a couple of tentative answers.

Answer One:  Bush makes it as a leader by acting like the main man in a frathouse.  You enter his sphere, the sphere of the good old boys, the lads full of BS, the guys who pray before they drink, joke and shoot — and you are on fratboy territory. Only fratboy talk and rules apply. On that terrain, Tony Blair cannot compete. It’s a tight circle of men born to privilege, plus some lesser creatures seigneurially allowed in. The court of a mocking King Texas Oil Failure. Of course, it goes along with another sphere – the more burnished side of the fratboy coin, the inside of a church. In these two spheres, Bush is the only fratboy who stays sober, because he doesn’t drink. He makes the rest of them feel a little guilty.

Answer Two:  Bush made it to the presidency because Karl Rove marketed Mr. Top Frat as a brush-clearing, good-man-to-have-a-beer-with, Mr. God-Fearing Regular Guy. Rove camouflaged the privileged fratboy all the way to world leader.

Not that Bush started leading the country when he became President. Cheney ran things. Someone had to do it while our president sat immobilized for seven minutes after hearing the news about 9/11. But now it’s pretty clear that Bush has become the decider. What happened?

Answer Three:  Sometime after Bush’s re-election there was a power shift. How did that come about? How could anyone from Cheney and Rumsfeld on down trust Bush to make decisions?

Well, in a way, Bush doesn’t have to make decisions. They’ve all been made. All he has to do is “stay the course.” A nod will do. After 2004, Cheney and Rumsfeld relaxed and let Bush run the country, because they’d already set the course (and maybe they didn’t want to be held accountable anymore.)

Yet there is still an enigma in this Mystery of the MIA But Still There President – a veil hiding a ghost in the machine, a drape cloaking the revelatory somewhere behind the clarity of unsophistication.

The vacuity itself is mysterious: asked about Iraq, what did Bush say? The same old: “There are good things happening there, thirty million of them voted.”

How can it be? Such a congenital divide: we, the people, see a failed war, the waste of “reconstruction,” the growing pile of the dead; he, the president, sees the liberty of an imaginary country.

Answer Four:  Bush’s lack of sophistication breeds a bizarre and brazen ignorance of the real. This ignorance is thoroughly grounded in and Teflon-backed by a hard-core belief in the idea (ideal, ideology, religion, superstition) of the justice of his cause. That how Bush sees Iraq — as an artifact of his faith.

In the interview, Bush kept saying that what keeps him going, and what keeps criticism in check, is that “I believe in what I’m doing.”

He doesn’t have to actually think about what he’s doing. So it’s not that Bush WON’T change his mind; he CAN’T. We’re talking totally inflexible. Completely non-adaptive. The survival of the unfittest.

Bush said he had pity for those who attacked him. Imagine being patronized by Bush. Well, you are. Meet us — the American people — victims of the sublime smugness of sublime ignorance.

It boggles the mind, to be patronized by the likes of Bush — by someone so unsophisticated.

Answer Five:  The mystery may reveal itself in the psychology of the man. Look at it this way: Bush has the mind of an ex-alcoholic. To keep himself on the wagon, he has to exercise iron self-control. There can be no going back. That’s why it’s so hard for him to change his mind about Iraq. Changing his mind about anything is tantamount to falling off the wagon. It would be like forsaking Christ. He can’t allow himself to let that happen. He has Dry Drunk Pathology.

And he has passed it on to his followers. We don’t want to fall off the wagon either. We need to protect ourselves from ourselves.

This man, who promises to protect us, can easily lead us over a cliff. Ironically, he appears to have done so. He thinks he’s saving our economy with tax cuts, yet he spends us into crushing debt. He thinks he’s keeping the country safe by viewing terrorism as a war in Iraq — instead of tackling it as a challenging police matter.

And this is not just any old war. Answer Six:  We’re in a titanic clash of civilizations. Good vs. evil. God vs. Satan. Bush has taken the reality of a bunch of terrorists, no more than a few thousand Muslim fanatics, and blown them up into the fantasy of some Cosmic Threat, the Klingons of the 21st century.

This Imaginary War totally dominates the man, as though that’s what he gains importance from, not from having to solve actual problems like healthcare. It makes him self-important. Unfortunately for us, it makes America self-important. Now we can stick our chests out big — hey, we’re leading the fight in the global war on terror. How’s that for importance? The proper stance of a military giant who also happens to be a diplomatic pygmy. That’s us, all right — strutting our cojones in the vanguard of our Imaginary War, while the world looks on aghast, and these days, with a little pity, too.

Bush, our president: the war feeds his faith, and his faith feeds the war. He’s called by a higher power. That’s part of Dry Drunk Pathology (DDP). Religion keeps him sober and drives his politics. Ideology reigns supreme over all reality.

Bush’s war posture — sorry, war faith — recalls a cold-war mentality, the knee-jerk paranoia-style conservatism that needs an enemy for it to exist, and needs to blow up this enemy to some massive fantasy of a Hegelian antithesis to give his own life and presidency meaning. God forbid there should be any pragmatism. Or objectivity. Here we have a man so unsophisticated, he can’t see the world for what it is — a man less sophisticated than the world.

As you ought to guess by now, I’ve been processing wildly ever since I saw the interview. Frankly, I’m still dealing with being stunned. It’s not that this interview confirmed my worst fears. It’s that it added new ones.

Answer Seven:  A recasting of a Hannah Arendt label springs to mind. To coin a phrase, Bush exemplifies “the banality of harm.” What does this mean? For a start, Bush has no idea what harm he’s caused. He thinks he’s doing good. He cannot count the 100,000 to 700,000 we have killed … he has killed … he and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Rove have killed. He doesn’t have the sophistication for it. You have to be literally thoughtless – have little thought, besides being monstrously inconsiderate – to cause so much harm.

It’s very different from “the banality of evil;” it operates on a lesser moral plane. Bush is far from evil, because he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He thinks he is spreading good. He doesn’t knowingly do bad. What he’s doing is all a matter of definition: Wittgenstein word games.

Such is the banality of harm.

And it stands between us and reality. It throws down a wall between the American people and the acknowledgement of our actions. Between consequences and accountability.

The Bush Dry Drunk Pathology — the Bush Ideological Supremacy — the Bush Messenger Of God Complex – all these hallmarks of unsophistication — they are not of this world. George Bush has no sympathy for reality; he’s intolerant of it, he rejects it, like an evangelical rejects a homosexual. Reality is something that happens so far outside his belief system, it doesn’t affect him.

Bush stands firm, because he stands on his head. And so he stands in the way of America adapting to changing circumstances. He positions himself between us and an intelligent debate about the issues. Like a fierce midget-martinet, he towers between us and any sophistication. Like a fat rock, he stands steadfast between America and its destiny.

Where does that leave our nation? Pretty much nowhere. If we have the President we deserve, what can we say: that we deserve very little?

Do we? Goddamn it, America is not this unsophisticated. Or are we? This man we have as our President, he might never come to his senses — but will we?   The answer, my friend, is still blowing in the wind. The answer might arrive as a howling tempest on November 7, when our nation goes to the polls to tick an OK next to the fantasies of the past – or to cross out the past and insert the future.

Let’s see what choice we make. Let’s see if, as a nation, we’re at least more sophisticated — and less dangerous — than George Bush.

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About Adam Ash

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    A lot of fascinating ideas I’d never really considered. Especially, the “dry drunk pathology” and the “banality of harm.” I doubt the pro-Bushers will see it, but it’s clear you were trying to hold back your more ribald side to paint a thoughtful picture of a bizarre president. Well done.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Very interesting opinion piece with the ring of being scary-true, based on the Bush foreign and domestic performance over these 5+ years. I served under an officer who couldn’t set and articulate realistic goals because he misunderstood or misconstrued what he had been told to do from the chain of command, and then he blamed those below for not carrying out their duties or cooperating. He was always 100% sure that he was right, and as it turned out 75% of the time, had garbled or confused his instructions. When questioned about this disconnect between reality and his version of things, his typical responses were, “you just don’t understand” or “we have no choice.” A lot of frustrated effort was wasted because he thought we were “staying the course” when it wasn’t the course we should have been on in the first place, except in his head. I agree that Bush doesn’t have the intellect, interest, energy or desire to be an outstanding leader;slogans, talking points, distortions, smears and covering behinds are his administration’s stock in trade.

  • gonzo marx

    interesting Editorial screed here Adam…

    much of what you are laying out there appears to be quite subjective, no problem in an editorial..and the “dry drunk” bit is a fascinating take on the issue

    here’s a bit for Thought

    instead of thinking about it in terms of an alcoholic, perhaps it’s arisen from the “12 step” doctrine used to combat the syndrome …

    to wit: the abrogation and rejection of any sort of Personal Responsibility

    might i submit the Thought that ANY and ALL religious fundamentalists who live and operate by the dictum of being “a slave to Allah” or under “thy Will be done” are inherently rejecting any sort of personal responsibility for anything they do or say completely, as well as rejecting the entire concept of free Will

    when approached in that Light, many historical examples of individuals and cultures become much more clear

    how simple is it for the *priest class/mullahs* to manipulate the faithful who have *submitted* their free Will and Responsibility by simply lying that they (those priests) know the “Will of [insert god here]”

    this also clarifies the types of delusional behavior spoken about in this Article

    just a Thought

    Excelsior?

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Gonzo:
    I think you’re onto something there, about the 12-step doctrine as an explanation for Bush’s psychology. I wish I knew more about it, so I could think about it some more. Thanks for the pointer.
    Lee, you’re right.
    Mark, thanks. I worked very hard at this. If I knew more about the 12-step thing, I could’ve delved deeper into the Dry Drunk Pathology. As it is DDP explains a lot already.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Talking about pathology, how is this to be explained?

    During an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” host George Stephanopoulos asked where James Baker’s Iraq proposal fell between “stay the course” and “cut and run.” Bush asnwered: “Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been ‘stay the course,’ George.”

    Is Bush insane?

    Moreover:
    On Monday, press secretary Tony Snow said it was inaccurate to describe U.S. policy in Iraq as “stay the course.”
    Question: “Is the president responsible for the fact people think it’s stay the course since he’s, in fact, described it that way himself?”
    Snow: “No.”

    Is Snow insane?

    Are these guys in a Keystone Cops movie or what?

    Has any administration in the history of the world been this bizarre? Has any administration in the history of the world had a bigger problem with the truth?
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Adam…great article…I too was takin back by his moronic Alfred E. Newman style…me an my ahem…”significant other”…(we live in NJ so we are so happy about recent events that we dont have to move to Friscooo)..enough about me.

    Can you believe that he really is centered in his beliefs! My word! And he really believs that the this God of his really stopped him form drinking! Absurd…

    What really got be is that he means what he say! What kind of president is this…oh how I long for Bill Clinton..a time when words were supposed to just sound good…but not really count or mean anything!

    And finally…Bush really believes that these terrorist are well…terrorist! What planet does he come from….We all know that he, Cheney and Rove planted the explosives in the world trade towers and had their CIA buddies pretend to Arabs and fly those planes into the buildings…for some reason I just cant figure out who told all the Jews not to show up for work on 911!

    Great article keep up the good work…with you and the other posters like you I am sure we will all get what we deserve in the end…

    JustOneMan….

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    I was wondering why the pro-Bushits were staying in the woodwork — and then out pops JustOneMan!

    Funny thing, though, he doesn’t seem to respond to the article, but to some strawdog his own making. What is this supposed to mean?
    “We all know that he, Cheney and Rove planted the explosives in the world trade towers and had their CIA buddies pretend to Arabs and fly those planes into the buildings…for some reason I just cant figure out who told all the Jews not to show up for work on 911!”

    If it’s sarcasm, it’s hopelessly misguided, since I don’t know anyone whio believes that.

    Hey, JustOneMan, are you perhaps also suffering from DDP? Or are you another scaredy-cat Bushit wimp who thinks there’s a terrorist under your bed? Do you need Mommy to tuck you in?

    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Oh no Adam…I am now one of the Believers…after reading the post you and others like you I realize that I have been wrong!

    Bush is actual the evildoer seeking to enslave all Americans to work for Halibourton once he and Cheney are out of office!!! I now think and believe as others on the left that Bush is a very dangerous man…he believes in God, marraige os between man and a women, we shouldnt rip fetuses out of womens stomachs to cure Michael J Fox, and worst of all in Mom and apple pie!

    If I still believed in God (which I gave up to join the Democratic left) I would consider him the Devil,,(but I cant cause then I would have to believe in god)

    No Adam I am now one of you or one of us…something like that

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    JustOneMan:
    You are attacking a figment of your imagination.
    You say in your lame parody: “we shouldnt rip fetuses out of womens stomachs to cure Michael J Fox …”
    Who in hell’s name advocates that? Certainly not anyone on the left.
    Shouldn’t you be taking your meds, JustOneMan, before you indulge yourself in such weird fantasies?
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Adam…my brother in the cause…to do stem cell research we must have fresh supplies of fetuses…or else Michael J. Fox may never be able to do another Back to the Future movie! We must not let our Hollywood brethren down…

    No parody I now believe..the left is where I belong…the left is where I belong…the left is where I belong…

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    JustOneMan:
    Say after me … I believe in reason … I will never write stoopid stuff like “… to do stem cell research we must have fresh supplies of fetuses…or else Michael J. Fox may never be able to do another Back to the Future movie!” again …
    I will be a rational JustOneMan.
    Say that, and you can be brother in the cause of reason, and move out of your house of stupid hyperbole.
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    No no my good man enough about me …lets get back to your wonderful article!

    It also boggles my mind, to be patronized by the likes of Bush — by someone so unsophisticated. My good Adam…just one look at the fine picture of you posted here on Blogcritics can see the advanced level of sophistication eminating from that fine do of yours and our mutual appreciation of masturbation, Tequila and weed…without a doubt prove our supiority!

    JustOneMan

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    JustOneMan:
    I’m glad to see you coming round. But I must point out that our crowd is not about “superiority” — that’s a quality best left to snot-nosed Yalies like Bush. Surely you’re not a snot-nosed Yalie?
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Me no I wouldnt be seen with one of those snot nose YAle bastards…Bush and all his power hungry republican Yale alumni buddies like John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton…hey wait a minute arent all these snot nose bastards in our party?

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    JustOneMan: If you wanted to be even a little fair and accurate, you could have considered these words in Adam’s piece before misinterpreting and twisting what he wrote:”Bush is far from evil. He doesn’t knowingly do bad.”
    What Adam does charge is: rote answers; no intellectual depth or curiosity; flat and empty language and thought; inflexible and non-adaptive; ideology reigns supreme over reality; knee-jerk paranoia-style conservatism that needs an enemy to exist–all of which also pretty well describe your illogical, overly-emotional and inaccurate comments.

  • JustOneSmarterMan

    “rote answers; no intellectual depth or curiosity; flat and empty language and thought; inflexible and non-adaptive; ideology reigns supreme over reality; knee-jerk paranoia-style conservatism that needs an enemy to exist–all of which also pretty well describe your illogical, overly-emotional and inaccurate comments.”

    I’m sorry are we still talking about Bush or are we talking about JustOneMan(Dan Rhiel)?

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Lee:
    There’s something truly bizarre about JustOneMan and his ilk, which includes the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
    They alwasy erect a straw man and then they attack that, and the straw man has nothing in common with the person they’re attacking.
    It’s like they need false idols to attack, so they create these idols out of whole cloth, a little like Bush creates this huge massive clash of civilizations out of mad behavior of a few thousand crazy bad terrorists.
    It used to be called the paranoid style of politics, but I think it should be rephrazed.
    It’s more likely the hysterical style of politics. I find conservatives much given to hysteria. I wonder why that is — are they all compensating for small weenies or something? It’s something in their very psychology. Take the Limbaugh coinage of Feminazis. Why is he being so hysterical? And why is huis hysteria so appealing to his followers? What’s with this over-emotional reacting? Are there any shrinks out there who can explain it?
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Justonesmarter… I am not dan..we grew up together and i read his blog everyday…you mistakenly referenced my link to his site as my url….my writing style is alittle different..

    But now that I am on the left I find him boorish!

    Adam & i understand THAT bush is the real evildoing 911 planning, halibourtin, biG oil profiteer!

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    I see a water tower and a rifle in JustOneMan’s future.

  • JustOneMan

    I am sure you would approve adam as long as its goin after those other guys!

    From the Left…JustOneMan

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    What “other” guys, JOM?

  • STM

    Geez, Adam, being inside George’s mind would be a scary place to be I reckon. I’m no supporter of Bush. However, let’s not think the guy is a dope. I don’t believe for one moment that is the case, although you are right: he isn’t very sophisticated.

    I say, so what? But as usual, the tail is wagging the dog so I’m inclined to believe that because he’s not very sophisticated, he’s been sucked in, as you’ve pointed out, by some really bad advice.

    But I actually think that politically, off the world stage, the bloke is as cunning as a shit-house rat.

    PS, I’d be immobilised too if someone told me that two jets had just been flown into the WTC.

    Actually, I was immobilised … or at least riveted to the TV.

    And JOM, can we quit the conspiracy theories. The whole thing’s a crock.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    STM:
    Bush is no dope, but his lack of sophistication — remarkably unique in a world leader — makes him sometimes seem like a dope.
    He might be as cunning as a shithouse rat. Except he doesn’t seem very practical. He is surrounded by incompetent ideologues — no pragmatism there.

    The man is still a bit of a mysery to me. It seems like he’s missing some parts. How can anybody be so wrong-headed and also so truth-defying? Like when he says he’s never been about “stay the course” when he’s said it over and over. Truly bizarre, to be so openly and publicly dishonest.

    He may be the most dishonest man in America, let alone be the most dishonest president we’ve ever had.

    I’ve gotten so used to Bush lying, it’ll be odd having a President after him who is like most presidents — usually honest.

    Bush has certainly set the bar lower than low.

    Adam

  • http://progmanreviews.blogspot.com Kyle

    One thing I’ve noticed about extremists, whether they be extreme left or right, is that they both spout vitriol and disgust at anyone that doesn’t agree with them. They are condescending and often hateful as well.
    I consider myself to be a good bit left of center without being militant about it and try as much as possible to be understanding of those who disagree with me. It would be nice if JustOneMan could do the same. I think we might be a little more open to hearing his arguments rather than being immediately turned off by his manner.

  • STM

    Also Adam, if George Bush was in a 12-step program, it’s unlikely he would be President (although possibly, it wouldn’t have been a bad thing).

    The reason: participating in 12 step programs is no abrogation of personal responsibility, but rather the other way around.

    Two of the key facets, and those of AA in particular (which is what I’d call “quietly spiritual”) are the exercise of humility and non-judgment.

    They encourage people to acknowledge their dark sides, if you like, and to put them aside so that it’s no longer a driving force and to instead practise interacting with their fellow human beings in a loving, compassionate, and tolerant fashion. Not bad goals, those.

    It is less to do about God (or whatever you want that to mean) than it is about actually practising both acceptance and personal responsibility.

    So many views of AA are wrong. It is a mighty good thing for those who need it, and has changed many lives for the better.

    Like anywhere, there are people involved who are pains in the butt but generally, they also don’t tell people what to believe, how to believe it, or even try to stop people from leaving. They also own virtually no property, despite millions of members worldwide. Which means it ain’t a cult.

    So George might have benefited if he really is a dry drunk. And if he is, my suggestion is that he either goes to AA or has a beer – immediately. Under supervision of course! Perhaps he and Tony should get out on the squirt. Both certainly need to get out more, period.

    Cheers!!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You’ve watched 15 minutes of one interview and gotten this whole delusional fantasy from it. Who’s not living in the real world again?

    The elitism which drips from your every word is particularly telling. I love the way your ‘companion’ left the room in disgust because she found Bush’s honesty and simplicity ‘uncultured’.

    This article tells me a lot more about you than it does about Bush, and the picture it paints is of someone who is a sniveling, intolerant elitist. Not very attractive.

    As for your predictable knee-jerk hatred of ‘frat boys’, it’s clear you have no idea what you’re talking about. First off, Bush was never in a fraternity, although Skull and Bones could be considered a similar type of organization. And the point of all these groups is to teach leadership skills, and that’s a good thing. Just about every president we’ve had has received some training in leadership and management in a fraternal organization, be it a fraternity or a masonic lodge, and they’re more effective for it.

    What I’d suggest is that you stop scoffing at what you don’t understand and don’t choose to inform yourself about and perhaps stick to forming opinions based on fact rather than your petty, elitist prejudices.

    Dave

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    He was a cheeleader though Dave and you know what they say about college cheerleaders!

  • BriMan

    Dave-
    Adam never said Bush was in a fraternity – he said he acted like the main man in a fraternity.

    I understand the analogy because Bush has surrounded himself to a man with people who are agreeable to the point of being overly loyal. In other words, there isnt anyone within his administration acting like a devil’s advocate or giving him a sanity check. I personally cant remember a President who did not have someone like that. He is running a fraternity of brothers (and sisters) in the Whitehouse – he never needed to belong to one before for the analogy to hold water.

    Done with Dave-now…
    “This Imaginary War totally dominates the man, as though that’s what he gains importance from, not from having to solve actual problems like healthcare.”

    Shrub’s presidency was floundering before 911 – he couldnt figure out what to do or how to do it. 911 defines his presidency and the irony is that the worst terrorist attack (non-state sponsored) in world history happened on his watch. And yet some people believe him when he says he is the only fish in the ocean that can keep the sharks away! Sure. That’s some good ditch weed he’s selling.

    Dry drunks can be notorious for NOT attending AA meetings. Besides Bush is a better candidate for NA bein’s he was all about the Bolivian marching powder.

    Shrub’s faith is clearly a political crutch. He is not stupid and he recognizes that w/o faith he personally gets nowhere in politics. This is an age-old method for would-be world leaders. I dont put much stock in it even if its true. Why should I trust him to correctly interpret God’s Will when he cant even properly interpret a citizen’s poll pre-election? Or Congressional intent? Or the definition of human dignity for that matter?

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Adam….you are so on target…i too long for a President who like most presidents — are usually honest. It seems like ages ago since William Jefferson Clinton—such an honest and sincere man..as president would address the world on TV…pucker is lower lip, squint his eyes and wag his finger at us telling us ONLY the truth….oh yes I long for that honest man!

  • JustOneMan

    Oh yes Jet I agree…you know what they say about cheerleaders! tee hee…your wit is amazing!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    What’s wrong with male cheerleaders? In high school I got a varsity letter for grabbing cute girls by the ass and lifting them over my head. Are you jealous?

    Dave

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Dave,
    I can’t see where an analysis of how Bush’s mind works stamps me as an elitist.

    Requiring a modicum of sophistication from a world leader hardly stigmatizes one as an elitist — more likely, as someone who quite sensibly wants said leader to exhibit some ability to appreciate complexity.

    The world is a complex world, and Bush doesn’t appreciate complexity, which is one reason we’re in the mess we’re in.

    Your calling me elitist (perhaps the pot calling the kettle?) doesn’t change that mess one whit. Do return to your usual reasonable self, Nalle. Quit the name-calling. Conservatives usually go to name-calling when they don’t have an argument, like your buddy JustOneMan.
    Adam

  • Nancy

    “Honesty” is not synonymous with W. Bush. Whatever else he may be, including “simple”, he is not honest & never was. Shoot, the guy lies out of both sides of his mouth, sometimes in the same damned speech, and once or twice in the same damned sentence! Additionally, just because he’s oblivious to the mass murder & harm he’s created thru false pretenses and lies does not excuse or absolve him from culpability. It may in a court of law, but then no one gives credibility or respect to lawyers, either, precisely because of their penchant for getting off clients guilty as sin on technicalities spun around intent. At the least, most certainly the blood of the American troops who have died in his fake war is on his hands & his head. I can only hope that divine justice will see to it they’re on his soul as well when he comes to judgement.

  • JustOneMan

    Oh yes Adam….your are so right! That boorish Dave doesnt undertand our of high level of intellect…his simple mind cannot understand how complex the world really is my good fellow…he is stuck in this neanderthal thinking that there are these terrorists who will do anything to destroy this so-called country of ours! These types cannot even comprehend that all we have to do is all believe that Bush is a moron, blame him for everything wrong and not give him credit for anything going well…Why this ignorant Dave truly beleives that we have virtual no unemployment, stock markets at an all time high and not even one terorists attack since 911 …my my…they are so cromagnon in their conservative views

    From The Left…JustOneMan

  • http://mrbounce.blogspot.com/ Mistress La Spliffe

    Interesting article, Adam, and interesting speculations. I love the Hannah Arendt shout-out, something to think on . . . I hope you can seperate the banality of harm from the banality of evil the way you have. For the sake of the United States and its citizens.

    I wonder if the gap between the American head of state and the communication of complicated ideas with the citizenry doesn’t have something to do with the extension of the celebrity system into the presidency.

    The celebrity system has been working in U.S. politics for a long time; it seems to me that the natural conclusion of this is a president like the one you have now who’s no more capable of really coherent communication with his electorate than Britney Spears would be.

    That is, after enough years of personality politics, a candidate or head of state can be presented to the electorate as a package standing for such-and-such, rather than one who is responsible himself for presenting ideas and actively persuading or engaging with the people through debates, press conferences, or open town hall meetings.

    And most people just won’t think of deserving better.

  • Nancy

    Interesting postulate, Ms. La Spiffe, and very true. Few public figures in ANY field since the advent of TV have really been themselves instead of prepackaged, slicked-up, highly spun pieces of merchandising to the consuming public, more as if they were some kind of soft drink or car than an actual person with opinions & policies, and most of them seem to go out of their way to avoid having just those very things, lest they lose votes from some segment of the populace. The end result of course is that you get exactly that: a plastic piece of merchadise formulated by a coalition which doesn’t necessarily have any kind of policies or agendas other than seizing power & keeping it; a figurehead with little or nothing behind it except the personal ambitions of the puppetmasters who choreographed it in the first place, viz. G. W. Bush.

    In light of Adam’s article here, I must say Doonesbury certainly hit W’s persona on the nailhead when he draws W. as nothing more than a sound bite/asterisk signifying nothing.

  • http://www.blogger.com Georgio

    Adam this may be a little off thread because it is about the speech he made yesterday and not the Fox interview but am I the only one who caught this,,,He said we are going to set BENCHMARKS in Iraq as opposed to time-lines or STAY THE COARSE ,,that was supposed to be the BIG MESSAGE to the American ppl..But then the Iraq President comes on TV and says ” NO ONE is going to put benchmarks or tell us what to do WE ARE A SOVEREIGN NATION..and then he added that raid that took place yesterday by the American troops with out my knowledge will not happen again..So my question is this ..didn’t the Iraqi Pres just tell the American Pres to GO FUCK YOURSELF.at the very least it tells me that in the end we will have no say as to what Iraq will become and that we have wasted 3000 of our fighting men lives and Billions of our money and we got nothing for it,,

  • Nancy

    Good point, Georgio – and it gave/gives W. the opportunity to say, in turn, go fuck yourself we’re leaving you to your own devices then; go ahead – defend yourselves. Of course, he won’t, because that would be admitting he was & is & continues to be wrong. Which gets right back to the issue of someone totally out of touch with reality.

  • JustOneMan

    Oh you go girlfriend! Nancy you are so clear in your assessment…we on the Left say to the Iraqi people…Go fend for yourself! If it means the killing of thousands of innocent people and the destruction of your fledgling democracy so be it! As long as we can use it to get Bush to admitting that he was,is & continues to be wrong!

    From The Left…JustOneMan

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    # 26–Dave: Fact or fantasy: Bush has for many months and on multiple occasions articulated his Iraq policy as “stay the course”. Now he says “we’ve never been stay the course”. Who, indeed, is not living in the real world?

  • http://www.blogger.com Georgio

    JOM..I’m so glad you had the good sence to come over to the left but why do you still sound like a fanatical right winger ..You will have to start sounding intelligent and reasonable if you want to be one of us.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    the whole “stay the course” bit is just too much….

    Bush had mentioned “stay the course” over 40 times in broadcast speeches/press conferences

    yet now it’s “we’ve never been about “stay the course”…echoed by shill Tony Snow…then Snow comes out and claims only 8 mentions

    so it appears WH staffers either can’t count and don’t save W’s speeches

    or…

    somebody is..:::gasp::: fibbing

    Excelsior?

  • JustOneMan

    Georgio – thanks for the welcome…I just have to take my time maybe start smoking large quantities if pot, switch to a Vegan diet while I wear my leather jacket shoes and belt, maybe some xtc on weekends, by a prius and fly on my private Jet, go to a couple of PETA rallies while I take my anti-depressant medication that has been developed via animal testing and ill be there I am sure!

    From the Left—JustOneMan

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Isn’t it bizarre how the Bush lot think they can get away with anything — like nobody notices if they say “stay the course” a gazillion times and then claim they’ve never been about it?

    Nobody in my lifetime was this bizarre in high office. It really boggles the mind. They can’t even take responsibilkity for their own phrases. Talk about being out of touch — they’re out of touch with themselves. If everything they say wasn’t what they meant, what do they mean? Ever?

    What planet are they on? It’s beyond lying and dishonesty — we may have to coin a new word, that may not exist in the English language. What do you call what they’re doing? Fibbing doesn’t cover it. It’s some kind of dreaming, some kind of drifting out of sight, some kind of cosmic oblivion. We need a new word. Anybody got a suggestion?
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Adam….pure genius…why do we all get together and blog and shout at the same time…

    “Liar, Liar Pants On Fire!!”

    Wow wouldnt that raise the level of discourse in this country!

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • http://www.blogger.com Georgio

    Adam our new member JOM has got the answer the word is LIAR ..I am tired of politicians using terms like MISLED or not telling the truth..Kerry is finally using the word to describe Bush and he calls him a LIAR ..if only he would have said it sooner..he does not FIB or mislead us HE LIES call him what he is A LIAR..

  • http://adamash.com Asdam Ash

    JOM
    In comment 45, you get quite funny. Thanks. Once in a blue moon, you hit the spot, but there’s an awful amount of waste along the way.
    Maybe you could guest blog on my blog. Just click on the URL next to my name and leave a comment.
    Adam

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    JoM. Sarcasm becomes you. You should stick with it.

    Dave

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    I like the way Dave Nalle drops in and accuses the author, who is merely passing on some impressions and ideas, of “elitism,” which everyone knows has become a right-wing code word for someone who actually thinks. This article tells me a lot more about you than it does about Bush, and the picture it paints is of someone who is a sniveling, intolerant elitist. Not very attractive. That kind of ad hominem attack isn’t like you, Dave. And you don’t even attempt to back up your accusation. Is Adam “elitist” because he points out what everyone in America knows, that Bush is “unsophisticated?” If not, then what did you mean?

  • JustOneMan

    Jon..you tell him how dare Dave…that illiterate low life defending that knuckle dragging president of his! We on the left are so much more aware of who is and isnt intelligent…why just the other day I was watching the evening Liberal “Gospel Reading and News” by that genius Jon Stewart as I was reading for the 5th time Al Frankens wonderful literature “Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”…oh my he is up there with Shakespeare!

    Such an unsophisticated lot these Republicans!

    From The Left…JustOneMan

  • http://www.blogger.com Georgio

    Oh my God..the LIARS are back already …Read my comment on #38…Now Tony Snow said that the PM of Iraq did not say what he said even though I saw and heard him say it on TV..Snow now says his comment was lost in transmission and taken out of context ,,LIARS

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    I’m with Jon on this one. Adam wasn’t pretending to do the authoritative psychological analysis of the Bushman, he was raising questions and offering potential rationales for Bush’s bizarre behavior.

    As for JOM, he just rearranges the same words over and over again to attack his phantoms, so I suppose we should tolerate it in the hopes that he gets so confused, he forgets where BC is.

    But I’d expect you to be more specific in your criticisms, Dave. I don’t know how much of Adam’s speculations are true–I do know that he got me thinking about Bushie’s behavior in a different way–and that’s a good thing.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Jon, this article made me even more physically ill than Adam’s usual writings. It’s creepy and unwholesome and horribly bigoted. My issue is not with his repetition of the usual ridiculous talking points about Bush, but with his disdain with any part of our culture which doesn’t fit into his east coast leftist elite viewpoint of the world. I grew up in that culture and was lucky enough to move out into the world and into the rest of the country and have my horizons expanded. It depresses me to see someone who is still steeped in that bigotry and totally unaware of how mindlessly intolerant he is.

    I try scrupulously to avoid saying that anyone who lives here ‘hates america’, but Adam has convinced me that he hates most Americans and their values, and that adds up to very much the same thing.

    Read this paragraph again:

    Bush was a gulf away from them because of one big quality, or lack thereof: he came across as utterly unsophisticated. He was to a different manor — nay, universe — born. So much so, he bordered on the simple-minded. He conversed on the level of a high-school C student. My companion was so disgusted by what she called this “low-end” quality that she left the room.

    If you can read that and not find the condescension built into it repulsive, then perhaps you’re drinking from the same well of loathing as Adam is.

    All I can say is that if the choice is between the sneering leftist elitism displayed in the article and Bush’s ‘unsophisticated’ facade, then I’ll have to live with the idiotic war and lack of progress on cutting pork, and see what we can do about them in the next two years.

    Dave

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    If you can read that and not find the condescension built into it repulsive, then perhaps you’re drinking from the same well of loathing as Adam is.

    No wells of loathing need be invoked, just a recognition of different perspectives. What’s “elitism” to some is merely the exercise of critical thinking. If I’m an elitist because I’d prefer a President who can think and speak like an educated American, than I’m proud to be an elitist.

  • http://mrbounce.blogspot.com/ Mistress La Spliffe

    That’s not just condescension. There’s a real question, inherent in the ‘came across.’ Adam points out soon after what sort of family Bush came from, and it’s certainly not a family that’s representative of average Americans, nor one that shares their values.

    Or do you consider “Bush’s ‘unsophisticated’ facade” representative of average Americans? That they enjoy being misled about their president’s character? Who’s condescending now?

    And in terms of a great demonstration of mindless intolerance, nice one on suggesting you’d rather live with an idiotic war – one in which your countrymen die – and egregious pork barrel politics than the heartfelt, if “creepy” musings of Americans who disagree with you.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    I mean, “then I’m proud…”

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Dave, How about addressing the substance of the post, if you can, rather than getting in such a twist over the style that offends your populist sensibilities. If your conscience, principles, integrity and loyalty to country allow you to continue to accept docilely an idiotic war, wasting your tax dollars on pork and debt, sleeping with Falwell and Robertson, and blithely ignoring neocon expansionism of government bureacracy and power over you, then by all means support the Buffoon-in-Chief.

  • RedTard

    Bush must have something going for him if he drives the leftist nuts to this level of hatred. It must really piss off Adam and his ilk that this unsophisticated idiot has outsmarted them at every turn, from Yale scores to being reelected president.

    BTW, that shit about how listening to the president made your pansy elitist ass so ill you had to leave the room is hilarious. Keep informing the masses how out of touch you are from reality. I’ll do my part by posting and keeping this garbage at the top of the heap.

  • RedTard

    “ignoring neocon expansionism of government bureacracy and power over you”

    Taking of money through taxes = power over you. Democrats promise higher taxes which means more government power. The lost ability to have phone sex with someone in Torra Borra without worrying about being listened to is insignificant compared to the loss of property rights. Most of the leftist talking point ‘rights’ are theoretical bullshit with either zero or a tiny handful of victims.

    The real lost property rights effect thousands or millions and are easily verifiable. The Kelo vs New London decision being the most recent. Left leaning groups also fight property owners for rent control, to stop land use on environmental grounds, and for additional government intrusion into areas of the free market for ‘our own good’.

  • Bill B

    The whole stay the course thing is pretty bizarre. It’s either a calculated attempt to snuggle up to the ‘benchmark’ (see timeline/cut & run) thing as if it were where they were purposefully heading all along, or the leader of the free world is seriously nuts.

    The first really requires some heavy duty intellectual calisthenics (not to mention amnesia), the second is just plain scary.

    I tend to think the first but the problem is that there has been so much that our pres has uttered that, while not directly pointing to the nuts angle, definitely points toward the detached somewhat simplistic and superficial and yes unsophisticated, that it’s only a stones throw to psychotic.

    Now I don’t believe that but who knows.

    Even if it is the first, exactly how stupid do they think we are?

    He’s strayed so far from the ranch that if he were to come right out and say

    “Yes that’s right, circumstances have changed and we feel we need to adjust our strategy in order to bring about the best possible outcome for the US, the people of Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole and we feel this is the best way to get Iraq to stand up so we may stand down”

    he’d probably get a 20 point approval jump because people would finally see that he’d drank some reality koolaid.

    That’s how far he and his yes men cabal have drifted.

    I thought your article was interesting Adam.

    I think Dave may be spearheading a new vein of pc; You’re an America hating, elitist, east coast, pinko if you dare call a spade a spade. I do think the quote he cited was an example of you putting forth a strong opinion, but it was tasteful.

    I should note I’ve seen this ridiculousness before.

    You’re an elitist and intolerant if you exhibit any disgust with the narrow, intolerant, exclusive *values* of the religious right.

    Frankly I’m sick of it.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    I always find it bizarre when people who have more money than me call me elitist.

    With the exception of one or two CEOs, all the Fortune 500 CEO’s are Republicans. How the hell can Republicans call Democrats elitist?

    I’m sure Nalle makes more money than me and probably has shares and extra capital socked away. Me, I’m struggling from month to month, but I’m the goddam elitist.

    Listen, I can’t afford to be elitist. I can’t see plays, they’re out of my range. I get my books from the library. Sometimes I’m so broke I take my last twenty bucks and buy tuna in cans so I know I can eat a can of tuna a day for the next 13 days, and not starve.

    Me elitist? Nalle, you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve never seen the inside of an opera house or hung out in a five-star gourmet restaurant in my life. Such elite things are beyond my humble existence.

    You’re the elitist. Your smug, personal, ad hominem, and uncalled-for attack on me proves it. I don’t have the elitism to call anyone out of the blue “a sniveling, intolerant elitist.”

    But you sure do. I bet, if we took a BC poll, and used this particular discussion as evidence, most BCers would agree with me.

    Adam

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Red: I couldn’t agree more that the power to tax is the power to destroy. So, would you like to talk about the billions of our tax (and borrowed) dollars wasted on an “idiotic” war, and grabbed for pork by the Bush neocon ‘left-wingers’?

  • JustOneMan

    Adam how right you are! How dare these people who make more money than you! These elitist probably didnt even smoke pot excessively, had the nerve to work and study hard, even show up for work on time an sober! How pathetic they are as they saved their money invested wisely and purchased a nice house! While the rest of us liberals sit here at the bus stop reading our library books as we go down town to score some crack and cheap beer!

    This just proves how out of touch these damn Republicans are!

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • BriMan

    JOM-
    Thanks for the masquerade – it confirms the right’s acceptance of straw men with forked tongues. Entertaining to be sure, vacuous to be certain, mind-numbingly idiotic as the cherry on top. You need a hobby – something that will grow glial cells or extra layers of epidermis.

    Adam-
    Dave is not an elitist – he is even worse – an apologist for the elitists. If you steal the language of the left, you are smarter than they are – that’s his MO.

    The RW has been so wrong so often that they have lost the ability to properly determine the right course of action. We can see that in Shrub’s (downplayed to be sure) reactionist rhetoric of late – the deep state of denial, the continuing use of the boogieman under the bed, denying the denial, revising the history of their own making, talking accountability while passing the buck, and my favorite rationalization of all – the WMDs are there – we just havent found them yet! These people are consummate victims of their own groupthink – willing reality to bend to their perspective. It is kinda sad is what it is. Their actions have had serious consequences for all of us to be sure but I really feel sorry for them that they are so “out -of -the- loop” of what people think about what they are doing – not just domestically but all over the world.

    Time to let the apologists take over the thread again.

  • RogerMDillon

    “Wow wouldnt that raise the level of discourse in this country!”

    Right. Because you have done so much towards that pursuit.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I always find it bizarre when people who have more money than me call me elitist.

    You make the mistake of confusing elitism with wealth. There’s not an automatic connection there. Plenty of people have worked hard and become wealthy and still retain ties to their roots and retain respect for other people. And there are plenty of others who aren’t wealthy who are arrogant enough to think that their intellect or their particular set of beliefs or where they live of their lifestyle make them better than others.

    It’s not a matter of wealth at all, it’s all about whether you think you’re inherently superior to others. Hell, I know some people who think that the fact that they have not pursued wealth makes them superior to the wealthy.

    With the exception of one or two CEOs, all the Fortune 500 CEO’s are Republicans.

    Let’s see a source for that. Last I checked the wealthiest people in America are overwhelmingly democrats.

    Here’s a list of the top 10 with their political affiliation:

    Bill Gates – Independent/Democrat
    Warren Buffett – Democrat
    Sheldon Adelson – Republican
    Larry Ellison – Democrat
    Paul G. Allen – Democrat

    Most of these guys donate money to both political parties, but those identified here as Republican or Democrat gave overwhelmingly to the indicated party. Gates and Buffett make very few political contributions and gates splits his fairly evenly despite being nominally a democrat.

    How the hell can Republicans call Democrats elitist?

    Because of the overwhelming arrogance and attitude of unmerited superiority which they assume when they look down on lesser beings?

    I’m sure Nalle makes more money than me and probably has shares and extra capital socked away. Me, I’m struggling from month to month, but I’m the goddam elitist.

    Isn’t it ironic. A good example of how elitism has little to do with money.

    Me elitist? Nalle, you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve never seen the inside of an opera house or hung out in a five-star gourmet restaurant in my life. Such elite things are beyond my humble existence.

    Those are all just material things. They don’t define elitism in any way. They are just stuff you can buy.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    anybody else find it Ironic that Dave is tossing around the whole “elitist” thing…

    when his own blog is titled “the Elitist Pig”

    mebbe it’s just me…

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s called intentional irony, gonzo.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    but i do so love the graphic, Dave

    we’ll have to get you a nice powdered Whig fer Xmas

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    I have spent many of commutes after listening to one of his speeches on the radio, consumed with the very question that you have addressed. HOW??

    I think that it is impossible for a man who thinks to be able to decipher what goes on in a simple mind. I think that you may have over “thunk” it because you think.

    I truly believe that our President is just a simple minded man. You’ve met them. You start a conversation with them and you think that it is going to go somewhere but all you get are a revolving turnstile of weak proverbs most of whom barely relate to the topic at hand. You end up giving up trying to have a real conversation and end up nodding, feeling a real liking to them and somehow admiring them for being so simple and yet being so ernest. These men, often very nice and likeable, have developed a coping mechanism. Not really understanding the world, they have learned that people are impressed by sayings, aphorisms, maxim, dictums, truisms or clichés; especially if they are stated as if they are based on a larger truth which we all acknowledge (which they have no real grasp of either).

    He’s learned a few tricks. I think those same tricks worked for him in his frat-like social environment. They worked for him certainly after 911 when everyone was looking for the next best slogan to “heal” the nation. When the war started, all hell broke loose with those tiny chunks of cleverness!

    Listening to his speeches, the use of these slogans is used to replace content. “Stay the course” IS the speech; so is “cut and run”, “axis of evil”, “evil doers”….. What confirms my suspicion is how he will pause after dropping one of these “nuggets” and look up real proudly bouncing up and down a little and smirking at the audience as if to check for their level of impressed-ness.

    I don’t even believe that he understands “faith”. I think he knows that it is something good that people say you are supposed to do if you are good too.

    I think that he is a simple minded man who has been placed in a very powerful position and he is just doing what he has always done, WING IT.

    Reagan used them too……

    So did Forest Gump……

  • Zedd

    Dave: “east coast leftist elite viewpoint of the world”

    Where I’m from they just call it….. THINKING and I’m not from the east coast.

    Incase you weren’t aware, that phrase was made up by spin doctors for simple minded people to use, to refer to anyone who thinks and whos ideas they don’t agree with. It is a well thought out phrase and it was deceminated with thought and precission. Like a missle it made its target to your brain and now you spit it out as if it was your own and you have an entire philosophy behind it… You were fed it subtlely, so that that the real elite may gain power over you, run your country, send our boys and young ladies to be killed all so they can get another notch on their belts (nothing more). If you can pry your mind from the blarring of their bull (no pun intended) horn, chose your most original thoughts.

  • Bill B

    You nailed it here Zedd

    Listening to his speeches, the use of these slogans is used to replace content. “Stay the course” IS the speech; so is “cut and run”, “axis of evil”, “evil doers”….. What confirms my suspicion is how he will pause after dropping one of these “nuggets” and look up real proudly bouncing up and down a little and smirking at the audience as if to check for their level of impressed-ness.

    also here

    Where I’m from they just call it….. THINKING and I’m not from the east coast.

    Incase you weren’t aware, that phrase was made up by spin doctors for simple minded people to use, to refer to anyone who thinks and whos ideas they don’t agree with. It is a well thought out phrase and it was deceminated with thought and precission.

    It’s one way they energize their base. “Hey, they’re laughing at you! You gonna just sit there!”

  • STM

    Gonzo Marx said: “a nice powdered Whig fer Xmas.”

    Are we sending Dave to the British Parliament? He’d love it there. More hot air than the hand-dryer in a public-bar dunny.

  • http://mindsalot.wordpress.com/2006/10/02/the-magic-porridge-pot-autistic-goverment/ Eleanor

    Zedd said – “You’ve met them. You start a conversation with them and you think that it is going to go somewhere but all you get are a revolving turnstile of weak proverbs most of whom barely relate to the topic at hand. You end up giving up trying to have a real conversation and end up nodding, feeling a real liking to them and somehow admiring them for being so simple and yet being so ernest. These men, often very nice and likeable, have developed a coping mechanism. Not really understanding the world, they have learned that people are impressed by sayings, aphorisms, maxim, dictums, truisms or clichés; especially if they are stated as if they are based on a larger truth which we all acknowledge (which they have no real grasp of either).”

    This same description could be applied to any high functioning Aspergers individual. Not really understanding the world, they compensate by using the strategies you mention. Learning how to impress with sayings and aphorisms is just classic Aspergers.

    When Aspergers’ people get into government you can guess what happens: over-regulation – love for rules and procedures, obsession with targets, “straight line thinking” – focusing specifically on one or two main problems, lots of nominalisations and misunderstood figurative language, taking enormous often dangerous risks, lack of empathy, naivety, difficulty seeing from other peoples perspective and difficulty separating fact from fiction which leads to a reputation of being a liar.

    All these Aspergers traits will naturally influence the resulting policies and political decisions.

    Chaos ensues…

  • Zedd

    Eleanor:

    Strangely enough I actually considered Aspergers among many other alternatives to try and understand this current phenomenon that we’ve come to know as leadership.

    The one thing is that he is too animated. I have people who I am close to who have Aspergers and they tend to be Mr. Spock like and they tend to be inquisitive. Our fearless leader seems to not want to be bothered with “learnin”.

    Perhaps if we all put our minds to it we will come up with something. Thanks to Adam for getting us talking about it out loud instead of wrecking our brains in private or whispering at dinner parties with people who we really trust.

    I had given up and just concluded that he is just simple minded. I often imagine his parents cringing, even wincing during his speeches. I think that sometimes they must just crack up and high five each other thinking “who would ever think that THAT one would ever be president”.

    I cant listen to his speeches. I end up flushed so bad until I get light headed. The cringe factor is way too high. After the comical element (which is priceless amusement!) wears off it gets too be too much. I feel too embarrassed for him.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Dave:
    I checked “elitism” in my dictionary, because I’ve learned to question much that comes out of your computer.
    Here’s what it says:

    Elitism:
    1.the belief that some people or things are inherently superior to others and deserve preeminence, preferential treatment, or higher awards because of their superiority
    2. the belief that government or control should always be in the hands of a small group of privileged, wealthy or intelligent people, or the active promotiuon of such a system
    3. government or control by a small, specially qualified or privileged group

    I sure as hell don’t fall under any of these statements. I don’t think I deserve superior treatment at all in any way, or feel or act privileged at all. I slam Bush, for sure, but I don’t think that makes me elitist — I think that makes me anti-elitist.

    You, on the other hand, ARE elitist, according to all three definitions. For example, you always seem to be going on about how rich people deserve lower taxes than the rest of us, etc.

    I said with the exception of 2 or 3, all the CEO’s on the Fortune 500 are Republicans. Then you change the argument and pick a couple of rich people who are Democrats. Well, I could pick rich people who are Republicans, starting with the Wal-Mart family, and let me tell you, my Republican list will be way longer than the Democratic one.

    Jeez, you argue like a spoilt child — er, elitist.

    Adam

  • Zedd

    Elitists

    I do believe that the Bush’s are actually Yale educated Easterners who have a long “aristocratic” lineage going back to English nobility.

    Our fearless leader says his favorite pass time is clearing brush as if The Ponderosa was in his veins. However notice that he didn’t claim to have a “likin” that takes a lot of expertise, like rustling cattle. Its just clearing brush. You don’t need too much training or actual experience to know how to clear brush.

    Since I don’t have that much property, my hobby is picking up grass clippings.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Zedd:
    Thanks for the grass clippings line. That was pretty damn funny. It’s made my day.

  • troll

    Adam – it’s worse than your examples…Dave has written that the rich (who ‘have the most to loose’ whatever that means) should govern the country

    and that precisely defines an elitist

  • Zedd

    In some strange and perhaps sick way, I’m think I am going to miss the prez.

    Its like we are all in some Madd TV skit or something. Its so funny that you don’t laugh. You are just amazed that you are experiencing it.

    Seriously, its funny exept for the 100,000+ dead souls which makes it just plain Dali(esque). Real sad, dark, shapeless and distorted; depressing and still fascinating like a horrible wreck.

    We will all need therapy after this is all over.
    The party faithful republicans, for a disturbing case of denial. And the rest of us for Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder. For now, we are all just coping.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Zedd:
    What a great comment.
    You’ve nailed how it feels to live in America today.
    “You are just amazed that you are experiencing it.”
    Indeed. I feel we’re all stuck in a Bush distortion of reality, living inside Bush’s butt in a way.
    We will all need therapy after all this over, for sure.
    Adam

  • Nancy

    The question has been posed repeatedly in this thread how the hell Forrest W. Gump was able to attain the presidency? That’s easy: his extremely elitist, extremely wealthy, extremely connected Mummy & Poppy BOUGHT the WH for him, both with money & by calling in favors from their connections on the USSC, who were only too happy to discharge their obligations to Poppy Bush by zeroing out millions of voters’ ballots & throwing the election to Junior. That’s how.

  • Nancy

    The question has been posed repeatedly in this thread how the hell Forrest W. Gump was able to attain the presidency? That’s easy: his extremely elitist, extremely wealthy, extremely connected Mummy & Poppy BOUGHT the WH for him, both with money & by calling in favors from their connections on the USSC, who were only too happy to discharge their obligations to Poppy Bush by zeroing out millions of voters’ ballots & throwing the election to Junior. That’s how. He didn’t NEED any brains to make it to the WH, just as he didn’t need any brains to play BMOC in Texas, didn’t need any brains to play Owner of several sports teams & corporations that subsequently tanked once he got his hands on them, didn’t need any brains to get into an exclusive Rich Boys Social Club & Guard Unit ahead of 60+ other candidates, didn’t need any brains to “gradurate” from Yale, etc. etc. etc. If you ARE among the elite, with lots of money & lots of connections, you don’t NEED brains or the ability to think or even a connection with reality; you can buy anything you want.

    As Gonzo says, nuff said.

  • Nancy

    The question has been posed repeatedly in this thread how the hell Forrest W. Gump was able to attain the presidency? That’s easy: his extremely elitist, extremely wealthy, extremely connected Mummy & Poppy BOUGHT the WH for him, both with money & by calling in favors from their connections on the USSC, who were only too happy to discharge their obligations to Poppy Bush by zeroing out millions of voters’ ballots & throwing the election to Junior. That’s how. He didn’t NEED any brains to make it to the WH, just as he didn’t need any brains to play BMOC in Texas, didn’t need any brains to play Owner of several sports teams & corporations that subsequently tanked once he got his hands on them, didn’t need any brains to get into an exclusive Rich Boys Social Club & Guard Unit ahead of 60+ other candidates, didn’t need any brains to “gradurate” from Yale, etc. etc. etc. If you ARE among the elite, with lots of money & lots of connections, you don’t NEED brains or the ability to think or even a connection with reality; you can buy anything you want.

    What always amazes me is that those who adore him & consider him to be one of themselves don’t seem to realize that he WASN’T born a backwoods redneck from Texas, but is putting on an act, actually doing an imitation – and a very exaggerated one at that – of what HE thinks a Texas Good Ol’ Boy sounds like. His version is not only exaggerated, but downright insulting in its near-mockery & condescention. I’ve noticed that the more he WANTS to offend or get a rise out of opponents, the more exaggerated his TGOB act gets. It’s entirely a put-on. The smirk I always took as a signal that he was saying ‘you all are so damn dumb you don’t even know I’ve just put one over on you’, so brazen that he congratulates himself on getting away with his insults & performances even as he’s speaking them.

    Yes indeed, W. is a piece of work, all right, but I doubt if he’s as innocent as is being speculated. I think he’s just sheer spoiled, selfish, self-centered, and elitist. In fact I KNOW he is, because he himself said baldly only last week that he feels sorry for people who oppose him BECAUSE THEY ARE WRONG. He’s right; he’s superior; he knows; he’s The Decider; everyone else is trash & they’re wrong. Period. If you ain’t with him, you’re against him, and on and on ad nauseam. That there must be some element of psychosis present is indicated by his recent declaration that space is his to restrict from the rest of the world. What next: is he going to pull up a chair on the beach & try to tell the waves not to come in? In his case, the attempt won’t even have the same motive as in the original episode; he’ll mean it.

    Of course, to enforce & support his delusions of grandeur, he’s been able to buy himself the services of the very best of the Low, the nadir of the mean-spirited and sociopathic, such as Cheney – a direct Gift from Poppy Bush – and Rove, who likewise worked for Poppy, except that Poppy had the good sense & shred of taste to fire Rove’s butt as soon as he found out what Rove truly was like. Cheney, of course, brought with him his own little neocon coterie, all more than willing to lick Georgeboy’s gen-yoo-wine Texas boots in order to gain control & impliment their regime, with W. a willing puppet.

    This is the sorry state of our union. We’re being lead by a shiftless, self-absorbed elitist who’s been denied nothing in his entire life, and has had to answer to nobody for anything, no matter how bad his failures, backed by a full chorus of outright psychopathically agressive yes-men, none of whom has had to live or work in the Real World in which bad decisions have to be paid for by themselves instead of others, hence their nonchalance at sending 3,000 US soldiers to death & thinking nothing of keeping them there even if it means another 3,000 – or 30,000 – or 300,000 have to die as well in order to carry out their selfish & perverted private goals. This administration is composed entirely of elitists; they prove it daily by their attitude of righteousness & certainty of superiority to rule.

  • Nancy

    …??????!!!!! What th’ hell? Sorry, all. I did NOT press any buttons asking the computer to post whilst I was still composing. Don’t know what’s going on here. I wonder if my computer was made by Diebold…?

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Nancy, it was probably your head falling repeatedly onto your keyboard as you staved off the exhaustion that comes from trying to argue with some of the nuttiness that has appeared on this thread.

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Nancy another fantastic post! Your insights are breath taking! But Nancy you and I are of the “same mind” we have the same understanding of Bush and his evil ways..why he tried to get me too,,,but it was the strawberries

    Ahh, but the strawberries that’s… that’s where I had Bush. He laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with… geometric logic… that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I’d have produced that key if Bush hadn’t of pulled the country out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow Americans…

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • Zedd

    Nancy: I think he’s just sheer spoiled, selfish, self-centered, and elitist.

    I agree with you on this one also. But I have to add, a DUMB one.

    As for being spoiled, selfish and self centered, my friends in TX who have worked in law firms that have had dealings with the Bushes say just that. From the time he was in his late twenties when his dad was trying to get him into the business, he would request a document at the last minute that would have the entire law firm staying in way after hours then he’d come in several hours late, in his convertable while every one had been waiting for him to come in to evaluate then sign off on the document so that they could all go home. He would swing in all hyped, frat like and self important like a rich snot, treat the front office ladies like crap, spin in without even looking at the document, sign and leave….. Like the entire thing was just an extension of an ongoing party that he was at, yet people had been there till the wee hours of the night having to make arragements for their kids care, etc but he had no sensativity. It was his world with his rules. Not an ounce of gratitude. Perhaps he had to “giddy up and mosey (in his convertable) on back to the ranch to clear sum brush”.

    Or perhaps this is when he was drinking heavily….

  • Zedd

    Dave sez: Because of the overwhelming arrogance and attitude of unmerited superiority which they assume when they look down on lesser beings?

    So there are such creatures as lessor beings within the human family? Would that be an elitist view or is this you using irony again??

  • JustOneMan

    Zedd..oh how right you are ….I have a few stories myself about this little rich kid…like the time he was driving home from a party and ran off the road into the water and left a women there to drown…walked back to the party and had a couple of Chivas Regals and didnt tell the police till the next day…the nerve of them…

    Why cant they be more like our party’s royal family the Kennedy’s

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Zedd, that would be me explaining how an elitist views the proletariat. See Adam’s definition posted earlier and then compare the 1st entry in that definition with his statements. Then you’ll have both a definition and a matching example.

    Dave

  • Martin Lav

    “If Bush were machine gunning nuns from a window in the White House, 30% of the public would believe they were terrorists and if he screwed pigs on the lawn of the White House, they’d believe he was practicing a newly discovered Christian sacrament.”

    Geoff the blogger

  • Martin Lav

    The author touched on a very key point here that has nothing to do with elitism or the silver spoon in his mouth, it is his “dry drunk syndrome”. It is well documented that typcical
    “1 steppers” (becoming born again) as AA members typically call them, exhibit many of the characteristics of our President. The AA 12 step program has 12 steps that are designed to allow the alcholic to live life on life’s terms without the aid of alcohol.
    The typical 1 stepper approach does not provide these tools and therefore the untreated, non-drinking alcoholic continues to exhibit many of the signs listed below:

    – grandiose
    – impatience
    – abrasive, short
    – stubborn, unwilling to change course
    – frustration with things not going there way

    The typical un-treated alcoholic would much prefer to be right than happy. The opposite of someone that shows acceptance and tranquility.

  • JustOneMan

    Oh martin so true! No if he were gunning down Rabbis or Mullahs we would know they were terrorist! He would declare a national holday and I am sure our Dems in congress and the senate would support him on that! After all we all know that Israel was behind 911!

    From The Left…JustOneMan

  • Zedd

    JustOneMan:

    I appreciate everyone’s views especially because it allows me the privilege of getting a sense of what my world is like and how different people interpret things.

    However I just wonder if your goal is to be an agitator. I’m guessing because you know that you will be out smarted if you actually express then argue for your own views.

    I actually suspect that you don’t really have any views other than those that have been reformulated by the spin doctors to those in our population that haven’t mastered the art of reasoning or just haven’t been exposed to a wide enough variety of thought enough to have real opinions.

    Your comments smack on paranoia. None of your ideas about dems or liberals EXIST. They were just made up by really powerful people who wanted to fool you into voting a certain way so that they can remain rich, because they think we who are not to the manner born, are fools and really quite irrelevant. Rush is another pawn. The spin experts who work for the elite, understood Rush’s profile. Ever wonder why they didn’t anoint a Harvard grad as THE spokes person for right wing views. They know that he was a wanna be and that he NEEDED to be in the loop, he needed to feel like somebody and that he didn’t have the reasoning skills to see what they were doing (using him). He was just glad to be in the loop.

    I don’t vote just democrat. I am not a joiner. I listen to the candidates ideas; their solutions… not emotional banter, you know.. Flag blah blah blah, sports analogies blah blah, God bless America (not everyone else… what a joke) blah blah blah… Basically what statements like that mean is NOTHING. When they do that they are just filling in time so that you think that they said something. How does a flag fix ANYTHING, feed ANYONE, pay anyone’s BILLS, and secure ANYONE?? Off course it doesn’t. They know that but they also know that certain people will get distracted by a discussion on a flag and feel as if they (the candidate) said something profound and that they are capable to hold an important office (after all they love the flag.. What??). It’s not as if there is one flag and it is holy and is revered for its powers. There are millions of them, most of them made in China. The flag is just an idea. It’s not a real thing but that is how they get people like you. They are fully aware of what they are doing too (they are Ivy League grads).

    So why am I ranting…

    You seem like a really earnest, committed and salt of the earth sort of guy but I don’t know if you know just how small, used, unintelligent and brainwashed you sound. I don’t know if you notice that most people sort of play around with you like a cat with a toy mouse on a stick. If there is no fascinating dialogue they sort of lightly swat at you…

    You can certainly keep up with what you do but you really sound uneducated. These people just smirk at you. I wasn’t going to reply to you because I thought that you weren’t worth it because of your seemingly low aptitude but I had to straighten myself out and realize that we are all in this together. The politicians work for us. I need not roll my eyes at your posts and not say anything to you. If you don’t get the big picture, it’s really up to another fellow American to clue you in.

    We all on this blog have a lot more in common than most politicians… Get clued in fellow.

    I hope you really understand the motivation of my post. I realize that I will come across as being arrogant and that is not my intension.

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Zedd thank-you for your constructive critisisms. You are slowly becoming my Left Wing Idol! [Personal attack deleted] Why your words of encouragement only prove to me that I have made the right choice in switching sides…

    Oh and thank-you for enlightening me that my left wing buddies in here are playing with me like a cat with a toy mouse….gee your are really smart! Does that mean I have to stop shitting in their food and water bowls?

    Zedd thank you for your help you have proven once again that the left wing dumbs are so much smarter than us fools who wasted our time getting our MBA when we should have been listening to music and doing ETC!

    From the left….JustOneMan

  • JustOneMan

    And Zedd arrogant no way!

  • Zedd

    JOM et all:

    I did come off a bit arrogant didn’t I.

    I’ve often wondered what they do to students in the Business schools of America. How is it that so many of their graduates come out as if they did not have a comprehensive college education?

    Perhaps they treat the liberal arts as a tolerated nuisance. I remember just how arrogant and yet thick the business students were when I was in school. In that sort of jock, high school quarterbacks way. They would take a Philosophy class thinking that it was going to be a breeze. They would waist class time arguing with the professor over meaningless points, totally missing the purpose of the exercise. They would brag about being “A types” and “bottom liners”. About how they just wanted to get to the point. Not grasping the Socratic process. They’d interrupt saying “so what’s the answer?” looking board and impatient. If they were business majors who were evangelicals… oh boy.

    This was in the early 90s when talk radio was in its hay day and Liberal Arts was thought to be the next thing to communism; liberal elitist brainwashing camps.

    The students from the Science departments were fully engaged but many of the business students rolled their eyes through entire experience.

    So without an APRECIATION for history, political science, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy how does one feel knowledgeable about social phenomenon. How do they feel competent about the mechanics of political systems if they have a disdain for the knowledge of the mechanism…

    These groups especially in my neck of the woods where BUSINESS is king, view capitalism, entrepreneurialism, and all that is corporate as HOLY. That which pertains to humanity and culture is most interesting if it is carved in an emotional package, wrapped around an iconic image of some sort. However if it is dealt with straight forward with causality in the equation, it is evil, liberal and deserves to be ridiculed, ala Rush, JOM, O’Reilly and the Fox gang.

    I never understood it.

    But again it may have been the era in which I went to University or it may just be my neck of the woods, where we wish we could live the movie Wall Street.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Zedd, expressing yourself intelligently and from the heart is not arrogance, it’s integrity.

  • nugget

    Zedd said:

    I truly believe that our President is just a simple minded man. You’ve met them. You start a conversation with them and you think that it is going to go somewhere but all you get are a revolving turnstile of weak proverbs most of whom barely relate to the topic at hand. You end up giving up trying to have a real conversation and end up nodding, feeling a real liking to them and somehow admiring them for being so simple and yet being so ernest. These men, often very nice and likeable, have developed a coping mechanism. Not really understanding the world, they have learned that people are impressed by sayings, aphorisms, maxim, dictums, truisms or clichés; especially if they are stated as if they are based on a larger truth which we all acknowledge (which they have no real grasp of either).

    This is funny because it’s only half true. Growing up in the deep south, I was immersed in this type of convoluted social line of defense. Some of these men are in fact simple-minded. Others are not, but remain slyly apathetic to a theatrical “thinker’s” obvious judgement. This way your presumption of their idiocy is a playing card in their hand, not yours. I’m reminded of a girl I knew that had a fantastic voice. On top of being shy, humble, and staunchly conservative, she never cared about the glory. Unfortunately, no one will ever experience her charisma, stage presence, and sheer talent. The woman sounds like Kathleen Battle for crissakes. If push came to shove, and she HAD to sing to live, I’m sure she would as a consequence put many stars to shame. Unfortunately for the art world, she’ll remain your average American Jane. She’ll count your bills as a bank teller, sell Mary Kay products, and go home to her husband at the end of the day.

    I’m also reminded of a furniture salesman that hated conversations that stretched beyond a paragraph. He loved spouting off such truisms, only he was very funny, and more intelligent than he led on. In the end I understood that he wanted such thoughts to remain private. That’s very much how the deep South copes with divisive rhetoric. They just wear some pretense on their shoulder to get along, not necessarily to avoid truth. It works both ways, I reckon.

    Albeit, I’d be careful (Zedd) how sure you are that some men are “simple.”

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    I started to type up a comment here, and it turned into a stand-alone column, Double Secret Bush Agent Adam Ash and the Banality of Moonbats

  • Zedd

    Nugget:

    Please don’t misunderstand me. First I have to make it known that I am not ridiculing anyone. And from my personal experience, there is a difference between the two types of people that we describe. The people you describe are people that I have also known ,even uncles of mine. They actually posses a great deal of wisdom and in the few words that they utter they can convey a lot. You are right, they tend to slyly spit out something here and there but you can detect that they are a lot wiser then they let on. They are just shy. And don’t want to be bothered. Like you said, there is a lot of humar in their statements. Not the yuck yuck kind but subtle often teasing that sometimes takes you a second to get.

    I got it….. JEDD CLAMPIT. Off course not as back woods but you get the picture. Wise with very little said.

    I wouldn’t put GW in that category. I dont think he’s sly, shy or creative. I think he’s just winging it. I think he doesn’t know that he shouldn’t put himself in these positions. I mean he was CEO, Govenor then President. (????) Its Forrest Gump all over again. He’s just chuckling and sloganeiring his way through.

    This is just my sense.

  • nugget

    Zedd: That’s more clear, and I agree.

  • Zedd

    Al I didn’t follow your remarks.

    You don’t like the prez and the republicans because they have not lead the country well but you hate the demz because if they had a chance to rule you think they might to worse?

    Why do you think that?? I missed that in the peice.

    Also you think that Adam is a double agent, posing as a dem to raise up the rep base.

    WOW this base seems to need a lot of stimulation. Everything is being done to wake them up, most of it involves tricking them it seems (or just lies). They must be really reluctant to vote or just not wanting to vote for the available candidates if it takes such extreme efforts where like Fouste you sell your soul to the devil just to get them up and to the polls.

    Its reassuring however to know that republicans know that they are being blatantly tricked and lied to by their leaders in order to get them to vote for them. For so long I thought ….. “they cant see it?” Wheeeew. So you do see it and you dont care, atleast they are not dems, right?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I think Al’s quandry is wondering why people like Adam say such blatantly idiotic things which make them and their cause look ridiculous and benefit their political enemies when they could just shut up and let the GOP destroy itself without their ham-handed intervention.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Why should Demz be scared to speak their minds because the Republicans may get mad and decide to vote? I’ve heard the Fox dumbells (sorry but it is sooooo true) say this over and over. Is this another rep strategy of “if you say it often enough it becomes reality”? Its silly.

    Look the base is already going to vote.
    A person like Adam WILL attract the disenchanted Republican. Those are your swing votes. Worry about them. Young urban professionals are who you need to coddle. Even they are sick of your BASE. They think they are a bunch of kooks.

    Have you ever thought that Adam may be envibing the demz. There is so much that Liberals have felt like they couldn’t say in these past years. Reading Adam is like getting a cool and refreshing drink of water. He is is great because he goes further than most people would dare go. He is comical and brilliant. He doesn’t take himself too seriously which makes him that much more interesting, smart and apealing.

    Demz and swinging Repz have been saying “What the????” regarding Bush since he took office. Adam went there and did a detailed analysis while making us laugh the entire time. It’s priceless and it gave so many of us, as you can tell from the comments, a chance to exhale.

    Just an unrelated thought…..
    Why do Fox reporters always look disshevled like they have been running from the cops and just stopped into the studio to make a quick report. Not only them but Rumsfeld, and Bolton. Lets not forget that guy who was originally nominated for homeland security tsar. Whats with the pervert creep look. Brit Hume looks drunk, we know what O’Reilly’s been doing. They look like they are living heavily in SIN.. is it just me??? Maybe.. Like John Stossel of ABC. Keep your eyes peeled on that one. Thats not going to end well. They’ll find a Laosian midget tied up in his basement in compromising pictures with a duck.

  • http://adamash.com Adam Ash

    Zedd:
    Thanks for your kind words. We do what we can.
    You’ve set me thinking: maybe I could turn my anti-Bush pieces into a one-man show. Make people laugh themselves into some enlightenment. Could be a lot of fun.
    Adam

  • JustOneMan

    Oh Jet how right you are! In fact you have become the Poster Boy of Left Wing Integrity that has motivated me to switch parties…thank you emlightening me.

    The more I embrace my new left wing Dmocractic party I am begining feel….feel…well so much better and smarter than anyone on the right! Before I use to struggle with using reality and facts to justify my beliefs. Now that I am on the left facts and reality no longer matter! Gee why did I wait so long!

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    JustOneMan, much as I endorse your new role as joker of the week, as a long frustrated observer of the incredibly and increasingly insular American political scene, I must take a slight exception to your point – it’s a long time since either of your leading parties had any meaningful relationship with reality or facts, to the entire planet’s loss.

  • JustOneMan

    Chris???? Now I am really confused…didnt our party rally around that great american president reagardless of the fact that he looked all of the world in the eyes or that he, while under oath also lied…or the fact that we believe that somebody voted for something before they voted against it…or we democrats call Jimmy Carter one of Americas greatest presidents, or as the stock market booms, unemployment is at zero, minority home ownership is at an historic high and oil prices plummet we – “the democrats” are told by our leadership to scream the sky os falling the sky is falling”

    Please help me understand what I am to believe in…

    From The Left….JustOneMan

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I’ve been reading the comments here along with the article. I remember back to 2000 reading Bush’s bio and finding out that he had tried to quit cold turkey from drugs.

    I had gone to a few AA meetings as well as meetings from another anonymity group that is quite similar. I have a working knowledge of the twelve step program.

    After watching him a few times in 2000 both before and after his election, the conclusion dry drunk came through loud and clear. The fact that he ran several businesses into the ground and barely knew squat about anything told me the guy wasn’t smart enough to be president.

    And Dave, I have conducted quite a few job interviews and you get a very clear picture of a person in one minute.

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy…Its always grand to hear from you our “Left Wing Prophet”. Yes, you are credit to our party! And dont forget to maik your ballot!

    Ruvy, pray tell, based upon your extensive interviewing experiece I am sure you may be aware and may even have first hand experience of Israeli standards and protocols of interviewing towel boys at Gay Bath Houses and for public urinal clean up so please go on…what else can you tell “just by looking” at Bush!

    WOW! I am even more amazed that we on the left are not only of superior intellect but have super powers such as yours?

    From The Left…JustOneMan

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    JOM,

    The act gets old. Real fast. Try sitting yourself down, opening up a word document and writing real satire, if that is what you really want to do. It don’t mattter to me what side you take. If it disgusts me, believe me, I’ll let you know. And I’ll also let you know if I like it. Otherwise, stick to the (un)real deal – or is it diehl?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Dave Nalle summarizes the point of my response nicely in comment 105. That Mr Ash thinks folks might “laugh their way to enlightenment” by reading cheap anti-intellectual nonsense like this “banality of harm” column is indicative of why the Democrats are in such trouble.

    A few moonbats might look at stuff like this and laugh, but it’s not because it’s funny or witty, joyful or at all insightful. It won’t be pleasure or real enjoyment, but the bitter satisfaction of shared hatred.

    Meanwhile, even most people who don’t much care for the president would look at this shallow smugness and hatefulness and avert their eyes. Yuck. If voters look at it as a choice between bumbling Republicans versus the likes of Adam Ash and the Daily Kos, even a lot of nominal Democrats will hold their noses and pull the Republican lever. That’s a big part of the reason these schmucks have held on to Congress as long as they have.

    Zedd, do please note that I am not a Republican. I am a Libertarian. I have run for office repeatedly against Republicans. Specifically, I have never, ever voted for anyone named Bush.

  • JustOneMan

    Ruvy…thank you for your kind words..again the intellect on the left is so overwhelming…its nice to know how to treat a fellow lefty! WOW!

    From The Left…JustOneMane

  • Zedd

    Al

    Libertarians I get. However not of the G. Gordon Liddy variety…. Too angry and don’t know when to compromise and look at the big picture.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yes Zedd, I’m hip to “don’t know when to compromise.” I’ve probably erred a bit on the side of being too strident at times. Plus, I will admit to liking G Gordon Liddy.

    Some of our people can go a little overboard. Ideology can trip you right up- even if it’s a good idea. Dogma is dangerous, like the Kevin Smith movie.

    I try to be as careful as possible to check my ideological expectations against observed facts on the ground- but then you also have to be real careful about not torturing reason to make the facts fit the ideological model.

  • Bliffle

    “I thought to myself: how can this unsophisticated man come from the Bush family? His father is sophisticated. The family is a blue-blood, Yale-bred, upper-class lot.”

    I think he’s just lazy. IMO, early in life he discovered that he could coast by, even in Yale, because of his family.

  • Zedd

    Al

    I am not sure if I have an ideological model. I don’t if you’ve noticed but I haven’t spoken much about my ideology.

    I am personally vexed by apathy, dogma, and infelxibility. I am invigorrated by nuance; causial processing, refined deductive reasoning, humor, empathy, caused by a respect for the big picture.

    Because so many of us today are “locked in” its often assumed when I disagree with an individuals views that I automatically have a dislike for their party. As if their personal opinion about a specific situation, is automatically the opinion of millions who are members of their party. That is just odd to me.

    This mode of thinking is most prevelant in the Republican party. When Newt started the “revolution” his intention was to mobilize conservatives and give them as one force. It was during this erra that the “talking points” were established. One message being repeated over and over by everyone in the party so that the party faithful could identify one another by their codes. But moreso, the purpose was to demonize those who held views that fell outside of the established dogma. They used to call that the use propagand to brainwash the masses into unbridled loyalty. We saw it in dictatorships (you are either with us or against us). To Newts credit, he admitted a month or so ago that he never anticipated that things would go so far. He expressed displeasure with the extent of parisanship that is caused by this phenominon.

    I guess my ideology would involve something like, smile at people when you catch their eye…

  • Zedd

    Al there are a lot of errors in my last post. More than ussual I didn’t feel like editing but I think you get the sense of what I was trying to say. I don’t think that I would have caught them because my brain is working rather slowly today. This by no means that I was not commited to responding to you respectfully or commited to my statement. Im just pooped.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Totally cool Zedd. I try not to presume too much about a person’s thinking based on one or two points, and I will particularly note not to do so with you. Plus, I’m hip to nuance and ambivalence.

    I might suggest gently that Brother Ash seems to be significantly lacking in nuance. Pretty much everyone who is not retarded has some ideological elements- ideas that they believe in. You about have to in trying to make some sense of the world. Some are more subtle and others just a lot more strident than others. I try to be more self-critical and restrained, though all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God.

  • Martin Lav

    Ash makes a very good observation that has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof (can any old idiot fly a plane?) and that is the “dry drunk” syndrome.

    Ruvy also touches upon it and I think that is the biggest issue with this man.

    I know a lot about it and Mr. Bush, though not drinking, needs a drink real bad….

  • Michael O’Connor

    I think what you have written is worthy in this respect: it shows that you are thinking about a very important person and some very important events. I also appreciate you admission that you really have not yet put your finger on the key to understanding the President. I appreciate your humble candor. However, we must also admit that from then on all is to some degree just speculation. (In order to avoid that impression, cite hard evidence to bolster your pronouncements. In some cases I read speculations and prejudices when I was hoping for insight.)

    Your comments also remind me of Reagan’s biographer, Edmund Morris, who also commented that he never really understood Ronald Reagan. It seems to me that when one is deeply motivated by a very spiritual relationship with God, secularists,New Agers, materialists, liberal theologians, atheists, agnostics, etc., don’t have a clue nor are they capable of understanding someone who has been smitten by God. Such commentators focus on the outer appearances, the outer acts, and outer words, the weaknesses and deficiencies, but they fail to understand the deeper meanings and motivations of such men. These erstwhile observers adhere to different principles,different presuppositions, different paradigms from the men they are writing about. To cite Bush as being ideologically motivated without any analysis of one’s own bent is, well,a bit disingenuous, a tad bit hypocritical. In spite of that criticism, I found that your comments contained much value. Keep them coming…

  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin Ricketts

    David Owen, former-Labour foreign secretary, founder of the British Social Democrat Party (now merged into the Liberal Democrats) and a bit of an international player I think, in the sort of “special envoy to” role, is also pushing a “Bush is mentally ill” theory at the moment.

    He was a doctor before his political career, and reckons both Bush and Blair suffer from The Hubris Syndrome, (the title of his book), which he claims is common in powerful people.

    Might make a good review/discussion.

  • JC

    A friend who briefed George Bush, Sr, was shocked at how unintelligent he was. Yale, as do other well-known Universities, hold spaces for the children of their benefactors and VIPs, regardless of their academic merit. I have met more than one and they are all too willing to tell you that they were admitted to Yale because of their parents – not their academic abilities.

  • JC

    Cheney said ‘We create reality.’ I can only imagine how well Cheney understood the psychology of the drunk he was leading around.

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