Monday, July 24, 2006

Beating Around It

"Don Jim" links to the issue, and Serge elaborates on it. "It" is the idea that President Bush may be operating a few bricks shy of a load. First, from BuzzFlash:

"Watch the press conference where Bush couldn't stop talking about the pig roast. It didn't matter what anyone asked him, he just kept saying whatever his addled brain was looping on, in this case, the pig. Typical stoned behavior...

"Watch Bush's body language at the table with Blair talking over his shoulder. Bush is sitting, almost slouched back in his chair, like a guy at a barbeque on his second or third 6 pack, chomping on his food with his mouth open, and making minimal effort to intelligently keep up his end of the conversation...

"Watch the body language of the other leaders and the way they react to him. With the exception of Blair, they act very restrained and controlled around Bush, maintaining a public facade of geniality while holding back from actually being engaged with him. What seems to be obsequiousness from Blair may actually be him simply trying to get through the fog around Bush's brain to penetrate with a little reality...

"When he walked up behind the German leader and started giving her an unsolicited shoulder massage... while the rest of the grown-ups were conducting the business they were there for...

"This is not normal behavior. Watch him closely sometime when he's having trouble staying coherent and you can see his eyes come in and out of focus. He does it at the table when Blair is speaking to him..."

Now, I know plenty of trust fund hippies in Takoma Park, Maryland, who were prepared to agree from the offset that Bush was unsuitable for office. For me, he was (and remains) a mild improvement over Kerry on his best days. The turning point for me personally came, with the attempt to appoint Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court. But events at the G8 conference, particularly that attempt to get a little too chummy with the German Chancellor, are leading more heretofore political conservatives to believe (including this one) that old "Dubya" may be losing the capacity to effectively conduct the office of President.

It is understood that people in recovery from addiction (and this President had a drinking problem in the past) are known to struggle with behaviors associated with the addiction for the rest of their lives. I personally know guys in recovery for twenty years or more, who exhibit many of the characteristics of one who started drying out yesterday. Even if recovery from addiction is not an issue, someone who is not an eloquent speaker (and we haven't had one since Reagan) can at least play up their strengths. But this guy not only doesn't, he's surrounded by handlers who can't seem to... well, handle. The entire Katrina fiasco is a case in point. Bush was considered by some to be relatively unschooled in world affairs before entering the race. That he hasn't learned the subtleties of cultural differences, that many who live and work in a town like Washington take for granted, is not a good sign.

One of the hallmarks of our blessed Republic is the knowledge that we have endured Presidents of all caliber, including those whose behavior would make the current one seem like a safe choice for the Oval Office. There is little doubt that our nation will survive this choice. The question is, how much damage to our relations abroad will have to be undone by his successor?



At 8/11/2006 12:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's taken six years to suspect Bush may be rowing with just one oar?


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