Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush thinks he lands a zinger; world tastes a little bit of its own vomit

As I remarked (in a comment) yesterday, I actually got a little queasy thinking about the discussion among the Bush speechwriters that hit on this idea of having the grandson of a Nazi sympathizer/financier/profiteer (you choose which) invoke the Holocaust to make a US domestic political point. . . while standing before the Israeli Knesset.

Bad enough that the president abandoned the “all politics stop at the water’s edge” axiom. Bad enough that he (or the speechwriter) was dumb enough to quote a Republican Senator’s wish of talking to Hitler. Bad enough that Bush would mar what was supposed to be a celebration of Israel’s founding with a nakedly political speech. Bad enough that he would cheapen the Holocaust and dishonor its victims by invoking it just to serve his partisan goals. And certainly bad enough that a sitting president would sink so low as to liken the Democrat running against Bush’s third term to a Nazi appeaser. . . but. . .

As bad as all of this is—and it is very, very bad—I didn’t know how high my disgust could rise until later in the day when I watched the Bush speech a few times on TV.

It’s not as easy to see on this YouTube, but look closely at Bush’s face when he finishes the quote from Senator Borah. Right after Bush says, “All of this might have been avoided,” but before he engages his over-rehearsed headshake, you will see a little smile break across the president’s face. It’s just a flash, almost a micro-expression of a smile, but it is, to me, clearly macro-filled with self-satisfaction.

Watch again—Bush thinks he got in a good one! He thinks he’s landed a zinger! You almost expect to hear a rim-shot or a “bang! zoom!” You know the president hears it in his own hollow head. (It takes him back to the days when he would towel-snap his naked classmates in the locker room.) I will go out on a limb and bet that the guy is basically congratulating himself for working in a Hitler reference for a room full of Jews.

“Aced it!” he’s thinking. “These Israelites [sic] know there’s nothin’ worse than makin’ nice with Hitler. They’ll eat this up like a pastrami sandwich!”

So, yes, I not only think that Bush is a vain, indecorous moron—I think he’s an anti-Semite.

Like (grand)father, like (grand)son.

And the president’s speechwriters—the guys that turned Bush’s thumbnail stereotype into a full-bleed portrait—what to make of them?

Idiots? Anti-Semites? Apple-polishers? Pigs?


(cross-posted on guy2k and The Seminal)

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