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October 12, 2005


My first newspaper boss - an alternative newspaper, mind you - had one of those posters right behind his desk. He refused ever to put Nixon's name in the newspaper, always referring to Tricky as the President or, often, "that man in the White House."

When Bush first started his public crumbling - which Milbank and numerous other reports and commentaries have recently indicated seems to be in crescendo - I worried a great deal about the badger effect. The badger is a tough little weasel which, when wounded or cornered, is more dangerous than when it's well-fed and in a good mood. What if the President, wounded by glaring evidence of his own incompetence and the incompetence of the cronies he's hired, battered by policy failures at home and overseas, cut adrift by his CEO-in-fact Dick Cheney, bereft of the undivided attention of Karl Rove, attacked by once-fawning members of his own party, what if he turned badger on us and bit somebody - like, say, Iran or Syria, in some futile but instinctual effort to shore up the polls he says he never pays attention to?

Of late, however, even though I still think Bush is weaselly, he doesn't impress me as a badger, more like a possum. If he could get away with playing dead right now, he'd be lying down right next to the podium.

I'll never forget when his daddy checked his watch during his debate with Bill Clinton. I think the correct interpretation of the emotional charge behind this gesture and these by the son is contempt. He is suppressing his contempt at his questioners and his anger at being questioned. It leaks out in all these tics and shakes and blinks and lip purses.

He appears to be one messed-up guy. And who but an enabling codependent would marry such an angry addict?

interesting polling report essay;

A Presidency On Life Support

Or even, "Would you buy a used war from this man?"

Right on Crab Nebula about the suppressed contempt. Remember Debate 1? They didn't know he'd be on camera while he ran his little "I ain't listenin' worth shit" routines. Lucky for him they wised up by the next debate.

I've long believed he's a textbook sociopath -- he seems incapable of genuinely connecting with his daughters or, really, his wife and god knows the average American isn't even on the radar. His "authentic" affection seems reserved for those who believe he can do no wrong: Condi, Harriet, Karen (who you can just picture writing mash notes to him in prison. . . ahh, those sociopaths! even a few bodies discovered under the brush piles on the ranch can't dampen their animal appeal)

He gives me the willies when I watch him. So I don't.

Did Judy plead the 5th amendment? Check out my diary and comment if you will.


Crab, I agree that a lot of what we have seen from both Bushes in the past was suppressed contempt. What we're seeing now, though, is raw fear.

Bush is a coward, as his bizarre behavior on 9/11 showed, and think what a scary place he's finding himself in now. Suddenly everyone is being mean to him - even Republicans are being mean to him. He must want to curl up in his special blankie and make it all go away.

-- Rick

Rick, I agree that he probably feels like everyone is being mean to him. And something I didn't mention in the post but which fits in with what we're both saying is that besides Rove, his main "special bankees" are no longer in the White House at his side. Condi is over at State; Karen Hughes is doing whatever it is she finally got around to doing, about six months after she was nominated for the job; and now Miers is busy getting a new coif, an open-necked blouse and instructions on how not to apply eye liner in preperation for her hearings before Senate Judiciary. So the only person he can lean on is Laura, and who the hell knows what that's like.

Special bankee indeed.

Have you ever seen Bush in church? Saw him in C-Span at one of the official services. He's like a little kid, fidgetting, looking around, tapping his program, looking at his shoes, rocking back and forth, until Laura gently puts her hand on his forearm and he is stilled.


it should read "used war" in bush's case.

He probably won't try to sell the used war, he'll just defalt on the loan.

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