Monday, October 18, 2004

I'm on a vacation rhythm, which is nice. Every so often I'm read a few more bits of the Sunday Times. I thought by now I'd have something clever to say about the Ron Suskind article on Bush in the magazine -- it seemed appalling when I read it yesterday, but I realize that most of what Bush says in it, and what Suskind says about Bush, is no more alarming that what I already knew or suspected about the son of a bitch. The quote that stuck with me most was the arrogant attack on Suskind by Bush adviser Mark McKinnon:

"You think he's an idiot, don't you?" I said, no, I didn't. "No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!" In this instance, the final "you," of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

Wow, there's a lot in that. Start with that careful inclusion of "a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street." Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but is that an extremely roundabout way of saying Jews? You know, Sodom-dwelling international moneylenders? (Never mind that the average thick-necked young lout on a Wall Street trading floor is a Bushite, as is whoever signs his checks.) In fact, I'm not sure about Suskind's interpretation of the word "you" -- I think he means coast-dwellers, which, to him, surely means "liberals, an awful lot of whom are Jews."

Then there's McKinnon's list of what real Americans appreciate about Bush that coast-dwellers don't understand: "They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence." See, it doesn't matter that we're losing in Iraq -- what matters is that Bush points in a really macho way! We girlie-men just don't grasp that you can't be a good leader if you're not a truly manly pointer.

But it's McKinnon's overarching disgust that's most significant, and to some extent I'm sure it reflects Bush's thinking. People scratch their heads and ask why Bush got us into Iraq, and sometimes I think the principal reason was that he was sure it would piss off coastal elitists (all presumed, of course, to be liberals and peaceniks).

In earlier posts I've mentioned an encounter that reportedly took place at Yale between Bush and the lefty minister William Sloane Coffin: After a Democrat beat George H. W. Bush in an election, Coffin (if the story is accurate) told the younger Bush, "Your father was beaten by a better man." According to Bill Minutaglio's Bush biography, W. was still bringing this comment up resentfully decades later. (Coffin insisted he never said it.)

Did we go into Iraq because Bush believes in a "reverse domino theory"? Probably -- and maybe for him the last domino is the Upper West Side.

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