Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bush's press conference gave TV viewers a good, stiff opportunity to see that his metamorphosis into Richard Nixon is coming along just fine. Devoid of brains and competence and awareness, Bush's main appeal to people is supposed to be that he's got that lovable, imaginary-best-friend thing going on; here, he's scowling and cutting people off and correcting their choice of words and generally acting less like a genial Ed Norton than like George Costanza gone postal. The needle on the Nixonomter swings into the red zone when an unusually snotty fellow--sorry, I don't have the names of the press corps members memorized--points out that George said that he never saw these election results coming and asks if this doesn't lend credence to the idea that he's out to lunch? "You didn't know it either," sneers George, reaching for his slingshot and a paper clip. Well, I saw the polls, says the reporter, and Bush replies that he saw them too but assumed they were lies because "I'm an optimist." Then he gurgles, "I thought the American public would understand the importance of taxes and the importance of security." If there's any way to take that other than as his declaration that the people who voted Democratic are idiots who don't understand these things, as opposed to intelligent, informed voters who have defensible opinions that differ from his own, I can't think of what it might be. There have been reports of Bush getting snarky with unfortunate individual citizens who had the chance to get up in reddish face, but I can't remember an earlier occasion where he just flat-out dissed an enormous segment of the American population, a good number of who must have voted for him at some point in the not-too-recent past.

Generally, the press conference cleared up one thing straightaway. The end of times are not upon us--George Bush is still a clueless lout who doesn't get anything he doesn't want to get. He gave a pained, strained explanation, leaning heavily on how hard it must have been for those poor folks in Mark Foley's old district who had to actually write in the Republican candidate's name, for why he doesn't see any reason to interpret the election results as any expression of disapproval for anything he's done, certainly not Iraq. (How can anyone have a problem with anything that goes on over there!? They had an election! What do the Republicans have to do, paint their fingers purple again?) He also hammered at the idea that of course he'll try to work with the loyal opposition, even as he persisted in using the calculated insult that is the phrase "Democrat party." (By warning the terrorists, "do not mistake the workings of democracy" as a lucky break for them, he also seemed to pretty unambiguously be saying that a "Democrat" vitory is Good for the Evil-doers.) It's a measure of just how cranky President Gump seemed that when he tried to make a small, mean-faced joke about his reading rate, nobody laughed--at least,not until he elaborated on it and turned it into a knife twisted in Karl Rove's back.

No comments: