Okay, How About Now?

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As all you pro-Bushies out there may or may not know, our President is a source of endless amusement for those who disagree with his politics or (ahem) suspect him to be of poor character. Amusement in sort of a sick, surreal way, like I can’t believe I’m laughing at this, but if I didn’t I would cry. Every time something happens — and there have been a lot of somethings in the past five and a half years — I’m like, how are they going to explain that one away? Now they will surely realize that he is an arrogant boob. And somehow or another, they always do manage to explain it away, and nothing ever seems to stick. I have to include the Veep in this phenomenon, since neither publicly telling Patrick Leahy to f**k off nor shooting a friend in the face during a hunt has managed to tarnish his image (well, maybe it has, I’m no expert on public opinion, but it hasn’t seemed to).

So when I heard in the past week about (1) Bush’s incredibly inappropriate remarks to Tony Blair when he didn’t know the mike was on (which, in my mind, were not inappropriate because of his use of an expletive, but because he referred to other world leaders as “jerks”), combined with the unforgivable breach of etiquette of talking with his mouth full; and (2) his even more inappropriate impromptu and unwanted “neck rub” or whatever it was of the Chancellor of Germany, I said again to myself, oh my lord I am so embarrassed to be identified as an American right now.

Now, granted, I get my television news from the Daily Show, and they do a good job of milking all potential humor out of things like this. And you have to laugh. But I’m curious: what exactly is the defense here? For the former, I imagine it goes something like, everyone talks like that off the record and everyone has talked with her or his mouth full at some point. Okay, perhaps. It’s still inappropriate to refer to other world leaders as “jerks,” however — but that story got ignored in favor of the sexier story about the use of the word s**t. Sigh. But what about unsolicited touching of a fellow head of state who just happens to be a woman? I just feel like one would have to be really out to lunch not to know how inappropriate that was, and embarrassingly overconfident not to care. I can imagine the words “taken out of context” being uttered here — but what possible context could explain the grimace from Chancellor Merkel’s face?

I find all this really humorous. Anyone else get a laugh out of it? Anyone have an explanation for the neck rub? Just curious.

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One Response to “Okay, How About Now?”

  1. Capt MidKnight Says:

    Sandi said …
    I find all this really humorous. Anyone else get a laugh out of it? Anyone have an explanation for the neck rub? Just curious.

    Wouldn’t you love to have been a fly on the wall for the private conversation between “Dubya” and Laura when he got home? It may not have come up to the level of the screaming lamp throwing fits between Bill and Hillary in the Arkansas Governor’s mansion after one of his “booty calls,” but I’ll bet you that Laura took some hide off George’s backside – and not for the first time. Now, she may sneak a smoke now and then and may have even let an expletive or two pass her lips from time to time, but you’ll have to admit that the lady does have class in her public appearances.
    Come to think of it, the tongue lashing he surely got from Laura probably didn’t hold a candle to the one he got from his Momma. Barbara was dealing with the problems and protocol of public life when Georgie was still in short pants. You gotta know that the “Didn’t I raise you better than that?” conversation came in a hurry.

    All that’s on a personal level. As for your larger question, this is only the latest in a long and distinguished legacy going back over 200 years which is probably inevitable given the fact that we’ve had 43 MEN to hold the office. Some were better and some were worse, but they were all “Guys,” and, as all you ladies know, us guys are basically clods. Some of us are more successful in hiding it than others, but, inside every suave, sophisticated man of the world, there’s an “Inner Clod” just waiting for it’s chance to sneak out.

    Bill Clinton may have been the first Black president, but, I promise you, George W. Bush is NOT the first Redneck president. Read anything much about LBJ, written by people who knew and worked with him, and Bush’s many faux pas pale in comparison. JFK ran through women like Kleenex, beginning in his teens – possibly part of the reason he was Bill Clinton’s hero – but he was much more savvy about his public image, coming from a family with a lot of money and political hijinx in their background. Nixon was borderline paranoid and delusional about his enemies (well, maybe more than borderline) and swore like a sailor in private, as we found out from the Watergate tapes. One former White House staffer recounted an incident where he was in Billy Carter’s filling station in Georgia shortly after Jimmy was elected, negotiating for a plot of land Billy owned next to “The Plains White House” to use for a helipad for Marine One. Their mother, “Miz Lillian,” came in and saw what was going on and said to Billy “Well, boy, get all you can. You might not have another chance.” The White House official, who had done this sort of thing for the two previous administration – one from each party – said “that’s when I knew it would be business as usual with this bunch too.” The list goes on and on and on.

    I don’t mean this as an excuse for the current “Guy.” Should he watch his mouth and keep his hands to himself in public? Absolutely. Is this somehow a new phenomena, seriously disgracing the office and the country? Absolutely not. Embarrassing? Certainly. Disastrous? Hardly. We’ve been there many times before. Most other countries, especially the European ones with hundreds and hundreds of years of history, already consider us as “johnny come lately’s” – the “Nuevo Rich” of international diplomacy.

    Come to think of it, however, there may be a genetic element here. After all, his Dad did barf all over the Japanese Prime Minister at an official banquet or State Dinner. Somehow, in light of that, a little neck rub doesn’t seem so bad.

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