|Over the weekend I listened again to Gil Scott-Heron's B-Movie. This was written shortly after the start of Reagan's first presidency but all too much of it is just being repeated in Bush's. "And we would rather had John Wayne".|
And then I started thinking about why Bush doesn't seem to be all there. Especially when he's caught off guard by something random happening in the world.
And the answer is that unlike his dad and unlike even Reagan, there actually isn't anything there. He really is just a cardboard cutout that has been carefully selected as the front man. He can read from a script. He can follow orders. But when there's no autocue and his advisors haven't finished the script yet, he's completely lost.
A lot of the conversation on the web around Katrina criticises him for not making decisions as Chief Executive. Well I think you've all been watching too much 24 and West Wing. You're judging him on the basis that the POTUS is somebody who thinks, controls, manipulates and most especially leads. Sure, there are hoards of advisors, script writers, researchers and even personal friends around them, but when push comes to shove, the POTUS makes things happen by personal force of will. And will even go against all the people round him if he thinks it's necessary.
Except that in Bush's case, the lights are on but there's nobody home. We can't and shouldn't view Bush in these terms. And when we criticise Bush we should recognise that it's not Bush, the man that we're criticising. It's Bush the figurehead and front man for the organisation behind him. It's not Bush that failed America in Katrina, it's the Republican party and everyone they've put into positions of power.
So when you see Bush playing guitar while people are dieing; or talking to school children while airplanes are flown into the twin towers; or going blank when he's asked an awkward question; it's just that he hasn't been handed the latest script re-work yet.
He's just following orders.
And sometimes the orders are wrong.
And sometimes the orders are late.
But, oh yeah, I remember. In this year that we have now declared the year from Shogun to Reagan, I remember what I said about Reagan…meant it. Acted like an actor…Hollyweird. Acted like a liberal. Acted like General Franco when he acted like governor of California, then he acted like a republican. Then he acted like somebody was going to vote for him for president. And now we act like 26% of the registered voters is actually a mandate. We're all actors in this I suppose.
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[ 12-Sep-05 8:37am ] [ Politics ]