Monday, October 11, 2004

"They find the basic tenets of democracy...very inconvenient"

From the upcoming issue of New Yorker, a very revealing look at a total control freak:

...In his first spring as President, Bush returned to Yale to deliver the commencement address. The trip was billed as a demonstration of the fact that he didn’t have a problem with Yale after all, but, typically, he extracted a special fealty from the institution as a condition of his coming. He received an honorary degree (something that Yale didn’t award his father until near the end of his term, despite a vigorous lobbying campaign by George W. Bush). In addition, he was honored, as the President, by being allowed to break Yale’s long-standing tradition of not having a commencement speaker. And then he gave a speech, to an audience many of whose members were leaving Yale with heavy tuition debts, in which he fondly recalled how unseriously he’d taken his education there. Like a lot of talented politicians, Bush in a crowd can demonstrate a real love, a need, for people, but in other settings he needs, rather, to display a kind of animal superiority. He teases, he touches, he goads, he sends a wink or a cold stare, he bestows nicknames, and, in this campaign, of course, he relentlessly attacks. In general, he insists, with amazing success, on conducting discussions on terms that he alone has set, and on the assumption that reality is what he alone has declared it to be (for example, his recent assertion at the U.N. that “today the Iraqi and Afghan people are on the path to democracy and freedom”). And, in deciding to run first for governor and then for President, he was not troubled by his lack of what would customarily be considered a full measure of experience and preparation. Bush usually tries to establish himself in a position in which he has as much control as possible, and he usually tries to get there not by the normal patient route but by behaving so aggressively that a more direct path opens up.
The article, taken as a whole (and it's quite lengthy) is almost scary. It confirms pretty much everything you thought you knew about George Bush, the man.