Mike Dillon: ‘This week has finally pushed me to the point that I deeply regret voting for Nader. I’m not ready to talk about it, except to offer this apology. Good luck in November.’

☞ America desperately needs a fresh start. Rehiring Bush/Ashcroft for another four years would send the world precisely the wrong message.

Instead, I think John Kerry is going to win. After being pummeled with $50 million of cynically deceptive ads designed to destroy his character – as the Bush team so successfully destroyed John McCain and Al Gore – Senator Kerry remains neck and neck with the incumbent. Remarkable, really. (In June of 1992, Governor Clinton was running third behind Bush and Perot.)

Nick Drury: ‘Possibly the most misleading ad that I have seen to date is the one in which Bush states that ‘Senator Kerry even voted against body armor for our troops.’ It was Bush who in his rush to war sent many American troops to Iraq without body armor. He later submitted a controversial request to Congress for $87 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and to provide funds for Iraq re-construction. The cost of the body armor could not have been more than $50 million of that and funds certainly could have been found for the armor without waiting for the passage of the larger bill.’

☞ After all, they found $700 million in the Afghanistan appropriation to secretly prepare a war in Iraq.

Nick goes on to ask: ‘Did Bush delay getting the armor to the troops so that he could get this controversial bill passed? And possibly even to label those who voted against it as uncaring for American troops?’

One wants to scream, no! And ‘no,’ may in fact be the correct answer. But one also remembers the Administration’s nine-month opposition to forming a Department of Homeland Security . . . only then to embrace it with an anti-labor poison pill to get Democrats to oppose it . . . which led to accusations that (for example) Senator Max Cleland – the Vietnam triple-amputee – is unpatriotic. Well, former Senator Max Cleland. Sadly, it worked.

But I digress. Here’s what I wanted to offer today:

Jacob Weisberg’s May 7 piece in Slate, The Misunderestimated Man – How Bush Chose Stupidity, starts off like just another cheap shot at the President’s intelligence . . . much like that idiotic bogus press release that was going around the Internet a while back from some non-existent ‘Institute’ estimating the President’s IQ at 98.

But it is actually much more than that (both the essay and the IQ). I urge those of you thinking of rehiring the President to ignore the parts you’ll find disrespectful and read it anyway.

You probably wouldn’t fail to read a critical evaluation of your baby sitter, if one came your way. Well, I would argue that the President’s policies may have as much of an impact on your children’s future as their baby sitter.

In small part:

Dubya’s youthful screw-ups and smart-aleck attitude reflect some combination of protest, plea for attention, and flailing attempt to compete. Until a decade ago, his résumé read like a send-up of his dad’s. Bush senior was a star student at Andover and Phi Beta Kappa at Yale, where he was also captain of the baseball team; Junior struggled through with gentleman’s C’s and, though he loved baseball, couldn’t make the college lineup. Père was a bomber pilot in the Pacific; fils sat out ‘Nam in the Texas Air National Guard, where he lost flying privileges by not showing up. Dad drove to Texas in 1947 to get rich in the oil business and actually did; Son tried the same in 1975 and drilled dry holes for a decade. Bush the elder got elected to Congress in 1966; Shrub ran in 1978, didn’t know what he was talking about, and got clobbered.

Through all this incompetent emulation runs an undercurrent of hostility. In an oft-told anecdote circa 1973, GWB—after getting wasted at a party and driving over a neighbor’s trash can in Houston—challenged his dad. “I hear you’re lookin’ for me,” W. told the chairman of the Republican National Committee. “You want to go mano a mano right here?” Some years later at a state dinner, he told the Queen of England he was being seated far away because he was the black sheep of the family.

But read the whole thing.

 

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