I Can Has Gravitas?

2 comments March 15th, 2008at 10:19pm Posted by Eli

Gail Collins puts her finger on one of the many things that makes Dubya such an embarrassment:

The president squinched his face and bit his lip and seemed too antsy to stand still. As he searched for the name of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (“the king, uh, the king of Saudi”) and made guy-fun of one of the questioners (“Who picked Gigot?”), you had to wonder what the international financial community makes of a country whose president could show up to talk economics in the middle of a liquidity crisis and kind of flop around the stage as if he was emcee at the Iowa Republican Pig Roast.

We’re really past expecting anything much, but in times of crisis you would like to at least believe your leader has the capacity to pretend he’s in control. Suddenly, I recalled a day long ago when my husband worked for a struggling paper full of worried employees and the publisher walked into the newsroom wearing a gorilla suit.

The country that elected George Bush — sort of — because he seemed like he’d be more fun to have a beer with than Al Gore or John Kerry is really getting its comeuppance. Our credit markets are foundering, and all we’ve got is a guy who looks like he’s ready to kick back and start the weekend.

This is not the first time Bush’s attempts to calm our fears redoubled our nightmares. His first speech after 9/11 — that two-minute job on the Air Force base — was so stilted that the entire country felt like heading for the nearest fallout shelter. After Katrina, of course, it took forever to pry him out of Crawford, and then he more or less read a laundry list of Goods Being Shipped to the Flood Zone and delivered some brief assurances that things would work out.

…[T]his economic crisis has been going on for months, and all the president could come up with sounded as if it had been composed for a Rotary Club and then delivered by a guy who had never read it before….


Bush pointed out — as if the entire economic world didn’t already know — that Congress has already passed an economic incentive package that will send tax rebate checks to more than 130 million households. “A lot of them are a little skeptical about this ‘checks in the mail’ stuff,” he jibed. Jokejoke. Winkwink.


Really, if he can’t fix the economy, the least he could do is rehearse the speech.

Especially when speaking off the cuff, Bush has always reminded me of a kid faking his way through a report on a book he’s never read. And because no-one ever calls him on it, he thinks he’s getting away with it, that he’s got everyone fooled. Of course, in reality, everyone with half a brain is just wincing or rolling their eyes.

Have we learned A Valuable Lesson about voting for The Guy We’d Like To Have A Beer With, I hope? Can we maybe start voting for The Guy (Or Woman) Who Intimidates The Hell Out Of Us Because They’re Scary Smart And Competent? I don’t really care if I have a deep bond of personal affection for my president, I just want to feel confident that they know what they’re doing and have the country’s best interests at heart. Is that really so unreasonable?

Entry Filed under: Bush,Economy,Media


  • 1. oldwhitelady  |  March 16th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I’m ready for a president I can feel confident about… however, there are many still out there bragging about being Bush/Cheney supporters. Apparently, they don’t feel any harm has been done to the country. In fact, they think that it’s been kept proud. They feel appreciative that we’ve freed all the Iraqis and the Afghanis, and made it possible that the women no longer have to wear veils and have so many more freedoms than they had – these people don’t seem to realize the freedoms being taken away from the women by the holy leaders. In fact, it’s a great thing Saddam has been killed because he killed so many Iraqis. (I think it’s interesting that these people feel it’s such a wonderful thing that Saddam is out of the way, but they don’t mention all the Iraqis killed because of the invasion, of the suicide bombers – which Iraqi had none until the invasion, and other horrors brought by non-Saddam bombs and bullets – besides how many Iraqis died because of the continual sanctions, and diseases brought by the ruined infrastructure caused by the earlier bombings during the Gulf War in the early 90s.

  • 2. oldwhitelady  |  March 16th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Sorry, I get a little crazed sometimes:)

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