Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Once a "C" Student...

...always a "C" student. One of the things that went unmentioned in last weekend's coverage of President Bush's bicycling accident was what the hell he was out there mountain biking in the first place. Now, I don't mean that he should exercise or mountain bike or whatever. No, it was the timing of the thing.

To bring up my own experience, I used to give seminars and papers when I was in academia. I usually holed up beforehand and made sure I knew everything I needed to before I got in front of the crowd. You anticipate every objection and go over that you have the right wording and evidence for what you want to say. Then you practice it until you get it right.

But apparently this isn't how you do things at the Presidential level. No, you go back to Texas over the weekend and go mountain biking instead of preparing for one of the major speeches of your life - about what the US is going to do in Iraq. After all your previous speeches about Iraq have been dissected for lies, misdirection and incomplete information, you would think that maybe extra attention should be paid on this speech. Maybe going over the speech endlessly, checking on facts, checking on the writers, making sure it is clear and accurate would be the thing to do.

Nope, going mountain biking. Like a good ol' C student going out instead of working on the term paper. What the hell, it doesn't matter, nothing has mattered before has it? I mean, school, business, politics, I could do anything I wanted and it has never mattered as long as I just flash a smile and use Daddy's connections. I'll just go up and read the script that is on the teleprompter and that'll be it - then I can go back and watch some TV.

Here is an excerpt from Frank Rich's column last Sunday in the NY Times:

In one of the several pieces of startling video exhibited for the first time in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," we catch a candid glimpse of President Bush some 36 hours after his mother's breakfast TV interview — minutes before he makes his own prime-time TV address to take the nation to war in Iraq. He is sitting at his desk in the Oval Office. A makeup woman is doing his face. And Mr. Bush is having a high old time. He darts his eyes about and grins, as if he were playing a peek-a-boo game with someone just off-camera. He could be a teenager goofing with his buds to relieve the passing tedium of a haircut.

"In your wildest dreams you couldn't imagine Franklin Roosevelt behaving this way 30 seconds before declaring war, with grave decisions and their consequences at stake," said Mr. Moore in an interview before his new documentary's premiere at Cannes last Monday. "But that may be giving him credit for thinking that the decisions were grave."
Yup, it just doesn't matter. But to let you know that the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, here is the quote from his mother that began the article:
"But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer."
— Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America,"
March 18, 2003
Yes indeed, why should we hear about body bags and waste our beautiful minds?

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