Joho the Blog » bush

May 2, 2011

Here for your comparative purposes are the routines by Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent Dinners of 2011 and 2006 respectively. (By the way, you will be comparing not just the comedians, but also the presidents.)

And then, just to show how upset they were with Colbert’s display of gigantic cojones, here’s who they brought in the following year:

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December 25, 2010

Foucault reads W

Eliot Weinberger (no relation) reviews George Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, in the London Review of Books, reading it through Foucault’s eyes.

The first half of the review picks up on Foucaultian themes of authorial identity and authenticity. Quite amusing. The second is a recitation of the ways in which Bush sucked that the memoir forgets to mention. I’m only recommending the first half.

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January 20, 2009

A small note

I am delighted to note that I have removed the following from this page’s sidebar. Forever:

Americans against Bush

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January 17, 2009

Leadership and the Interregnum

I hope someday an historian writes a book called The Interregnum that looks at the period between the election and inauguration of Barack Obama. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis had us huddled waiting for events to resolve have I had such a palpable sense of history. But now, instead of parsing every car horn as the start of a nuclear siren, I am ready for hope.

The stew of emotions is rich.

Hope itself is encompassing. It isn’t even an emotion. It’s a full-body experience, including cognition, anticipation, dedication, and spirit. In this case, hope is social. It’s not me trusting looking into the eyes of my Maker. It’s us relying on us.

Then there’s patriotism. I’ve always been more interested in the reasons that justify patriotism than in patriotism itself. But now I’m proud of how we are responding to this person we improbably elected.

There’s fear. I want my children to have the same opportunities I’ve been privileged to have. That is far from guaranteed. It isn’t even likely.

But The Interregnum will make for compelling reading most of all because it is the story of two people who could not be more different as people and as leaders.

Although I’ve been furious at President Bush for years, I had no idea I’ve actually been holding some back. I didn’t think I had any more to give. But then George Bush began his round of farewells.

Whatever someone says s/he is is exactly what that person is not. If your boss says, “I’m all about honesty,” then your boss is a liar. “For me, accountability is the main thing” means your boss is a swindler.

Bush told us he is all about compassion.

As Bush has put forward his self-explanation and justification in this past week, it’s become clear how incapable he is of seeing things from someone else’s point of view. With millions of refugees created in Iraq, he says his mistake was in posing in front of that “Mission Accomplished” sign. In the face of Katrina’s refugees, Bush thinks his mistake was not arriving on scene for his photo opp earlier. As Jon Stewart said, “You have no idea why people are angry at you, do you?”

I don’t think this is due to narcissism on Bush’s part. I think it’s part and parcel of his lack of intellectual curiosity. He’s a tiny man on a vast stage who simply can’t think past himself and what he sees at the moment. It doesn’t matter how large the stage becomes, his tiny circle of light never expands.

Bush provides us with the final and perfect exemplar of how our American idea of leadership, in politics and business, has gone wrong. We’ve taken leadership as a personality trait. Bush thinks he’s a leader because he made unpopular decisions and stuck by them. Leadership to him is a matter of character. If that’s all leadership is, then we’re better off without leaders — people empty of anything except a random resolve to do something and then keep doing it.

What’s missing is the idea that leaders need to be responsive to the reality of the world, the reality of the conflicting needs of the led, and the reality of suffering. Leaders may sometimes need to draw a clear line, but they must always recognize that the simplicity some decisions require masks an awful complexity.

In the interregnum, Bush has revealed himself as a buffoon blind to the tragedy he has hosted, while Obama has been showing us what leadership is about by bringing us to what is best in ourselves — as individuals, and, most of all, together.

I am ready for release from the shame and anger of the Bush years. I am so ready for the interregnum to end. [Tags: ]


December 18, 2008

Just when you thought there was no sheen left to wear down

Oh please oh please oh please go away oh please oh please oh please

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Memo to Bush: Authenticity doesn’t count

George W. Bush validates his presidency by saying that he stood by his beliefs even when they were unpopular. Ok.

But here’s a news flash for #43: It’s not enough to do what you think is right. It’s also important that you actually be right.

In fact, being unassailably convinced that you’re right is what the rest of us call “having a closed mind.”

Worst. President. Ever.

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December 15, 2008

Shoes for industry! Shoes for the dead!

We now have the second iconic moment of the Bush presidency. This is how he’ll be remembered, if only because shoes seem to be so psychologically powerful: Khrushchev is remembered in this country for pounding his shoe on the UN’s lectern, and Adlai Stevenson is remembered for the hole in his shoe.

(NOTES: The first iconic moment was Bush speaking under the “Mission Accomplished” banner. And this post’s title is a Firesign Theater quote.)

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November 14, 2008

A joke from the inbox

Unaltered from an email going around:

One sunny day in 2009 an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’s been sitting on a park bench. He speaks to the U.S. Marine standing guard: “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine looks at the man: “Sir, Mr. Bush no longer is president, and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The following day, the same man approaches the White House, says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and, again, just walks away.

The third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U. S. Marine saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.” The Marine, somewhat irritated at this point, looks hard at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve already told you that Mr. Bush is no longer President and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man looks at the Marine: “Oh, I understand, all right. I just love hearing you say it.”

The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, sir.”

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October 16, 2008

This can’t be right

My reaction to the past three debates have exactly mirrored America’s reaction overall. This never happens. Usually, I’m convinced that my guy totally ruled, and the next day I find out that America couldn’t get past his sighs, his lock box, or his seeming complacency about the hypothetical rape of his wife.

I’m scared, too, kids*…

*Genuine Simpsons Referenceâ„¢

Remember what Bush said he was going to do internationally? Have a good, rueful laugh:

You might also enjoy this moment of Bush cowardice. But, of course, I’m, wrong about how America took it.

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August 13, 2008

The Guardian does LOLbush

The Guardian turns 9 photos of Bush at the Olympics into LOLcats. Funny!

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