Monday, September 13, 2004

Coward in Chief

The Dog Fight and The Gadflyer's Paul Waldman agree: Bush is a Girlie Man.

By god, George W. Bush is a real man.

Or is he? We certainly know that Bush wants us to believe he's a real man - in fact, there are few things he works harder at. Sometimes it seems as if the entire might of the United States government is being wielded for the purpose of creating photo ops where Bush can look manly


New York Times columnist Frank Rich recently noted that "castration warfare has been a Republican staple ever since Michael Dukakis provided the opening by dressing up like Snoopy to ride a tank." Democrats are understandably frustrated that Bush has been so successful at painting John Kerry as the one possessed of insufficient testosterone, down to calling his Vietnam service into question. After all, when their country called them to go into harm's way, Kerry said, "Where do I sign?" while Bush said, "How do I get out of this?"

Vietnam was hardly the last time Bush would show himself to be something of a sissy-boy. In fact, when you begin to think about his history, an unmistakable picture emerges: George W. Bush is a coward.

I do not use the word lightly. Speaking as someone born too late to be drafted, I can't say whether I would have been brave enough to follow John Kerry's course into Vietnam. But Bush's cowardice doesn't only emerge when his physical safety is at stake (although he's quite happy to proclaim his courageous indifference to dangers that will be faced by others, i.e. "Bring ‘em on"). Let's look at some other cases:

  • When Bush was told that America was under attack by terrorists, he froze like a deer in the headlights, sitting there listening to "My Pet Goat" for seven interminable minutes before someone came and told him it was OK for him to get up and start doing something presidential. Ask a Bush partisan about this and their spinning will generate enough centrifugal force to suck in anything in the room that isn't bolted down. He was trying to reassure the children, they'll say, and project strength. When Ari Fleischer held up a sign that read, "Don't say anything yet," a real man would not have complied, as Bush did. A real man would have stood up, said, "It's been wonderful to meet you children, but I have to go" and gone to check on the status of the country he was supposed to be leading.

  • When the September 11 commission wanted to question the President, he ran like a little girl who just saw a spider. First, he said he wouldn't testify. Then he said he'd talk to them, but not under oath, and only for an hour. Finally he agreed, but only so long as no one recorded the session, and Dick Cheney came along to bail him out if things got uncomfortable. These weren't just the actions of a man who had something to hide, they were the actions of a man afraid to answer for what he did and didn't do. And what kind of a wimp can't be questioned without his vice president by his side?

  • Bush has held only twelve solo press conferences in his presidency, fewer than any other modern president, and you can rest assured there won't be another one between now and November. A real man would take questions from the press, even if some of them are going to be confrontational.

  • At his last disastrous press conference, Bush couldn't bring himself to admit to a single mistake he had made in office. Real men admit it when they're wrong.

  • No undecided voters - let alone Democrats - are allowed into Bush campaign events, lest the farcical "Ask the President" events include a question that is not accompanied by fulsome praise of Bush's greatness. A real man would have the guts to encounter voters who don't already love him.

  • Bush's representatives are now pushing to eliminate from the schedule of debates the "town hall" scheduled to take place in St. Louis. According to news reports, they are concerned that, though the audience is supposed to consist of undecided voters, a Kerry supporter might sneak in and get to ask a question. What kind of a wimp is scared of answering a question from someone who supports his opponent? After all, Bush is supposed to be the president of all Americans not just those who support him. But he doesn't seem to have the guts to look voters in the eye.
Money Quote: "And of course, he was a cheerleader in high school. How girlie is that?"


At 5:13 PM, Blogger Drunken Proletariat said...

Exactly! But unfortunately Kerry seems to be conducting a timid campaign by comparison, as if he doesn't understand that this is a blood sport. He is allowing himself to be subject to ridicule-fatal for any candidate. Sadly, it is Kerry who really has all the ammunition, all the "nucular" weapons-potential of scorn, ridicule, and shame that should rightfully be heaped upon a drug-abusing, dry-drunk, deserting, election-stealing, blood-thirsty, war-mongering, utterly mendacious, possibly bi-sexual religious fanatic, (at least publicly). Why don't the Democrats attack, as they are being attacked? Is Kerry campaigning like a candidate who doesn't really expect to win??? Can the Repuglicans' cunning and deviousness outperform the Democrats better grasp of the "high ground" and appeal to the reasonable side of America? It's looking pretty scary from here....


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