Tuesday, October 05, 2004

"Deep Bloat"

Thomas Schaller nails Bush, right to the wall:
The President revealed something far darker during those ninety minutes in Miami. He proved that a man is never totally cured of his addictions, and that his alcohol dependency has transmuted into a public drunkenness with his own power. Without the enabling of staffers at work and the adoring audiences on the campaign trail who shield and worship him, Bush stammered and stumbled through a sobering debate in Coral Gables.

For all his talk about how humbling the awesome responsibilities of the presidency are, beware anyone who comes between Bush and the powerful tonic of his office. When John Kerry dared to do so last week, the President morphed into an angry, irascible drunk – a man not in full, but half-cocked with rage and seething denial.

Bottled up

Last Thursday the President's endemic character flaws were exposed plainly, for all to see. Absent his handlers and note cards and teleprompters, we saw into his very core. At least four truths about the President's personality – many of them long-suspected – were confirmed by his on-stage behavior in Miami:

He was too lazy and selfish to bother preparing.

Never could do his homework.
He is a pathological name-dropper.

Because he can't speak to any personal accomplishments.
He is a terrible listener.

"la la la la I can't hear you" ain't cuttin' it, chief.
He is impatient to a fault.

He even snapped at the voices in his head!
Bush has grown into the presidency, but there is an ugly side to his comfort level in office which rises to the surface when his authority is challenged. Despite his constant refrains about how humbled he is by the awesome responsibility of the job, Bush has developed a bloated sense of himself. To substitute for the lifelong vice he gave up when he turned forty, the President now intoxicates himself with power.

He blurted, blundered and blameshifted, even pointing the finger at the Republican Congress for those record-setting deficits. Is it any wonder that, when pressed to cite a single mistake at his last press conference, he couldn't think of anything?

Kerry was a one-man political intervention in Miami. When the Senator challenged the President's facts, assertions and decisions, Bush showed what kind of president – and person – he really is: insular, immodest, irascible and intoxicated with the idea of his own imperial presidency. He showed that he is twelve steps away from reforming his presidency.

In November Bush will do what all alcoholics living in denial do to escape reality: pull a geographic. Crawford, Texas, here he comes!


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