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Monday, January 12, 2004

The Boy In The Bubble

Apparently George W. Bush thinks he's done more for human rights than any other president.

I'm tempted to simply present that link without comment, since it speaks for itself and what it speaks reveals volumes.

But I'm definitely sensing a theme here. It wouldn't shock me at all if he's never heard a disparaging word about his presidency.

Signs for any opposition candidates can't be within his sight, if my misadventures with the Merry Dean Posting Brigade are any indication. Similarly, anyone holding signs critical of Bush at any of his public appearances is confined to a "free speech zone," often a mile or more from wherever Bush happens to be at the time. Bush's audiences wherever he goes are carefully selected in advance to include only his supporters.

He doesn't read newspapers or follow the news much, if at all.

Now to some degree its inevitable that people are afraid to speak truth to power, and that the temptation exists for anyone, powerful or not, to surround oneself with yes-men (and yes-women.)

But here we have someone with no real connections to the outside world. He's never known what it was like to ever not have everything handed to him. The bubble he appears to have constructed for himself may not be all that different from the bubble he's always lived in. Though there exist some patricians (think of the scene in Henry V where the King disguises himself as a solider shortly before the battle of Agincourt, or Muad'Dib walking the streets in Arakis incognito in Dune) curious enough to gauge how the plebians are doing, Bush has to be one of the least curious men ever to ascend to the highest office in the land, an incuriosity that extends (if former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill is to be believed) to nearly every policy issue the administration touches.

I have to conclude Bush's handlers are brilliant marketers, if they can market a man like this, who has been handed every possible advantage life in the aristocracy had to offer, who has never had to work an honest day in his life, as a "man of the people."


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