If this weren’t such a terrifying time for the world it would be hard not to collapse into fits of helpless laughter every time someone in the White House, and especially the president, came out to explain the administration’s strategic overview. This has to be the silliest group of people on the face of the earth making amazingly irrational and parochial decisions in the guise of informed geo-political considerations.
Has there ever been a president so disengaged and un-educated about the affairs of the nation and the history of the world? People used to make fun of President Eisenhower because he could often be found on the golf-course, but he was one of the country’s foremost wartime generals, and understood the nature of his job and the workings of government – – a man profoundly aware of how his present would come to bear on future generations, the kind of introspection completely missing in the current presidency.
If this were a thinking man’s administration, its top executive wouldn’t have time to spend on so many fluff events. As The Decider, most of what he decides is when he will make another speech of stupefying disinformation and irrelevance, or show up to raise funds for some political campaign or pose, the other day, for a photo op having lunch with Marines in California. The P.R. gambit to rally the troops and the public is the kind of role a monarch fills; a president’s role is meant to be more substantive, his words of greater import.
It is in fact the emptiness of his agenda and the vacuous words with which he seeks to explain his positions that make this president both irrelevant and at the same time dangerous. His behavior has a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants quality particularly unsuited to the magnitude of events that threaten to destabilize not only the Middle East but the entire world. As he flies around the country meeting with constituents and taking superficial note of disturbances affecting the lives of ordinary Americans, he returns to The White House just long enough to make some really bad decisions and promote some really bad policies.
If there isn’t a way to solve every problem with some kind of tax cut or by under-cutting environmental protections Mr. Bush is at a loss. When he wants it to seem as if he’s doing something about gas prices, he talks about hybrid cars and easing some regulations to enable energy companies to produce more and pollute more, as if all the nation’s troubles existed in separate little compartments that bore no relationship to each other – – no need to increase café standards or invest more heavily in alternative sources of energy. ‘Try not to drive so much or so fast’, the president suggests in an echo of his lame directive after 9/11 that we should all “shop and travel.”
Is this what passes for decisive leadership? Or does this president think that his real strength lies in the warlike posture that gained him a second term? As the country sinks ever more deeply into debt he continues to send Congress “supplemental” requests to pay for our presence in Iraq. However, since he said quite recently that any exit from Iraq will have to be a decision for some future administration it would certainly seem reasonable that continued funding for the war effort become part of the regular budgeting process and be properly paid for rather than financed by more borrowing that leaves our economy vulnerable and our options limited by the influence of those nations, like china, who hold our debt.
There’s something amusing about the fact that China’s President Hu stopped off in Seattle to see Microsoft’s Bill Gates before flying on to meet with President Bush on his recent visit. But if President Hu and his entourage were insulted by the administration’s gaffe incorrectly referring to his country as The Republic of China instead of The Peoples Republic of China perhaps President Bush was a little put out that Mr. Gates had first dibs on China’s Head of State.
More significantly it would seem that Microsoft’s corporate profile is more meaningful in some ways than our government except in its ability to take military action. Let’s hope that the president doesn’t feel the need to continue his bellicose posturing to re-establish a sense of power that he must feel is slipping beyond his grasp.

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