Saturday, November 06, 2010

Why I truly miss George W. Bush

"I prefer bad people to stupid people, because bad people sometimes give it a rest" José Ortega y Gasset

The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur." George W. Bush

"Do you have blacks in Brazil, too?" George W. Bush, to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." George W. Bush

"If you look at the U.S., you look at who we’re electing to Congress, to the Senate—they can’t read. I’ll bet you a bunch of these people don’t have passports. We’re about to start a trade war with China if we’re not careful here, only because nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is." Michael Bloomberg (ht Doonesbury)

C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.   Nicholas Kristof - New York Times

What this election suggests to me is that the United States may have finally lost its ability to adapt politically to the systemic crises that it has periodically faced. America emerged from the Civil War, the depression of the 1890s, World War I, and the Great Depression and World War II stronger than ever—with a more buoyant economy and greater international standing. A large part of the reason was the political system’s ability to provide the leadership the country needed. But what this election suggests to me is that this may no longer be the case. John B. Judis - The New Republic
David Seaton's News Links
What do I miss most about George W. Bush?

I miss "hope".

George W. Bush gave the American people hope.

When Bush was president I, and many like me, had the hope that the United State's fundamental problem was that the president of the United States was stupid.

Now that Bush has gone, and we have elected a president who is said to have a very a high IQ, and a couple of years have passed, and looking around ourselves, it is becoming clear that things are no better, it is obvious that the problem we and the world are facing isn't that simple.

It is beginning to look as if perhaps the political system itself and perhaps even the country itself are stupid; that George W. Bush and the United States of America were a perfect fit.

And if that is true, then it is quite difficult not to lose hope. DS


Anonymous said...

Yes, but where did all the smart grownups go? Isn't this the part when Spencer Tracy enters and tells us what to do?

oldfatherwilliam said...

The smart ones turned Evil. The stupid win every argument, mostly by failure to comprehend the terms.

stunted said...

Very nicely put, oldfatherwilliam.

Beetlejuice said...

I tend to think the election of Bu$h was more like a coming out party for those with like minds.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Obama is a beneficiary of affirmative action all the way.

Insiders reportedly say that his lack of intellectual curiosity is amazing; the only thing he really enjoys is watching sports on tv.

And except for crass racist-misogynist-homophobe anti-Communist albino haters like myself nobody dares say so in public.

I was certain he'd get into a lot of trouble the day he was elected, simply because he didn't have near enough experience to get things right. The silver lining I saw was that it might make it okay to wonder aloud whether there ought not be limits to affirmative action in sensitive positions.

stunted said...

Of course, this all boils down to affirmative action being a failure. Thanks for illustrating David's point that W. and America were a perfect fit.

Anonymous said...

In hindsight, the signs were all there. We ignored them at the time because you don't argue with success. And that was supposedly Bush's great claim: successful governor, MBA from Harvard, emotional clarity, etc. So, we didn't argue with the Iraq diversion, or the tax cuts for the rich, or the obvious housing bubble. And it wasn't simply the know-nothings on the right. It was very nearly all of us. But when we turned on Bush, we didn't also turn on ourselves because we're the people! We're good!

The idiocracy is both top-down and bottom-up. Yes, our elites are craven and self-dealing. So, that means exactly what? That we've finally encountered limitations we can't grow our way out of. Bush, our dry drunk president, was the right man at the right time.

Anonymous said...

W. was the legacy of affirmative action for preppies, and also a real bummer.

America was founded as a meritocracy.

Matt Holbert said...

"The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." H.L. Mencken, 1920

Most days I wake up fairly optimistic. Today the spell was ruined when I walked over to the nearby mall to buy some coffee beans. I don't know which disturbed me more -- the people or the place.