Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » September 2005 » Gems o'the Day:

[« From Brian Williams on MSNBC] [No wonder Dubya is such a bad man... »]

09/05/2005: Gems o'the Day:

From Progressive Blog Digest:

Like the moment when the curtain is pulled back to reveal the levers and machinery that make a puny man appear to be a Great Wizard, the events unfolding around Hurricane Katrina have revealed to people the true George Bush – and even many of his strongest supporters are disillusioned and angry.

To most of PBD’s readers, this is no surprise, but after 9/11 Bush enjoyed an extraordinary level of support, even by many who did not vote for him, because in the wake of that horrible event people wanted a Man in Charge -- plain-spoken, humble, but strong and decisive.

But what they have seen for the past several months, on issue after issue (Iraq, Plame, Sheehan, Katrina) is a weasly, cowardly, defensive hair-splitter who continually ducks responsibility for his own actions and blames others. He doesn't even stick by his own tough-guy promises. (Just for example, "I will fire anyone who works for me who leaks" . . . .oops. . . you mean Karl?. . . .uh. . . .well. . . "I will fire anyone convicted of a felony after it is proven in a court of law" -- which he would have to do anyway, of course).

Even worse, the timing of his unbelievably self-indulgent five week vacation and his dodging of the Wicked Witch Cindy Sheehan, followed up now by his belated and indifferent reaction to the suffering caused by the hurricane, have made people see him as the lazy, self-centered, smug, privileged, uncaring, and deeply unreflective man many of us have been calling him from the start.

Now, as the staged photo ops are revealed as just that, as his own words get redefined for him by Rove and the Communications Team, and as he continually, constantly hits false notes in trying to show and express the simulacrum of caring (for dead troops, for suffering Gulf Coast victims, for the opinions of anyone who doesn’t agree with him), he has reached his worst moment – a moment that Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton all reached – the moment when your one deepest character flaw is exposed, the one flaw that people will not forgive you for. The smug little rich boy who was plucked from a life of uneven accomplishment by his Daddy’s advisors, who saw him as an ambitious and malleable instrument for their plan to remake the government and transform the Middle East, now stands before us, manifestly unprepared for the moment. He doesn’t “get it,” but more damningly doesn’t think he has to.
From Brian Leiter (pointing us to the PBD entry quoted above):
This is apt and does get to a central aspect of the problem that recent events have thrown into relief: Bush is just a bad human being, not just morally bad, but deficient in character, judgment, skill, relevant experience, empathetic capacity, and maturity.


Only one quibble:
a life of uneven accomplishment? To the contrary, his is a very even life: it is nothing but failures and foul-ups, despite having every opportunity. Bush has fouled up every grown-up undertaking in his life.
And from the "demented" Cindy Sheehan:
George Bush has been an incompetent failure his entire life. Fortunately for humanity, he was just partying his way through school, running companies into the ground, and being an alcoholic and cocaine abuser for most of that time - and his incompetence was limited to hurting the people who worked for him and his own family. The people in his life who were hurt by his incompetence probably have been able to "get on" with their lives. Now, though, his incompetence affects the world and is responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction. How many of us did not foresee the mess he would make of the world when he was selected the first time? We saw what he had done to Texas. How many of us marveled and were so discouraged and amazed when he was "re-elected" the second time? We saw what he had done to the world. Dangerous incompetence should never be rewarded, let alone be rewarded so handsomely as in George's case.
And from Jo Fish, the Democratic Veteran:
Rove's next task: tying Zarqawi to Blanco. Then he'll pass on some "off the record" information purporting to have audio of them talking about the brilliant weather manipulation of Katrina by Al-Qaeda to embarrass Beloved Leader, followed by a Swift-boating of all the displaced persons as "Welfare Queens" who are just out to get something for nothing. Did I miss anything?
From The Pesky Fly, here in Memphis:
According to The Marquis de Chertoff, on the eve of potential catastrophe he pulled back his crisp, clean, high thread-count sheets, and cozied up in his bed like a good little Aristocrat. When he awoke the next morning, instead of using all the Governmental resources at his command, he picked up the morning paper and read a headline: Gulf Coast "Dodged the Bullet."

"Well," he said. "I'm sure glad to hear THAT!"

Since only a few poor, colored (most likely gay) people were dead, and the structural damage was, "no big whoop," he stayed in his soft Winnie The Pooh pajamas for a second cup of International Foods instant coffee. Mmmmm. Minty.

One BIG FUCKING problem--- What newspaper is his lordship reading? As Wonkette points out, it wasn't one of the majors, and it certainly wasn't the
And from Dr. Abby:
"Finally, America will have to get over the shock of seeing itself in a new, unflattering light."

- from The Guardian

I’m not shocked. After a year working on the front lines in Memphis, I am not shocked. I imagine that very few of the Midtowners or fellow-interns I met this past year would be shocked in the least. We have let our poor down. I have been trying to recall the quote which states that the measure of govertnment is how it treats its poor. We have failed.

Last night I met a woman who was talking about her personal trainer who she’d hired for $70 per session. A few minutes later, we discussed the 2,000 people from New Orleans being brought to Boston to stay in the Fleet Center. This woman wasn’t sure she was comfortable having these people come to her city. I did not punch her in the face.

Len on 09.05.05 @ 07:27 PM CST

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