I was disappointed by that Matt Bai fluff piece on W that mistermix linked to yesterday. I don’t care much for soft rock concern trolling, you know “yes Bush was a bad president but I’m concerned that the hippies’ hatred of him blah blah”. I liked the Ron Fournier original better:
Handwritten in the tight script of President George W. Bush, both notes said essentially the same thing: “Thank you for the respect you showed for the office of the President, and, therefore, the respect you showed for our country.”
The same sense of dignity compelled Bush to forbid his staff to wear blue jeans in the White House. Male aides were required to wear jackets and ties in the Oval Office.
Handwritten notes and no jeans. America, fuck yeah! Fournier turns it up to 11, while Bai sounds like the Luna cover of “Sweet Child Of Mine”.
All this idiocy obscures an important question: was Bush just in over his head or was there something genuinely wrong with him? The dry drunk/cokehead stuff always sounded a bit silly to me, but perhaps the day after Bush’s brain accused Hillary of having brain damage….
Bai’s and Fournier’s attempt to restore Bush as a goodhearted man — and therefore, by logic I don’t understand, not such a terrible president — goes to show how far out of touch the Village (maybe they’re only part of the Cyber Village but whatever) is with contemporary political trends. Bush seems to have killed the dim-witted, back-slapping, good ole boy brand at the presidential level. Just ask Rick Perry. Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan are presented as “wonks”, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are self-styled constitutional scholars, and Chris Christie is a former federal prosecutor.
“Libtards are too intellectual” has become “libtards haven’t read the Constitution” (or their Hayek, if you’re really hard-core).
Don’t get me wrong, this may be a positive development But I don’t know what Bai and Fournier think they’re accomplishing.