It Has Been Your Pleasure to Address the President:
Mucho has been written about the psychology of our President, the elected one, the not-Cheney, delving into the strange contours and twists of Bush's mind like explorers of ice caverns, wondering what cruel god would construct such a cold, lifeless, and maze-like place, a space where sound merely echoes off the frozen walls and all things eventually die. We've heard about his speech stumbles, his wanton cruelty, his sociopathy, his visceral contempt for opposition. But there's another cavern in there that deserves some mention: the way he reveals his unfulfillable ego. In other words, motherfucker thinks you should be so goddamned thrilled to be allowed to sniff his farts.
Just in the last week, Bush has let people know what a privilege it is to be near him. During his brief press meet with British PM Gordon "Not-Neutered Poodle" Brown, Bush was extolling to the UK leader how wonderful America is by pointing out, regarding a reporter who had just turned 38, "Here you are -- amazing country, Gordon, guy is under 40 years old, asking me and you questions. It's a beautiful sight." Oh, how everyone laughed, Brown a bit uncomfortably, as if he realized he was standing next to someone who would feel at home with both Charles Manson and Henry Ford. We could dismiss this as a mere joke if Bush hadn't done it so often in the past.
In a January 2005 "conversation" on Social Security "reform," Bush asked the age of an official at the Social Security Administration who was about to address him. Andrew Biggs said he was 37. Bush responded, "Thirty-seven, talking to the President. That's great." At another Social Security event in March 2005, he found out the age of a student asking him a question was 20: "[A]nd so here you are talking to the President about Social Security." And, at a Medicare prescription drug benefit "conversation" in April 2006, Bush found out that a Dr. Wang was from another place, making him exclaim, "Shanghai. And here he sits, as well, talking to the President of the United States." Bush had commented earlier about how great it was that an immigrant had gotten to sit next to him.
This is not to mention how splendiferous it is to exercise with George Bush if you've been horribly wounded in his war. Sgt. Christian Bagge, who lost both legs in Iraq, got that magnificent opportunity in June 2006, and Bush made sure he knew it: "I first met Christian when I went to Walter Reed -- or Brooke Army in San Antonio, Texas. And he said, 'I want to run with you.' He was in bed -- he had lost both legs. I looked at him, like, you know, there's an optimistic person. But I could tell in his eyes that he meant it. And after a lot of hard work and a lot of compassionate care, this fine man is here on the South Lawn running with the President."
(Apparently, though, when one loses one's legs and one meets the President, this is not an uncommon wish. Said Bush of Sgt. Neil Duncan last week, "Neil lost both legs, and he told me he's going to run with me on the South Lawn of the White House" and now Duncan's "running on the South Lawn.")
What's wonderfully disturbing here is how in awe of himself George W. Bush is, how elevated he believes he is, how he occasionally deigns to allow himself to be addressed by the little people, how noblesse oblige makes him a better person, how glad the lucky few should be that they were able to wash his balls, how we don't look at him when he says things like that and respond, "Uhhh, dude, I pay your fuckin' salary."
More later, including a brief comment on Dick Cheney dining on Larry King's pickled viscera.