September 27, 2002

Snipped from Terry Sawyer's column, here.

Believe it or not, there are drawbacks to running the presidency like a bottom-tier public relations firm staffed by carnies.

This week brought us the collapse of George W. Bush's short-lived stab at pretending that other people in the world might justly disagree with us or, Baby Jesus forbid, occasionally be right about their disagreement. This thinly feigned spirit of cooperation consisted of one speech of your typical Bush moralism: completely inconsistent and yet uncompromising in its contradiction and backed up with cigar-chomping, golf-course machismo. We huffed and puffed and then blew our house down.

I'm sure that this strategy probably sounded ingenious at some cabinet BBQ luncheon. First, you create a wholly fabricated sense of urgency in order to deter the country from focusing on the fact that other than accidental moments of imposed greatness, your administration has been a feckless flop. [...]

Don't look for a Democratic opposition any time soon. They're as scarce as the reasons for war and everyone hates to be considered yellow-bellied in a world where masculinity and patriotism are based on your willingness to drop bombs on foreign people whose governments piss you off. This is the era of redneck diplomacy, which is to say fully funded military-industrial bar brawls.

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