December 27, 2006

David Ignatius: Doofus

Atrios rightly branded David Ignatius Wanker of the Day for his inane column about Bush's reaction to the mounting troubles in Iraq. Ignatius sees Bush as a stoic man who is finally showing the strain brought by a war that is no longer going so well. For Ignatius, the facade that Bush kept throughout the years of war are finally breaking down and he thinks we are seeing the inner feelings of Bush as he finds it necessary to admit that his strategy for victory isn't working.

Ignatius believes Bush is deeply afflicted by the weight of the war and what it is doing to the families of the soldiers who are fighting and dying over in Iraq.

Bush is not a man for introspection. That's part of his flinty personality -- the tight, clipped answers and the forced jocularity of the nicknames he gives to reporters and White House aides. That's why this version of reality TV is so poignant: This very private man has begun to talk out loud about the emotional turmoil inside. He is letting it bleed.

Bush opened the emotional curtain at a news conference last week. A reporter noted that Lyndon Johnson hadn't been able to sleep well during the Vietnam War and asked Bush if this was a "painful time" for him. He gave an unexpectedly personal answer: "Most painful aspect of my presidency has been knowing that good men and women have died in combat. I read about it every night. And my heart breaks for a mother or father or husband or wife or son and daughter. It just does. And so when you ask about pain, that's pain."

Oh yes, our liar-in-chief experiences pain. One would not be too deeply cynical to believe that the greatest pain Bush is experiencing is that queasy feeling in his gut that his bold gamble to "shape the middle east" has turned out so badly. After all, it was quite recently that Bush told a reporter that he was sleeping quite well, thank you. Ironically, that comment was in that same People magazine interview in which Ignatius thought that Bush had "escaped the Iraq sweatbox" for a time during the photo shoot.

I wonder if Ignatius thought that Bush was being stoic in August 2005 when during his extremely long vacation he bragged that he was the fittest President Americans had ever had.

Bush is not unmindful of the criticism. But he says he needs some time off from the job.

"I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy," Bush said during an Aug. 13 bike ride with journalists at his ranch. "And part of my being is to be outside exercising. So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live, and will do so."

This was when Cindy Sheehan was waiting to ask him a question. But, you know, he was just being stoic, not rude.

And just weeks later, when after being warned that a catastrophic storm was barrelling down on New Orleans, he sat without any questions and then took two days to gallivant with his good friend John McCain and play guitar before doing a flyover over the drowning city. He was just being stoic then too, right?

Ignatius sees a man who has hid his pain about the war deaths for years. I, who have been watching Bush for years and continue to grieve the needless deaths, see a man who cares only that his great gamble has come up so bad. And now he's setting up for another roll of the die on a much greater scale than before because perhaps he will get lucky then. And if things blow up bigger than anticipated, well, as they say, shit happens.

Which version do you think fits the facts best?

Posted by Mary at December 27, 2006 12:28 AM | Media | Technorati links |

I think what drives me insane the most about that excerpt is the "flinty personality" bit. George Bush is a puling little coward of a human being whose priviledged station in life lets him put on a tough guy act for the rubes. His flintiness is about a nanometer thick.

Posted by: Toast at December 27, 2006 08:58 AM

The piece was a real fluffer, as one would expect coming from Ignatius, but am I really the only one who liked the game show analogy?

I thought that worked pretty well if you reframed it into proper context.

Posted by: Libby Spencer at December 27, 2006 09:33 AM

I deliberately stayed away from this when I saw it very early. Sometimes I just can't wade through this offensive crap day after day from these chumps.

[sighs] Even after everything that has happened they still foist this feces upon us. Just incredible.

Posted by: paradox at December 27, 2006 10:44 AM

Take heart that people like Ignatius will be out of work before too many years pass as the public is increasingly turning to the blogosphere to find out the truth. We just do a better job for free.

Posted by: Chris Rich at December 27, 2006 05:04 PM