mad in pursuit: greed & arrogance

2004 political season

mad in pursuit home

greed & arrogance index


10.3.04 Kerry & the Chimp

I was heartened that Kerry performed so well on the debate, but I know that doesn't matter to those who can't get enough of Bush repeating his invented truths. (Newseek poll shows Bush lead has vanished -- yesss!!!

My only quibble is that Kerry should have hammered on the word INCOMPETENCE. The business literature says there are lots of good strategies out there, but 90% of them fail in the execution. Bush & Co. have not only had a slapdash strategy, they were totally incompetent in its execution. On some superficial level, Kerry's Iraq plan may sound like Bush's but he offers hope for the end of INCOMPETENCE.

On Bush's face: Check on the Democratic National Committee site for a video of his grimaces.

One of my new favorites in the blogosphere is James Wolcott -- a nasty, independent wit who writes for Vanity Fair. On the debate:

Bush's face suffered a silent outbreak of Tourette's Syndrome; he grimaced, smirked, sniffed, rolled his eyes, and did some weird thing with his mouth that as yet has no diagnostic name. He was President Twitchy, giving a performance that critics hailed as "peevish" and "petulant."

We've seen President Twitchy before. When Helen Thomas persisted in asking Bush why he was trying to tear down the walls between church and state, and wouldn't be sluffed off with one of his standard nonanswers, Bush, as I wrote in Attack Poodles, went through a battery of irked expressions that ended with him imitating Tony Perkins in the final shot of Psycho, looking as if he had a fly on his nose.

Since then Bush has been wheeled out into forums where no one can dare question or contradict his majesty, where he can lean forward and repeat ad nauseam his patented soundbites. Last night I believe we saw the ugly comeback of the private face of Bush--the irritable expressions he flashes subordinates when he's presented with information he doesn't like or feels someone's taken up too much of his time or is pressed to explain himself to people he shouldn't have to explain himself to because he's the president and fuck you. The notion that Bush is "likeable" has always been laughable. It takes a Washington pundit to be that dumb. He's an angry, spoiled, resentful little big man--I use "little big man" in the Reichian sense of a small personality who puffs himself up to look big through bluster and swagger but remains a scheming coward inside--and next to a genuinely big man like Kerry, shrunk before the camera's eyes.

Philip Gourevitch in The New Yorker had this to say about Bush in general:

He has a repertoire of stock poses and expressions, as does any professional performer, but the freedom of his movements is striking. Flip through snapshots of him, and you’ll find any number that catch him in a bizarre or comical position. The mobility of his face leaves him open to lampooning, not least because of its simian modelling, which is underscored by his affectation of an equally simian gait—the dangle-armed swagger, like a knuckle-walker startled to find himself suddenly upright. But even when he looks foolish, or simply coarse, Bush is never less than an expressive presence.

In other words, he looks -- not like a cowboy -- but like a chimpanzee. "Like a knuckle-walker startled to find himself suddenly upright" -- I love that.





Thumbs Up if you liked this entry