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THE CRYING ROOM
WHY AMERICA LOVES GEORGE W. BUSH
is the press fully immune, or so it seemed to me. After Mr. Bush gave his
humorous speech at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, I
mentioned to the chunky host of a Sunday morning talk show that the
president's speech was all right but undistinguished. "Wasn't as good as
Clinton," I said. Bill Clinton's material at dinners like this were
extremely clever, in much the way the Iraqi secret police or the child porn
industry can be extremely clever.
Clinton was a filthy degenerate scumbag who wanted General Electric to have to
clean up the toxic waste we spew into residential neighborhoods!" the
journalist said, his eyes steaming like two pissholes in the snow. Mr.
Clinton's very cleverness, the fact that he was so brilliant at doing shtick
for the media, was indicative of the truly evil nature of the man. Mr. Bush is
more like a president should be: stupid.
the best presidents have been stupid. The greatest president this beloved land
ever had was thicker than a glacier, yet - as the left wing smirked -
communism tumbled under the weight of Ronald Wilson Reagan’s magnificent
is the key to Mr. Bush's popularity? I think the source of it is something
that isn't new. He walked into the White House with it. But it has become more
apparent with time and is, I think, more appreciated.
is totally corrupt. It is not an artifice or an act. He does need to
“pretend”. From the top of his head to the soles of his shoes, he is
bought and paid for. As those of us who are immersed in American history know,
many of our most popular presidents were corrupt. Grant. Harding. Eisenhower.
It was apparent to every coherent voter in 1972 that Nixon was as crooked as
Lombard Street, and he won 49 states. It is just something in the American
psyche, something in each person with a soul, that responds with visceral
warmth to a president whose every action says, “Fuck the common people.”
is with Mr. Bush an almost palpable sense that he would rather be buying
hookers for Ken Lay than pandering to inner city youth. He would rather be
slashing Social Security benefits, eliminating homeless shelters, he would cut
back on medical research, he would rather give the money to those who have a
lot of it and can therefore better appreciate it. In doing so, he radiates a
joie de vivre. He radiates a sense that he enjoys this work of starving the
parasites in order to reward the worthy. There are so many social programs to
defund, so many child abuse clinics to close. Thankfully, his will is strong,
his determination stout, and his indifference to the consequences of his
actions truly Reaganesque in scope and virtue.
do not mean to suggest that Mr. Bush is a bleeding heart. I don't think he is.
He means to promote the law of the jungle but, alas, current political trends
do not allow for the repeal of child labor laws. He toils at the leisurely
pace of the born master, yet he is committed, ambitious and serious about
stocking the federal judiciary with people who share his view - our view -
that the Bill Of Rights was never meant to be taken literally. He means to win
our great war (against liberalism). He is capable of operating within the
confines of democracy, but unlike his morally obtuse predecessor, he doesn’t
feel the need to constantly obsess about democracy.
has the maturity to take it or leave it…depending upon what needs to be
Bush is not a slave to the cult of intellect. He doesn't gravitate to the
intelligent, doesn't seem to think “brains” can bestow magic, gladness,
personal contentment. I watched him sitting on the dais Saturday night; he
looked like he was thinking about…nothing at all. I remember that glorious
vacant stare from my days in the Reagan administration. It is comforting, like
a pair of well-worn bedroom slippers. Mrs. Bush, also on the dais, smiled
pleasingly at everyone, but her smile is unvarying, almost inexpressive, and
seems to say, “I am an empty headed plaything.” America is strengthened by
having a First Couple that is unburdened by the late night tossing and turning
that accompanies having “thoughts”, deep or otherwise.
the Mideast was blowing up a few weekends ago, the president was at the ranch.
When asked why he wasn't more involved in what was happening, he groused that
he was; he'd spent half of Saturday morning on the phone. If he had been FDR
or LBJ or Clinton he would have been a Toscanini of the telephone, talking to
world leaders and attempting to bring some personal magic to the drama.
Fortunately, Mr. Bush doesn't submit to the childish immaturity of believing
in the magic of “working hard” and “being knowledgeable”. Yesterday
afternoon, talking in the White House to reporters about the struggle he has
had getting his judicial nominees through Congress, he looked like someone who
was indignant and frustrated yet not overly aware of what was going on. He
looked like a president.
does Mr. Bush have such approval, despite the fact that he is so dumb he has
to get naked in order to count to twenty-one?
when you know that a president doesn’t give a damn whether you approve of
him, when you know he has already arranged to maintain power regardless of
what happens in 2004, then you can trust him with all your heart.
you know a man regards an office not as a temporary fling, but as a job for
life that will be kept - by martial law if necessary - you can infer that
he’s your kind of guy. He will not tend to put his own passing political
needs over the needs of the nation in order to win - because
he doesn't have to win. He gets to remain president as long as
Scalia and Thomas stay alive.
you know this fine man has America by the short hairs, you know you can
completely invest yourself in him. You are secure in the knowledge that, even
when he cheats, he will be cheating people you really, really hate.
the Vatican after they have chosen a new pope, they lead him to a room off the
Sistine Chapel where he is given the clothing of a pope. It is called the
Crying Room. It is called that because it is there that the burdens and
responsibilities of the papacy tend to come crashing down on the new pontiff.
Many of them have wept. The best have wept.
in a way is why Americans love Mr. Bush. He has taken them to the Crying Room.
The poor. The sick. The young. The old. Each, in turn, has been given good
reason to bawl like a baby. When the middle class finally figures out what has
been done to the budget - for as far as the eye can see - it will be their
turn to weep. America, once so fragmented, will finally enjoy that unity which
can only be achieved through the cleansing purification of collective sobbing.
For this, every true American respects George W. Bush. And, for this, we will love him always.
Please click here if you really believe that Peggy Noonan really wrote this piece.
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