Don’t Be a Tool

-->
big picture stuff, Bush Administration

I want to thank alert reader Jim Murphy for sending this photo. What a hoot. Does the Weenie think he’s really fooling anybody?

This photo also made me think about something Sidney Blumenthal wrote in the Guardian article I discussed in the last post. “In a recently published hagiography on the theme of Bush-as-Prince-Hal, Rebel-in-Chief, written by the rightwing pundit Fred Barnes, Bush explained to him that his job is to ‘stay out of minutiae, keep the big picture in mind,'” Blumenthal writes.

So why all the photo ops that accomplish nothing but PR for Bush? What “big picture” does Bush have in mind with the toolbelt?

Years ago I heard some Republican pundit say that the difference between presidents Carter and Reagan was that Carter got bogged down in the details of operating the ship, but Reagan stayed at the wheel and steered. Well, our Dubya acts as if he’s just a passenger on a luxury cruise, and he spends most of his time rolling dice in the ship casino.

Recently Margeret Carlson wrote about the United Arab Emirates port deal [update: which may no longer be an issue, as the UAE is divesting itself of US holdings]:

George W. Bush believes in delegating, and delegate he did, to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a multiagency body created in 1975 to assess the security risks when foreigners want to invest in this country. The commission has turned down one deal out of 1,500. …

… The commission is supposed to buck decisions of this magnitude up to the president for final review. That didn’t happen here, but the president doesn’t mind. He wouldn’t have done things differently if he had been consulted.

But the decision alarmed just about everyone else, including Bush’s most loyal lieutenants. Bush has always boasted that his steely judgment is what we want in a crisis, even though it failed him when confronted with an intelligence report headed, “Osama bin Laden Promises to Strike Inside U.S.” …

…Republican Senator Lindsey Graham came out against the sale, and Tom DeLay, the former majority leader, warned the president that he had made a “huge mistake” that Congress would overturn.

Bush sees this as just another one of those details that a big-picture CEO, who prides himself on an empty in-box, isn’t supposed to trouble himself with.

It’s like the detail of whether he was cutting back on funding for alternative energies at the moment he was announcing in his State of the Union speech that he was doing the opposite. The wind- and solar-power lab in Colorado where the president spoke two days ago had to hastily rehire 32 researchers fired because of Bush budget cuts, so as not to embarrass the president who’d come to speak about getting over our “addiction to oil.”

Can He Mean Chertoff?

He calls the lack of money to back up his proposal a “mixed message.” Others might see it as hypocrisy or worse. Alternative energy is going to get as much traction in Bush land as the mission to Mars he announced in his 2004 State of the Union address.

To Bush, this is an instance where the big picture is concern for an ally and global trade trumps other things. Besides, he says, the Department of Homeland Security will be riding herd on the Dubai crowd.

Can he mean Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the so-called smart one raked over the coals for his disgraceful handling of Katrina by Republican Senator Susan Collins last week, the one who couldn’t do his job because of Brownie — or was it the other way around?

There is no professional who knows what Chertoff is doing in charge of homeland security. The department Bush built from scratch is a disgrace, largely because to Bush all civil servants are bureaucrats and the government a pinata to be hit until all the goodies are disgorged.

There’s a distinction between seeing the big picture and being totally clueless, but this distinction seems to elude the President. He acts less like a CEO than an dim-witted aristocrat who needs a body servant to tie his shoes.

Bush has no idea what a President does, but with the right props and lighting he can look as if he’s doing a heck of a job.

Share Button
16 Comments

14 Comments

  1. joanr16  •  Mar 9, 2006 @6:02 pm

    Ohhhh…

    I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK
    I sleep all night and do coke all day….

  2. Steve Nichols  •  Mar 9, 2006 @6:58 pm

    Bevis: I cut down trees, I skip and jump, I like to press wildflowers/I put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars.

    Mounties Chorus: He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps, he likes to press wildflowers.

    [uneasily]
    Mounties Chorus: He puts on… women’s… clothing? And hangs around… in… bars?

    [bright as ever]
    Mounties Chorus: He’s a lumberjack and he’s OK/He sleeps all night and he works all day.

    Bevis: I cut down trees, I wear high heels, suspenders and a bra/I wish I’d been a girlie, just like my dear papa.

  3. Lynne  •  Mar 9, 2006 @7:06 pm

    Reminds me of “…If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy too.”

  4. ken melvin  •  Mar 9, 2006 @7:11 pm

    Did Bush ever impetuously do anything right?

  5. Jack K.  •  Mar 9, 2006 @7:14 pm

    …wonder who the Secret Service wrestled that tool belt away from?

  6. erinyes  •  Mar 9, 2006 @8:47 pm

    Hey, Hey, Hey!
    It’s fun to stay at the YMCA, YMCAA….
    Macho, Macho, Man!!
    Wonder if he mangles his fingers with that hammer as badly as he mangles the English language?
    What a twerp!

  7. Sue  •  Mar 9, 2006 @9:16 pm

    Bush is auditioning for the role of President in the sequel to “The Candidate”.

  8. Swami  •  Mar 9, 2006 @9:31 pm

    Bush needs a good shot on the thumb with a 28 oz Estwing(waffle iron) in order to earn the right to wear that tool belt.
    The guy in the shades is my supplier..I just scored a half ounce of ass kickin’ (lunar quality) Myyaka gold from him before he left for New Orleans. Maybe him and Georgie will burn one at break time.

  9. Donna  •  Mar 9, 2006 @9:39 pm

    Remember back when Bush senior had to deal with what critics called his wimp factor? Some even thought he did the big macho invasion of tiny undefended Panama in order to strut and act tough and counter that wimpishness?

    The picture above of Bush junior in a dress shirt and slacks and wearing a tool belt is so so phony…… so unlike a real man at work……..it just made me remember the word ‘wimp’.

    Also….I almost feel embarrassed about the amateurish level of his present p.r. team that they would set up a ‘photo op’ as ‘bad-art-phony’ as that one.

  10. Steve from Canuckistan  •  Mar 9, 2006 @9:43 pm

    Someone once said that Bush is all hat and no cattle. Just like in this picture. He’s a phony. The right wing likes to denigrate Jimmy Carter. But Jimmy knows a thing or too about a hammer and nails. There isn’t much chance we’ll soon see phony George working on a habitat for humanity project unless of course there’s a photographer around to take his silly picture. What an ASS. By their fruits ye shall know them indeed !

  11. Donna  •  Mar 9, 2006 @9:43 pm

    Swami….you are kidding, aren’t you….about the guy in the shades.

    Also……a 28 oz estwing is not what you need once the framing is done….but it would be a good tool to use to help Bush initiate his thumb.

  12. Steve Nichols  •  Mar 9, 2006 @10:51 pm

    ‘I wanna be a cowboy, baby….”

  13. Swami  •  Mar 10, 2006 @7:50 am

    They didn’t mention that we a fond of a president who advocates torture.. he does us proud

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060310/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_ap_poll;_ylt=AqnYF4LbOqeGYoTEsMts0uKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ–

    Donna— I was joking

  14. maha  •  Mar 10, 2006 @10:00 am

    Swami, sometimes you are just too nuanced for your own good! 🙂

2 Trackbacks



    About this blog

    About Maha
    Comment Policy

    Vintage Mahablog
    Email Me
















    eXTReMe Tracker













      Technorati Profile