Saturday, September 08, 2007

President Bush The Actor

Fred Thompson has entered the presidential race. He joins another famous actor, Ronald Reagan, in his pursuit of the presidency. Maybe he will make a good president, but we have an actor in the White House now and it is not working out very well.

The first excerpt in Slate (read excerpts here) from Robert Draper's new book, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, makes it even more clear what motivates President Bush's policy in Iraq. To pursue anything but clear success in Iraq would be to dishonor the men and women who have fought there. Especially those who were wounded or died there.

Here is an excerpt from the book,

He viewed it as the commander in chief's obligation to visit with those who had suffered loss as a result of his decisions. "Sometimes it's not pleasant, and I understand that," Bush said as he leaned back from his vanquished bowl of ice cream. "And they have every right to be unpleasant. Sometimes there are disagreements. ... Yeah, it's hard. And to see the wounded, the head injuries. But that's part of the presidency, to immerse yourself in their emotions. Because they look at the president and they—most of them—say, 'My son or daughter did what they wanted to do.' The interesting thing is, the healer gets healed. I appreciate it."

And later,

For the first and only time in that seventy-minute monologue-dominated conversation, Bush fell silent for several seconds. "Yeah, well," he finally said. "When you're responsible for putting a kid in harm's way, you better understand that if that kid thinks you're making a decision based on polls—or something other than what you think is right, or wrong, based upon principles—then you're letting that kid down. And you're creating conditions for doubt. And you can't give a kid a gun and have him doubt whether or not the president thinks it's right, and have him doubt whether or not he's gonna be supportive in all ways. And you can't learn that until you're the guy sitting behind the desk."
To admit doubt or misgivings would be telling these men and women that their sacrifices were for nothing. He could never look a wounded warrior in the eye again. He could never face the tears of a grieving parent, spouse or child.

No, George Bush will not let polls change his direction. He won't logically reflect on what might be best for the country at this point. He can't he even consider what might be best for the troops who haven't yet been wounder or killed. His plan is to stay loyal to the troops who have made sacrifices and insist that the cause is worth their effort as long as he is president. Someone else will have dishonor their sacrifices. He has to play the part of a President loyal to his troops. A script he wrote himself.

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