Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bushisms - turning a blind eye

I went on a bit of a roller coaster while reading this story, After Sunglasses Gaffe, Bush Apologizes to Legally Blind Reporter.

At first blush, it looks like another classically pathetic George Bush moment. Namely, he says the most politically incorrect, stupid thing one can imagine, all while the cameras are rolling.

But if you read further into the story, to the point where he calls the reporter and apologizes, you see a glimpse of humanity that, frankly, reporters and editors typically don't highlight.

Is he a great president? Not by a longshot? Is he a good president? Um, no. Is he bad for the country? One could make an argument in support of that perspective. (I know: how convenient that I'm a Canadian.)

But on this day, at that moment, he did the right thing by calling the reporter back and expressing genuine remorse. He did what any kindergarten teacher would have her students do after stepping in it with both feet.

Sometimes, it helps to get off the bandwagon for a bit to appreciate the subtle nuances that make some news items somewhat more profound than they first appear.

Your turn: Can someone be a good egg while being a lousy politician?


Pickalish said...

Yes. It's usually the best eggs that make the WORST politicians.

Dara said...

I'm left with that scene from Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11 when Bush is reading to an elementary school and he is told about the plane hitting the World Trade Center - and. does. nothing. But on the other hand(sigh) he is a sentient being, a husband and father and son whose wife and daughters and parents seem to care for him. 957 more days.

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

We've had worse presidents, we've also had better.

David said...

thanks for thr tips on toronto Vs montreal, seems the trip is now to denver, CO

Canadian Mark said...

I think a poor politician can use a situation like that to his or her advatage in order to appear to be a good egg. I mean, look at Trudeau... Good egg - good politician - consistently (IMHO)

I recently opened a Jones Soda bottle with a quote under the cap, which read "Question your assumptions". I think maybe Bush could have used that bottle of fizzy and refreshing soda more than I.

Would he have given a presedential apology had it not been for all the press watching his every move and reaction? He shouldn't have made such a comment in the first place.

So, I guess my answer to your question would have to be a "no". Convenient that I'm a Canadian as well. Don't even get me started on Harper.

Malinda777 said...

Carmi, what a nice post. You know I'm a pretty die-hard Republican and a Bush fan, and I know and respect that you are not.

The same thing you describe in this story showed in you with this post. you are able to see the good in people, and I believe being the President is a thankless and impossible job for anyone.

Thanks for seeing the "redneck" side of things and pointing out something good.

Here from Michele...always like coming to your side of the fence for perspective :)

Star said...

I am not a George Bush supporter, never voted for him, was dismayed but not totally surprised when he was re-elected, and generally dissatisfied with his Presidency. But I never thought that he isn't a decent human being. I bet he and Laura are a lot of fun to hang out with at the ranch.
Happy Father's Day Carmi. Is that celebrated today in Canada? If not, then celebrate it with us.

keda said...

not being american i shouldn't really comment on whether or not he's a good president. however although in this particular instance he did the right thing, and though he may be an ok husband and father etc... has he or how would he go about apologising for the innocent civilian mothers, fathers, daughters and sons he is responsible for killing every day?

to be a 'good egg' you need to have,a nd retain a concience outside of your own bubble i think.

rashbre said...

The second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase, Saying and Quotation recognized Bush's contributions to the English language. Under the heading "Bushisms," the dictionary includes such Bush classics as, "We are ready for any unforseen event which may or may not happen."

keda said...

yes i too wanted to say happy fathers day sweetie, so i'm glad michele pointed me this way again.

d.challener roe said...

It's a fair point, and one often overlooked in the political arena.

I'm not a fan of Bush, not by a longshot, but I live with a woman who is a loyal Republican, and we've had similar discussions before.

I think he's an awful president, but I've seen several things in the last 6 years that make me think he's a good man--loyal to country and kind-hearted. It's just that I greatly differ with him on governing.

Cyndy said...

I voted for Bush because I couldn't stand Kerry....I don't like Bush at all. I'm hoping for John McCain or Rudy Guiliani next time.
Happy Father's Day Carmi

Courtney said...

Can he be a good egg and a lousy politician at the same time? I suppose, and it takes a lot for me to say that, because I am so committed to my intense hatred of Dubya.

But, I'm glad he called that reporter. He could learn a lot from that moment of humility.

David said...

HFD carmi, from michele's sugar daddy (let's let that be our secret, ok ?)

srp said...

Here from Michele.
I firmly believe that a country's leader should be a good human being first. The press here focuses on everything they perceive as wrong about Bush. Their intense hatred of him has reached higher levels than I have ever seen before.
I firmly believe too, that if World War II were being fought today there would be a completely different outcome, simply because of the melting backbone of the American people.

Killired said...

i'm rep and voted for bush for the same reason that i hated kerry. i do think bush is genuine, yea he's made stupid remarks and said dumb things... but haven't we all? i can't even imagine the stress and pressure on a president. no matter what you do, say, decide, someone will be mad. not a job i would want! thanks for the post carmi and happy father's day to you!

ribbiticus said...

good to read about another side of him apart from the usual. at least, he's got a decent side to him, which i can't say a lot of politicians have.

happy fathers' day, carmi! ;)

Rene said...

Can you possibly imagine putting yourself in a position where people hate you not because you rear ended them in an intersection. Not because you were married to them and cheated, not because you did anything to them personally, but because of decisions you have made, many of which affect your principles more than they affect your life. And politicians do this willingly. I'm sure they have less than altruistic reasons, but I honestly think they have the best of intentions for their country, be they Democrat or Republican. As you can see by many of these comments, people cannot differentiate a person from their perceived persona.

The American media loves a villian and whoever is in the White House will be their favorite bad guy. It certainly isn't a new concept. From my studies, our press is tame compared to some of these guys in the 18th century.

As for good/bad at the same time, American history is littered with brillian politicians with shady lives and lousy politicians with stellar morals and admirable qualities. One need only look to the Kennedys to see that mixed bag.

ChaCha said...

Happy Dads day bud

Chatty said...

I am a good egg, but am politically incorrect! :)

Happy Father's Day Carmi. Michele sent me.

Janet said...

I totally think there are good people who are just bad at what they do. Problem is some job performances are forgivable, others like, leading the country, are not.

And for the record, I don't think he's a good egg. But then again, you didnt really ask that, did you?:)

Sandy said...

You most certainly can be a good age and a bad politican.

In fact, I think Jimmy Carter ranks pretty high on the "ineffective Presidency" meter. You might even go as far as to call it a waste of four years. BUT, the man is a good man that has done a lot of good since leaving office.

Happy Father's Day Carmi.

Pearl said...

Sure, someone can be good and bad. There's no one that isn't a mix. Any politician is a good politician for someone, even if good to contrast against the replacement guy. ;-) You're right that we can get stuck in our ideology and demonizing that we stop seeing any data that doesn't support our argument. Good to step back and see the inconvenient truths.

gekke mum said...

I like George Bush the man, love to read and laugh at his Bushisms, and don't think he's the greatest politician. But I also think in order to truly succeed at politics, you need to be a slimy salesman/woman, selling yourself to the highest lobbyist. Clinton was a fabulous politician, but the man sure seems sleazy.

It certainly isn't the "ideal" (our government - whomever is in charge) but I think it's the best.