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September 16, 2011

Cartoons vs. Human Beings

Before the Iraq war, a lefty friend of mind told me that rethuglikkkan scum, such as yourselves, see the world in a very superficial way. Shallowly, and in stark contrasts. Cartoony. Apparently we lack the cognitive delicacy that lefties exhibit when they examine the state of the world with extreme sensitivity and discernment, then march around in hot pink, throwing urine-filled balloons at police.

But I digress.

Read the whole thing.

This is an absorbing and well-written piece conveying the perspective of a liberal journalist who has known the Bush family off and on for a couple decades.

Technically it's about the way Dubya changed over time. But the best thing about this article is how it puts almost-palpable flesh on the former president.

Fact is, we all create mental caricatures of public figures; we must. After all, we don't know them. Just their faces, and some generalities about them.

In my academic cocoon, Bush was called a stupid warmonger trying to avenge his father’s failure to oust Saddam Hussein, a stupid warmonger trying to make the world safe for Big Oil, a stupid warmonger trying to prop up his sagging popularity. I told colleagues that I believed Bush—right or wrong—sincerely considered Iraq a deadly threat to the United States, period. My view got me labeled a Bush conservative. Then one morning I got into my academic office building’s elevator and saw this scratched into the paint: “Kill Bush.”

I had to catch my breath: Was this America?

Walt Harrington does a great job of letting us get to know George W. as he knew him.
Over his TWO (ahem) terms, we got the idea that Dubya is a loyal friend to people whom he respects. So that was real, not a caricature or legend.

Well, Walt seems to be a kindred spirit.

“I have told various George W. haters that they had best not underestimate the man,” I wrote, “that he’s smart, thoughtful in a brawny kind of way and, most of all, a good and decent man. … What I’ve never mentioned is that I didn’t vote for George W. I disagree with him on the Supreme Court, environment, abortion, the death penalty and affirmative action. So I voted against this good and decent man. It pained me to do it. … It baffles me that grown people must convince themselves that those with whom they disagree are stupid or malevolent.”

The best parts, the personal bits, are at the link. Recommend. The article is a little long but goes fast because of all the nifty fresh anecdotes. If you like that sort of thing.

Frankly, contemplating the difference between spin and reality made me start to wonder some things about Obama. Even had the beginnings of a charitable thought. But then I said, "NAAHHHHH...."

Thanks to Vmax.

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posted by Laura. at 11:41 AM

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