No Fancy Name
Friday, September 24, 2004
"the unfeeling president"
Kate passed along via email a link to this recent E.L. Doctorow piece which was very persuasive (and moving)'s an excerpt:
A war will do that [ed: allow a leader to gain and remain in power] as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills—it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.
As of this writing, Technorati only showed a twenty or so blogs linking to this short piece, but one of them was the peach, which asks "Is there some kind of absolute, genetic, hard-coded difference between people who see this clearly about Bush, and the others who look at him and see the opposite? Are our brains wired differently so that where we see a shallow, phony, self-interested would-be dictator, those red-staters see substance, integrity and the secure future of our democracy?"

I'm starting to think there must be, because I don't have a better answer.


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