Friday, September 16, 2005

No Wonder He's Disconnected

At a certain point, I think, you have to wonder if the blame for the President's obvious disconnect from reality shouldn't be placed at the feet of his handlers. I mean, often I've imagined that on the morning of 9/11, W was simply picked up and thrown over the shoulder of a Secret Service agent who packed him into that plane destined for the bunker. Whether his first instinct was to get back to DC, in order to see what he could do to comfort his people, didn't really matter. He could only actually "run the show" if those around him let him. He could only know what was really going on, if his handlers didn't actively stand between him and reality.

I think of this in response to a post on Brian Williams' blog:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

The kindest conclusion one can jump to it seems is that the Secret Service lit up the streets for security reasons, so they could guarantee the President's safe passage. Assuming that's the reason for the short-lived rejuicing of the Warehouse District, then, it's unkind to assert this cruel teasing of the district's residents was Bush's fault. He probably wasn't even looking out the window while his limo cruised these streets, he was probably still practicing how to pronounce "debris." But if he had, it wouldn't have occurred to him that the illumination had been arranged, at what must have been considerable trouble, just for him. Why would it?

The less kind assumption is that Bush's handlers arranged the lit streets to convince the POTUS things were better than they actually are. To keep his spirits up, so he could smile reassuringly and project that patriarchal confidence his pollsters need him to right now. Had he journeyed through a heart of darkness, he may have had doubts himself, and those might have revealed themselves as he spoke to the nation in the form of a crinkle across his brow or a twitch in the corner of his mouth. No, only the sort of inner peace known to those who've seen the light would do for this career-salvaging performance.

What's really cruel about all this is how freakin' hard the writers at The Onion need to work to parody it.


Blogger Dan said...

They sure didn't skimp on the dramatic backdrop lighting in Jackson Square.

9/16/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous crionna said...

I'm leaning toward the less kind assumption, just 'cause I have a reallyxinfinity hard time believing that The President wouldn't have ordered up the world to NO had he been watching CNN.

My only explanation is that somebody's assistant's assistant watches the news and by the time it got to The President it was so diminished in impact he did nothing until it was too late.

I wonder if all of our Presidents are so sheilded nowadays.

9/16/2005 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I wonder if all of our Presidents are so sheilded nowadays.

I don't know. Clinton seemed to thrive on getting out there and understanding what was going on. I think that's the attitude a modern-day president needs.

9/17/2005 12:16:00 AM  

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