Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Feels good!

In the midst of the current "Great news from Iraq! Seriously!" period we're currently having, I came upon a Salon piece from 2004 that succinctly lays out how Bush's image was changed to make him into a "regular guy." There's a lot of good stuff there, and I encourage you to read the whole thing. This passage, though, stood out for me:
The most revealing moment came when he thought the cameras were off: Before he gave his national address announcing that the war had begun, a camera caught Bush pumping his fist, as though instead of initiating a war he had kicked a winning field goal or hit a home run. "Feels good," he said.
If that doesn't make you feel at least a little sick to your stomach, I fear for your soul.


Anonymous said...

This isn't that remarkable, is it? I feel more than a little sick to my stomach these days, but apparently not for the same reasons. This article surprises you or is this just a reminder of why we should hate Bush?

"'We're not inflicting pain on these fuckers,' Clinton said, softly at first. 'When people kill us, they should be killed in greater numbers.' Then, with his face reddening, his voice rising, and his fist pounding his thigh, he leaned into Tony [Lake], as if it was his fault. 'I believe in killing people who try to hurt you. And I can't believe we're being pushed around by these two-bit pricks.'" -- George Stephanopoulos writing about the Somalia crisis in "All Too Human," page 214

Thomas More said...

If you don't see a difference between those two quotes, then we have no basis for debate of any kind.

Honestly, anonymous, what do you get out of coming here?

Thomas More said...

Oh, and in a rare moment of split-second executive decision here at Utopia: Any further "Bill Clinton did it too!" comments are officially banned. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

If my point were Bill did it too, you'd be right. I suppose I'll never understand the hatred. Ann Coulter is despicable, but you link to Rude Pundit and Democratic Underground. That you don't see they are all repugnant is a mystery to me.

I come here because I'm interested in how you view things. You don't think like I do, so that's interesting. You appear to start out from a position of anger and hate. I don't have that much emotion for any of these people. Bush's political face is no different than any democratic politician, or republican for that matter. I think you're wrong to demonize one over the other. I try to understand and can't.

I could only comment on things I agree with you on, but that seems pointless. It appears to really bother you, so I won't again.

Thomas More said...

If the point of the quote wasn't that Clinton did it too, what was the point? I honestly don't know.

It doesn't bother me that you comment. It bothers me that your comments contain little other than disdain for my "Bush hatred." That's not bringing any content to the table. For example, what was the point of your first comment? How does it extend the debate, exactly?

You bet I'm angry. If you felt that everything you loved about this country was being systematically destroyed, you would be angry too. At least, I hope so. How can you explain water to a goldfish?

Anonymous said...

You're right. I do have disdain for your Bush hatred. It's not logical. For a seemingly intelligent guy not to be able to view events through anything but loathing is a puzzle to me. There are so many things happening in the world and yet you're going on about a two-year-old article written by a guy who also hates Bush. I would no more believe anything this man wrote than an anecdote by Dick Morris' about Hillary. That you do seem to swallow what he says wholesale is my issue and what I try to understand.

What's to debate about this post? Are you really interested in extending the debate on this? The guy wrote the article. I'm suspicious of where this person comes from. I was serious. What's the point of linking it? I believe it's to get validation of your opinion Bush has bloodlust and got tickled over sending soldiers off to war and he's an evil, evil man. That's not a news flash. These types of opinion pieces are a dime a dozen. There are no facts to debate. "If you felt that everything you loved about this country was being systematically destroyed, you would be angry too." These sweeping comments aren't debatable. They're drama.

It's your blog and I'm wrong to comment on its content. I do apologize.

Thomas More said...

Now we're getting somewhere. Your initial comment was meant to cast doubt on the "feels good" story as just a partisan (and false) attack. Well in some googling, I found that the incident was first in a Knight-Ridder news article about the invasion's start. You're free to disbelieve it, of course.

But the more interesting question is, if you found out for sure that the Leader of the Free World acted that way while announcing the war had begun, would it affect your opinion of him in any way?

Bush's bloodlust is easy to see - remember the glint in his eye when he talked about Karla Faye Tucker, or the other prisoners he put to death in Texas? As Karl Rove would say, who you gonna believe - me or your lying eyes?

The reason I "swallow this stuff" is that it fits a pattern that to me is easy to see. That's why I make posts like this. Because I feel strongly that we have no shared reality in this country any longer.

Your comments are fine; keep'em coming, if you like. But I wish you'd be more direct in making your points, so I can respond. And "oh there you go with your Bush hatred again" isn't much of a point, and certainly nothing I can respond to in any meaningful way.

Thomas More said...

Also, for the 45th time: I don't think Bush is evil. For him to be evil, he would have to be in control. And he's not. He's a pawn in a game that he only partially understands. Personally, he's probably an OK guy. But I do loathe him as a symbol of what's gone wrong in this country. And I also loathe conservatives who dismiss any criticism of the administration or the war with one of two responses:

Bush Derangement Syndrome!



Anyone who believes I (and oh, 60 percent of the population now) have no legitimate cause to condemn this administration earns, frankly, my contempt.

You're welcome to attack me on any factual or logical errors I may make. But to simply dismiss what I have to say because I "hate Bush" is intellectually dishonest and lazy.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care whether or not Bush said "feels good." Are you honestly trying to say here you don't think Bush is evil over this? What was the point? The whole article was about Bush is a two-faced fucker. What else is there to talk about? How "intellectually lazy" is it to post an old article like this?

Bush's bloodlust is easy to see because of the glint in his eye? And Cindy Sheehan is mad because of the crazy I see in hers. Is that how we analyze now? That's some good critical thinking.

Bush may have a bloodlust, but you don't think he's evil. Are you serious? He's a bloodlusting pawn controlled by evil doers and he gets a devilish glint in his eye every time he thinks about sending people to their death, but he's probably an ok guy. I really don't believe you when you say that. How "intellectually dishonest" is this?

Name someone besides maybe Sean Hannity who doesn't have complaints about this president. Oh, I know, they aren't the complaints you think they should have. Now point out one example you've written lately about anybody in the democratic party where you thought they were wrong, you were disappointed, thought they were stupid, put their foot in their mouth. Anything Howard Dean has said lately. Do they do wrong? Bueller? Bueller? Go out to your favorite liberal sites and look. It's silence about any democratic wrongdoing, except maybe Joe Lieberman, the warmonger. It's called hypocrisy when you accuse conservatives of this very thing.

My first point was to point out the inanity of posting a two-year-old Bush isn't the good ole guy we see on tv article. He has a political face. Ohmygosh. Say it aint so. How revealing.

You asked me why I come here. I had to think. I realized it was a fascination with your mindset, the hypocrisy, the anger. As I said, I try to understand it. You assume I defend Bush. I don't and I don't think I have in these comments. My focus wasn't whether he was right or wrong to say "feels good" at a moment in time three years ago. It was my annoyance that this bile is all you seem to talk about, quoting remarks about things like "Republicans want to sit and watch," regarding Iraq. The thought that Ann Coulter is a bitch but Rude Pundit is clever. Conservatives: God hates fags = good. I find these comments irritating, contemptable and intellectually lazy.

This is the only place I ever comment and I think it's because I always expect better. I shouldn't have commented on this post because it's your blog and you can say whatever you want. I was sincere in my apology. It was arrogant for me to expect you to be someone different. I am sorry.

Thomas More said...

I'll try to respond to as many of your points as I can. I would suggest, though, knocking off the passive-aggressive "I'm sorry" comments that you seem hell-bent to add to your responses.

I think Democrats do a lot of stuff wrong; my general attitude was summed up in one of my earliest posts here:


For example, I think Hillary Clinton is the worst kind of political opportunist; she has all her husband's bad qualities and none of the good. I never hesitated to call out Bill Clinton when he (often) did bad things of consequence, as opposed to lying about sex. I'm not blind to the fact that Dems can be craven and corrupt and horrible.

The thing is, they don't control anything in this country right now. So their ability to do anything of consequence, right or wrong, is so miniscule I usually don't think it's worth mentioning. Criticizing Dems right now is like blaming a refrigerator in the Arctic for making it too cold.

And yes, I use this site to vent my spleen. It's therapy for me, and if all it does is make you upset, that must be painful for you. I doubt that you really believe you will someday come here and find me in a placid, or even "fair" mood. I am angry, and I make no apologies for that. This site isn't about "balance," sorry, and it never will be. It's about the horrible state of things and who I believe is causing that.

As for the Rude Pundit, it kind of dovetails with my earlier point: when he's on the Today Show, and the cover of Time, maybe we'll have something to talk about.

As for the God hates fags stuff, evangelical Christians have immense power in this current political climate. Bush coming out in favor of the Constitutional amendment, something he said previously he was against and something he knows won't pass, is a perfect example of this.

Re: the political face of Bush. I personally believe he is one of the most manufactured candidates in our times, and I think that's important. Especially because his political face is of honest, down-home Texas values. And yes, I get tired of the hagiography of a man I consider an empty suit, with journalists falling all over themselves to pant about his manliness in a flight suit, etc. It sickens me. So I write about it.

As I've said numerous times, you're welcome here. But I think it helps to be realistic about what you'll find. I'm happy to debate any specific point. But general scorn doesn't mean all that much to me.

Anonymous said...

Good post.

"I would suggest, though, knocking off the passive-aggressive "I'm sorry" comments that you seem hell-bent to add to your responses."

Yeah, that's me. Afraid to come out and say what I really mean. If you don't accept my apology as sincere, that's up to you.

"But I think it helps to be realistic about what you'll find."

I believe that's what I've been saying. I realize that I've expected or hoped for the wrong thing here.

"But general scorn doesn't mean all that much to me." I know you mean that and it makes me smile.

Best wishes to you. (And I mean that in the most non-passive/aggressive way.)

X Philius said...

Nice mini-flame thread here, Thomas and anon. I have a few points and some suggestions that might help, or might get you both even more riled up ;-)

I think it is worthwhile to note that a political discussion like this has both factual and emotional aspects. It seems like the beginning of anon's comment/feedback has to do with not understanding Thomas's anger. Anger is an emotional reaction, and it can hardly be disputed with facts. If we are going to call this therapy, then anon might want to use first person language, "When Thomas is angry is make ME feel..." as opposed to "Thomas shouldn't be so angry..." Maybe we can have a more clear discussion if we separate the emotional/spiritual/moral points from the factual points.

And, anon, if you really enjoy this back and forth, I suggest you set up an account here. You can still be anonymous, but if you had signed posts, Thomas could respond knowing you are the same person that commented on a different thread on a different day.

Obviously Thomas invites comment, otherwise he could just disable that feature and vent at his heart's content. I think his boundaries and purpose here are pretty clear. He's pissed, and writes posts with a mix of emotional and factual content. Feedback is welcome, but denying his anger, or just making personal attacks really isn't satisfying for anyone and doesn't address either the emotional aspect of caring how fucked up this country is, nor the actuall facts of why and how it is so.

There. That's my 2 cents.

Carry on...