Friday, May 26, 2006

All apologies

By The (liberal)Girl Next Door

After watching
George Bush try his hand at contrition, I immediately thought about the bullies I’ve known through the years. Most of them apologize at some point, but the apologies are never sincere and are only doled out with sarcasm or as a last ditch effort to get what they want when the bullying fails.

I think back to by grade school years and there were always bullies. Arrogant, insecure little boys that made themselves feel bigger by cutting other people down were despised and feared. I remember once, our resident bully John, in the middle of terrorizing a much smaller boy that had somehow ended up in his sights that day, John stopped and put his arms around the boy and said “I’m sorry man, you didn’t do anything wrong.” The two actually formed a sort of friendship after that and for the first time in the five years I’d known John, I actually had a little respect for him. He continued to be arrogant and a jerk, but the hardcore bullying stopped for the most part. I don’t know what kind of epiphany John had, but he admitted his mistakes at the height of his power and because he didn’t have to, I grudgingly accepted that he wasn’t all bad.

President Bush could have followed that model and admitted his mistakes when he was riding high on approval ratings that were bolstered up by his bullying behavior. He could have apologized for his inflammatory remarks like “bring it on” and “wanted dead or alive,” when it would have been sincere, but he didn’t. When the bully apologizes after having been beat down by the rest of the group, sitting in the puddle and looking around desperately for one friendly face, it garners no respect, it’s just pitiful and sad. Bush has earned his low approval rating. He has been bullying Americans and the rest of the world since his first day in office. Apologizing for his arrogant words, swaggering demeanor and bullying ways while he’s sitting in the mud looking for a way out means nothing. If he was viewed as weak before, he has now moved firmly into the realm of pathetic.

(Cross-posted at The (liberal)Girl Next Door.)

Bookmark and Share


  • meganoggin--First of all I didn't call him a "sniveling little weasel" although I do like the description. Secondly, in order for me to "bully" President Bush, I would have to have some power over him (physical, emotional, what have you), which I surely do not. I find the comparison laughable, I can only hope that you were kidding.

    By Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door, at 7:28 PM  

  • "GWB has been bullying America and the rest of the world since he took office". Hmm... a mighty strong allegation offered without much factual support. (My impression is that France, Germany, Russia weren't 'bullied'-quite the contrary.) It seems to me that your overwhelming visceral disgust for GWB's perceived personal traits (swagger, smugness) has lead you to a remarkable conclusion. Perhaps you'll explain why Tony Blair isn't a bully, since his Great Britain participates in the same illicit venture as Bush's USA. Or is the distinction merely that Blair isn't a Texan?

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 11:11 PM  

  • Cakreiz—I find it fascinating that there are still Bush supporters out there, and I’m surprised that any of the last 29% of them would be reading this blog. Good for you, it’s a great blog and don’t worry, I only post here occasionally. But I do have a few questions for you.

    What do YOU call an AWOL Texas Air National Guardsman that slanders a decorated war veteran? What do YOU call a President that preemptively invades a sovereign nation for no other reason than gaining “political capital”? What do YOU call a man who allows the outing of a CIA agent working under non-official cover, just to punish her husband for exposing that man’s lies? What do YOU call a man that authorizes the “broadening” of the rules regarding treatment of prisoners to allow for the torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib? What do YOU call a President that intimidates reporters by secretly tapping their phones?

    There is a huge difference between bullying to achieve power and leading in a manner that commands it. I find it sad that so many (about 29% of this country in fact) don’t know the difference.

    By Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door, at 12:10 AM  

  • I don't see a single reference to Tony Blair in your response, Girl Next Door. I asked a question first- please differentiate Blair's bullying from Bush's. I'm still waiting for an answer.

    Also, kindly don't make assumptions about my politics. I happen to like Blair quite a lot. And many (not all) of the stones cast at Bush appear to be aimed at Blair as well (i.e., 'preemptively invading a soverieng nation for no other reason than gaining political capital'). So it would behoove you to differentiate Bush from Blair.

    I do comment here occasionally- and do enjoy reading this blog. Perhaps your assumptions about my politics aren't accurate. I don't know- you seem to know a great deal about my politics- though you hardly know me. I thought liberals prided themselves on being open-minded and tolerant. If I am one of the 29%, then I'm open-minded (by reading this blog). If I'm not, then you've rushed to judgment.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 12:48 AM  

  • I won't be coy. I thought Colin Powell's prewar reticence was spot on. I would have followed his recommendation not to invade- not because of the war's illegality nor because Saddam didn't merit it- I was skeptical of the endgame, given the Sunni-Shiite split. So there.

    That aside, now that the decision has been made, I see little merit in removing ourselves from the region, given the horrendous consequences that will result from retreating from the area. That's nothing more than grim realism. Questions about Bush's National Guard duty are hardly serious in the face of the challenge we now face.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 12:55 AM  

  • And it really is sad that you're so quick to label people- given that my two preferred candidates right now are Sens. McCain and Clinton.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 12:58 AM  

  • Cakreiz—You are right, I shouldn’t have made assumptions about your politics. It seemed to me that you were suggesting that Bush isn’t a bully (and that my dislike for him is personal rather than based on his policies, so it seems you’ve made some assumptions about me as well).

    As for Blair (who I never mentioned in my post but you seem intent on getting me to defend), I never suggested that he isn’t a bully, but to be honest, I don’t know enough about how he has conducted himself in his own country, both politically and in regards to his domestic policies, to be comfortable labeling him as such based solely on his support for Bush’s war. Blair is culpable as well for the disaster in Iraq (equally might be a stretch), I just don’t know that he has demonstrated a pattern of bullying behavior the way Bush has. If you would like to make the case, go for it, I’m certainly no fan of Blair either.

    By Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door, at 1:47 PM  

  • Appreciate the thoughts. I'm unsure how Blair comports himself domestically but he strikes me as a decent and affable fellow who doesn't strike bullying poses. This contrasts with Bush's overconfident swagger. Since they've pursed the War, perhaps the bullying conclusion is a style v. substance matter. In other words, Bush is seen as a bully because of his personal comportment, in contast to Blair. I don't know but it's food for thought.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 5:49 PM  

  • While we may not agree on motives and intent, we probably can agree that the current state of the war is one of unceasing deadlock. I don't hold much hope out for a peaceful resolution between the religious factions. Their only common common belief appears to be contempt for the US.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 7:19 PM  

  • Cakreiz--Unfortunately I think you are right about that. Too bad the voices within our government that warned of such an outcome, weren't listened to before hand. It's not as if the current situation in Iraq was "unknowable" as Rumsfeld contends.

    By Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door, at 11:15 PM  

  • That was precisely the problem of Colin Powell's voice being marginalized. He knew the unavoidable pitfalls of trying to meld Iraq's religious factions into a peaceful unit. In 1991, Sec. of State James Baker made it clear that the rift between these factions was a primary reason not to invade Iraq. It wasn't because Saddam was loved.

    The current stalemate isn't unknowable- it's predictable and sustainable. It'll look the same way 2 year from now.

    By Blogger cakreiz, at 6:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home