September 19, 2005
The Real George Bush
In recent days, I have seen more discussion in the press of what George Bush is really like, behind closed doors. He is beginning to show it in public.
George Packer has described Bush's "brittle inflexibility" and Evan Thomas of Newsweek his dislike of dissent. Here's what Thomas had to say: "Bush can be petulant about dissent; he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with him."
Michael Shaw of BagNewsNotes comes right out with "tempermental, stubborn, impatient and callous."
It's really beginning to show on Bush's face. His swagger is not as John Wayne-ish. He certainly does not have any of that post-9/11 jauntiness and patriotic zeal. There is no applause. Americans have not put out their flags united behind him.
I suspect that, in private, it's pretty unpleasant to be around him.
Here are four photos of Bush at the United Nations on September 14, 2005 (many thanks to BagNewsNotes for these photos).
In the top photo, he is voting, an act of active participation, but with a look on his face that is bored and snide all at the same time.
In the second photo, he is listening with what can only be called a look of disdain. He'd really rather be back at his ranch riding a horse or something. It's almost as if he is thinking "this isn't fun anymore."
In the third photo, he is listening again, but I think his face reflects the fact that he has lost the train of what the speaker is saying. In the same way he loses himself even when speaking from a script, he has lost himself in his listening process. Like "oops, just what the hell is this guy talking about?"
In the bottom photo, Bush is showing his real unhappiness with his situation. He is in a major pickle and he knows it. He could care less about the UN, about the rest of the world, about kicking Kofi Annan's butt, because all he can think about is the deep doodoo in which he finds himself in Iraq and in the aftermath of Katrina. It was all so much fun, up until now.