Bush's New Clothes
For those of you who haven't been following Bush's mishaps on the world stage and for those who have, SF Gate columnist, Mark Morford, has the definitive piece: "Bush Gropes, Planet Cringes Knead a German chancellor, banter dumbly, reveal global ignorance. It's Dubya abroad!" He sums it all up:
So now we know.
I mean, we sort of thought we knew, before, what kind of guy George W. Bush is, essentially our very own inept, inarticulate ex-alcoholic ex-frat-guy failed-businessman pseudo-leader who famously appeals to the most God-fearin' and least educated and least attuned among us because he is, well, one of them.
We thought we had him pegged: Just a casual and aw-shucks sort of walkin', talkin', war-happy embarrassment to the country who was rumored to be a Genuinely Nice Guy in person but who, when he traveled abroad, nevertheless caused the entire nation to pre-emptively cringe in preparation for all sorts of imminent humiliations and lots of hilarious-yet-excruciating new material for "The Collected Bushisms."
But every so often we get a glimpse of just a little more. Or, rather, less. Of what lies just beneath that carefully controlled sheen of White House spin, what happens when Dubya is away from his handlers and his prefab scripts. We get a hint of just what fuels that clueless amble, that Chosen One bumble, that graceless and decidedly dorky sort of approach to everything from ordering a Diet Coke to comprehending Middle East chaos.
Witness, won't you, the latest in a huge pile of embarrassing Bush-on-tape moments. (Warning: Not for the faint of intellect.)
Here he is, the leader of the Free World, fresh off being caught on a live microphone at the Group of Eight summit meeting muttering to his favorite poodle Tony Blair, using his bestest Texas-boy shtick, that if them gul-dang Syrians would just tell Hezbollah to knock this s-- off, everything would be dandy ...
Here is the president of the most powerful nation on the planet, fresh from an awkward smackdown by Vladimir Putin on Bush's failed war in Iraq, muttering to Blair and Chinese President Hu Jintao, actually more amazed and confounded by the fact that Jintao's flight home takes about as long as Bush's to Washington ...
(Bush: "You eight hours? Me too. Russia's a big country and you're a big country. Takes him eight hours to fly home ... Russia's big and so is China. Yo Blair, what're you doing? Are you leaving?" Ah, dumb-guy banter. Makes you feel proud all over, no?)
And now, the icing on the giant cake o' domestic torture. Here is Dubya, strolling speedily into a G-8 summit meeting where powerful, intent world leaders are already gathered to discuss, presumably, serious issues of the day, walking straight up to a seated German Chancellor Angela Merkel and giving her a weird, unsolicited shoulder rub from behind, before dashing to his seat. Oh yes he did.
The pictures, the video reveal all. Merkel reacts accordingly, is instantly creeped out, cringes and shrugs Bush away with a look of surprised revulsion. Read on...