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Sep 17, 2006

Losing It?



The question, at this point, is: Can Bush stand opposition?

Up to now, I've felt that Bush had the psychological strength to contain the anger and arrogance that underlies much of his behavior.  Observing his press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday, however, I'm not so sure anymore.  Bush pulled off the Presidency perfectly well when things were going his way and people deferred to him (or cowered).  (I'm speaking mentally, not politically.)

With the teflon all but gone, however, he's starting to come apart whenever challenged.  You can hear it in his tone, and you can see it in his body language.  Besides Friday, it was quite evident, for example, in the recent "walk and talk" interviews Bush gave to Brian Williams in New Orleans and to Charles Gibson in Atlanta.  (I used one image from the Gibson interview recently, but not in this context.)

Gibson decided to take Bush on regarding the tactic of questioning the capacity of Democrats to keep America secure.  The blogosphere took good note of Bush's agitated response.  I'm not sure the 'sphere, however, picked up the psychological fine points.  Of course, Bush got offended.  If you watch the video, however, you'll see he also became retaliatory.  (As retaliatory as one can get in a supposedly civil, grown-up conversation on national television.)  A typical reaction of this kind involves a person aggressively moving forward into somebody else's physical space.  If you notice, Bush literally gets into Gibson's face.

The more diagnostic reaction came next, however.  Like any good stage actor (and, especially one who spends most of his time being filmed and photographed), Bush knows exactly where the cameras are and where to stand.  Literally unable to contain himself, however, Bush pivoted around and stepping in front of the camera, blocking the picture and denying Gibson visual access.

This need to "make it go away" is a very primitive response.  Not just angered by being opposed, Bush's immediate move to censor, or cut things off, evidences a subtle, but despairing psychological act.  (You could actually see a similar form of behavior during Friday's press conference.  Bush reacted so angrily to early questions challenging his intelligence policy, he started filibustering, talking as long as he could to answer, thereby forestalling more questions -- and the need to, again, get himself worked up.  (At one point, he even quipped to a reporter who had asked a long-winded question: "I'm not going to apologize for talking too long.")

Behaviorally, these are troubling signs.  Short of compromise (and the ego blow that seems to cause), where does Bush go if the outright opposition doesn't stop?

(images:  Atlanta.  Sept. 7, 2006.)


Jon Stewart showed excerpts from a Matt Lauer interview this week, with Bush right in Lauer's face repeating, "They want to kill your family!" Bush looked like a jaunty, restless, edgy bully ready to make trouble. Stewart added, "At least he didn't punch Matt Lauer in the face."

Bush could not resist verbally slapping David Gregory. I think it was lost on many people, but the last thing he said to Gregory, while already on his way to the next questioner, was "It took you a long time to unravel and a long time to ask your question." Bush just couldn't resist making that putdown crack, he was so angry that Gregory had dared to question his thinking about the Geneva Conventions.

I saw parts of thre press conference but also watched the Matt Lauer interview. I was stunned watching Bush almost jab Matt in the chest with his finger.

If the MSM keeps it up, someone is going to get hurt!

Is anyone else reminded of Captain Queeg? Will there be anyone brave enough to stand up to him if he really loses it? At least the press is finally getting tough, now that they think it's safe.

"...where does Bush go if the outright opposition doesn't stop?"

He goes ballistic, because he's not and never has been fit for the office, so he should be removed before he does more damage. By the way, in that video link, he makes the claim (which went unchallenged) that the job of the commander-in-chief in a time of war is to explain stuff to the 'merikin people. It's not. This guy's never done an honest day's work in his life, but somehow someone needs to explain to him that he works for them same 'merikins.,

Check this pic and get out your whistle:

Regardless of which caption correctly describes the behaviour of young George, (as a hero or a villain) observe his left arm, positioning himself for a *head high tackle.* This type of reckless and dangerous play frequently occurs in the final stages of a game due to a close score, skill level, fatigue and surface in particular personality types when under pressure.

Fast forward to 'Losing It' and observe similar behavioral (verbal) traits of the CIC attempting to foul or side line the MSM from making an end run around him.

Dangerous play: "No player can make a challenge to put their opponents at risk on purpose, for example a * head-high tackle *. If the referee sees or hears any of these things, an instant penalty will be given. A yellow card and a spell in the sin-bin are also likely. The opposition team will have a player advantage for ten minutes" (and a potential opportunity to score on a penalty kick as well..jt)
Law # 26 FOUL PLAY - International Rugby Football Board

RE: "Can Bush stand opposition?"

"He roams the country but never strays from BushWorld, going from military bases to conservative powwows to Republican Hill allies to sworn Bush supporters to sympathetic columnists.

“It helps crystallize my thought to answer your questions,” he told conservative columnists called to the Oval Office this week. But he made it clear that his thoughts were contentedly calcified: “Let me just first tell you that I’ve never been more convinced that the decisions I made are the right decisions. I’m oftentimes asked about, well, you’re stubborn and all this. If you believe in a strategy, in Washington, D.C., you’ve got to stick to that strategy, see.”"

-Maureen Dowd, The New York Times : "Awake and Scream" 16-SEP-2006

RE: "Behaviorally, these are troubling signs. Short of compromise (and the ego blow that seems to cause), where does Bush go if the outright opposition doesn't stop?"

vraiment, Michael. This maddeningly pointless AngloAmerican occupation of IRAQ will persist so long as President Bush lives in dread of his father's "Wimp Factor" legacy, and the impotency implicit of not having War-Time Presidential Powers.

It becomes increasingly absurd for proponents to attempt any rationalization of what is, in fact an irrational military deployment; to be sure, it seems almost as absurd for occupation opponents to keep pointing out things like "reason" and/or "reality"...

...when, indeed the basis of the Administration's "Borrow & Bleed" policy all boils down to the Politics of Anxious Masculinity.

Terrified of "Cut & Run" = weakness; ie., a feminine epithet conceit implicit we begin to get the uneasy impression that, not unlike, say ~ Stalingrad 1942, AngloAmerican leaders would prefer to mis-lead, even sacrifice an entire Army (who are now, quite literally "circling the wagons" = entrenching behind Barricade Baghdad) rather than lose face.

As all raisons d'etre peter out, even the hideous casus belli tautology of "we must continue to Bleed & Borrow to honour all those who have bled before and debit treasure expended" despite the folly obvious fails to inspire all but the most desperate electorate ~ the mis-leaders vent their anger...

...but in their invectives, ironically, at last we begin to see revealed truth: We come to a phenomenon called "Psychological projection."

The most common way that we explain human behaviour is to use our beliefs, our motives and our behaviour patterns as a template. So if the leaders tell you that: eg., "they have evil in their hearts" and "they respect no laws or conventional ethics; they will stop at nothing to achieve their purpose," what the AngloAmerican leaders are really telling us is that a candid examination of their inner motives reveals that they would most likely destroy all to save self, if they must; and that urge scares them; so they will project their urges onto others ~ and announce that, "I have discovered reality and this is what it looks like."

not unlike most petty salesmen or extremist socio-paths, they are invisible unto themselves : they can only see their self in our reactions to what they say and do. (This is, in my opinion one reason why Mr. Bush surrounds himself with like-minded reflectors)...

...Listen closely to the mis-leaders now, for in a perverse projection, in their desperate anger they are finally telling us the truth :-/

Why We IRAQ :

"Asked in a recent survey to explain their presence in Iraq, 85 per cent of American soldiers said that the “main mission” was “to retaliate for Saddam’s role” in the September 11 attacks. About two thirds of American civilians, it’s true, share that misapprehension..."

on the other hand, Why They Fight AngloAmerican and Israeli Occupation forces is plain enough to the subjugated peoples of IRAQ and ISRAEL, respectively; though, according to polling data The Insurgency = resistance Casus belli remains foggy in the minds of most Americans, and indeed ~ who "they" are (ie., the enemy) has NEVER been established: only their mode d'emploi behaviour = "terrorism".

To most Informed Commenters the question is not, "is George W. Bush lying?" Rather, in my opinion the question is:

"To what extent is the American leader aware that he is mis-leading?"

in other words, is there any evidence precedent of Machiavellian intelligence, or is the President of the United States delusional?

...that is The Question. For, if the Americans and their soldiers, sailors and airmen are being merely manipulated, then there must exist some cause célèbre, somewhere ~ however selfish or evil it may be. But, if the reality of George W. Bush and the Americans who enable or follow his lead is a Folie à deux, then we are all in this world of hurt for no reason :-/


Is anyone else reminded of Captain Queeg?

A diary at Daily Kos explores the Queeg-ness of CinC Bush at some length: Mutiny in America?

Violating camera sight lines to show us the back of his head, the Decider visually reminds us that 1) his is the most important perspective; 2) he's not really into sharing what he really sees.

He will continue to show more of his true face. Which is refreshing. Though repulsive.

He may end up committing battery on some questioner.

I saw the Lauer piece, and now seeing these stills from the Gibson interview, I still don't understand. Why are they standing? What is this stage management supposed to convey? Is Bush incapable of sitting still, or at least controlling his seated body language?

I think Bush and Lauer are about the same height, but it looks like Gibson is taller. By getting closer to the camera, the height difference is erased. Is this all just vanity?

In the press conference,
on Friday,
Bush got quite grim with David Gregory
for asking a hypothetical question
and refused to answer him.

Then in response to the very next questioner – he gave hypothetical answers.

No one challenged him on it.

Thanks for the link, black dog barking. I like the picture there, too.

I'd say Bush has been on the defensive ever since shortly after Saddam Hussein's capture. That's when the cracks in the seems really started to show, since violence was still rampant even 6 months after Hussein's deposition.

I recall an interview with Diane Sawyer several years ago where Bush was very defensive.

I also saw the Matt Lauer thing (what a joke of a reporter he is, eh?) and I also don't get the standing around. it's like they've been walking and talking and all of a sudden had to stop for this very important part of their conversation. Logistically speaking, I think it's easier for Bush's handlers to have him stand, because then he doesn't have to go from slouching in a chair (showing laziness) to crouching forward (showing defensiveness). At least, that's what the Diane Sawyer interview was like (where Bush was seated).

Fear activates the fight-or-flight response. Bush is afraid, threatened, cornered — not by these individual interviewers, but by behind-closed-doors legal counsel — and he's lashing out in dyslexic self-defense. He's afraid because he is finally coming to understand that breaking international laws of war (as well as breaking the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice) is freakin' ILLEGAL. And it's also finally dawning on him that law-breakers can be (and perhaps will be) freakin' PROSECUTED.


Why do I think this? If you read the transcript on Hullabaloo of what Bush says to David Gregory, you will see it's actually not his usual gibberish. True, he doesn't answer Gregory's hypothetical question (What if our guys get caught by Iran or N. Korea, blah blah blah?). But he does reveal what's on his mind: that CIA interrogators are likely going to be prosecuted for torturing "enemy combatants." Bush's repetitive statements express his almost-articulate fear:

"We can debate this issue all we want, but the practical matter is, if our professionals don't have clear standards in the law, the program is not going to go forward.

You cannot ask a young intelligence officer to violate the law. And they're not going to. They — let me finish please — they will not violate the law.

You can ask this question all you want, but the bottom line is . . . this program won't go forward if there's vague standards applied like those in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. It's just not going to go forward.

You can't ask a young professional on the front line of protecting this country to violate law. Now, I know they say they're not going to prosecute them. Think about that, you know. 'Go ahead and violate it, we won't prosecute you.' "

What Bush can't yet wrap his brain around is that there can be no results (however fake) from the "interrogation program" if they *don't* use torture (or insert your favorite euphemism for torture). So Bush is still trying to get Congress to go around the Supreme Court, and Congress has finally reached a legal dead end.

Bush has been unraveling and Congress has been mutinying since the Supreme Court handed down the decision on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in June. I don't know all the ramifications of Hamdan, but people who do know say it renders Bush's domestic spying program illegal as well.

Bush might figure out (eventually) that this all leads to questioning the constitutionality of some of the Executive Branch's executive decisions, this all leads back to him. Certainly his sympathetic nervous system has figured it out, and is choosing combat whenever the subject comes up.

Colin Powell's sympathetic nervous system has figured it out too, and it tells *him* to scram. That's why he has put his position (I'm opposed to rewriting Article 3 of Geneva, I'm opposed to torture, I've read and understand the UCMJ) in writing. He is preparing for the day when he must testify at the "What did the president know and when did he know it" hearing.

In the meantime, I think we should all sit back and watch an American president throw a punch.

By primitive response, are you saying that the lizard part of his brain is taking over?

If so, we're all screwed. When subdued he's bad. When agitated he's a disaster.

stale(blue)bottle piss-mire(d)

What Keir wrote:

he's not and never has been fit for the office, so he should be removed before he does more damage.

I, along with other non-certificated psychiatrists in the blogosphere, am convinced he is sick. It is too late to remove him, the line of replacements behind him is far worse. We can only watch it play out.

Well, no. Actually, there *IS* one option: Find Dave.

Sure, Bush is a classical rich boy ex-drunk elevated to a position of great power and acts like it. Demented, inflexible, more than supersized ego, all of which will come apart under the pressure of failure. However, to support your analysis I think you'll have to put aside your prejudices and come up with better evidence than is exhibited in this video. Bush wasn't challenged by Williams in any serious way, shape or form. On the contrary, Williams' questions, in effect, "What if you lose?" were typical journalistic obnoxious stupidity. Bush handled them appropriately and with appropriate tone.

Yeah, I noticed Bush getting into Gibson's space and Williams too. And of course he was so pissy in the Rose Garden the other day. I recall during one of the 2000 year debates with Al Gore, Gore went up and invaded Bush's space while he was talking. I am sure someone advised Gore to do that because Bush had a history of getting into peoples faces. Gore's timing was bad and it was probably bad advise anyway. But Bush's space invasion is for real. He is a bully. When Bush acts like this you know that there is no way he is going to change anything about his behavior or his thinking. The man has so much blockage and he acts emotionally instead of intellectually. There is no hope for him. He will always be a bullying screw-up who never gets anything right but thinks he never does anything wrong. If his father was born with a silver foot in his mouth, then Junior was born with the entire collection of silver and the boxes they came in in his mouth.

We've seen this scene before, although sans Williams or Gibson.

Travis: "Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me? 'Cause I'm the only one here."

Taxi Driver

"where does Bush go if the outright opposition doesn't stop?"

into retirement?

a guy can hope.

I grew up around bullies, I think a simple stare would force George to back down.

Anyone who's ever lived with an alcoholic knows exactly what kind of behaviour we're seeing from the naked emperor. Only difference is, most of the bully drunks I knew didn't have the nuclear football.

Bush said, speaking to a democatic take-over, "you're asking me to speculate on something that isn't going to happen"

Now either this man truly does live in a bubble, or he KNOWS something that many people have suspected for sometime, that the elections are decided in advance.

rtbag, this: "We can debate this issue all we want, but the practical matter is, if our professionals don't have clear standards in the law, the program is not going to go forward." and other quotes you posted by W. lead me to a different conclusion. Rather than indicating a sense within W. of concern for those young 'professionals,' it appears to me that he is using them as a bargaining chip to force congress to give him what he wants. What he wants is not to enforce the existing laws and insure that those 'professionals' abide by the law, he wants to change the law so that whatever he and/or others do/did will not be actionable.

It's as if the public defender said to the reporters that these young gang members have robbed banks and they may do so again so let's not prosecute these young 'professionals', let's change the laws so that members of this gang will not have to worry about prosecution for robbing the bank in the past, nor in the future. After all, as a practical matter, we know they're gonna do it so isn't it best to bring the laws up to date. I mean, if the laws aren't changed, these boys won't rob any banks and they will have to go on welfare, then other gangs will take over and be even more dangerous, and that will be all your fault.

What I don't understand is how can an ignorant dyslexic sociopath with faulty command of our common language, run circles around $5million/year "reporters?"

Cactus > run circles around $5million/year "reporters?"

Its the pay cheque first, the questions are a *self censoring* second, in nature and in order of priority.

I think most of us would like to ask Bush some serious questions.

I'm tired of the deference that's been shown to someone who has managed to screw up pretty much everything this country is supposed to believe in and value.

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