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May 13, 2008

I'm Sure Smirky's Golf Game Wasn't That Hard To Cut Loose

(before de Mello)

Bush Mountain Bike
(after de Mello)

President Bush said yesterday that he gave up golfing in 2003 "in solidarity" with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq, concluding that it was "just not worth it anymore" to play the sport in a time of war.

"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," Bush said in a White House interview with the Politico. "I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

-- Bush Says He's Not A Golfer In Wartime (WAPO - May 14, 2008)

In light of the disclosure above, I think most people will look at this White House shot from May 5, 2007 and simply make the argument that Bush views golf as a sport and cycling as physical fitness.  That was, after all, the circumstance of this White House pic.

Knowing Bush, however, and the avid biker he's become (1, 2), I think the reason he has forsaken golf is not because he feels it's inappropriate so much as because of the immediate shame he felt having been caught on the golf course at the wrong moment.

As WAPO goes on:

Bush said he decided to stop playing golf on Aug. 19, 2003, when a truck bomb in Baghdad killed U.N. special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and more than a dozen others.

He said he received word of the attack while playing golf during a stay at the family ranch near Crawford, Tex. Press reports at the time indicate he took the call from Condoleezza Rice, then his national security adviser.

"They pulled me off the golf course, and I said it's just not worth it anymore to do," Bush said in yesterday's interview.

Just like he never felt any need for collective sacrifice, it is just not in Bush's make-up to have made this decision in the broader context of "the appropriate behavior to set in wartime."  (If that was the case, then how would one explain the multitude of examples -- such as this one or this one -- where Bush, in the most public of wartime settings, has acted like a complete goof ball?)

No, being the concrete and stubborn guy he is, there just is not much difference in Bush's cocky pre-war, adolescent manner and the wartime manner he brings to everything, including replacement forms of recreation, such as fishing and biking.  It's the same smirky smirk.

Perhaps the jolt he received actually broke through Dubya's otherwise impermeable wall of denial.  Between truly examining his larger, gung-ho attitude toward the war, however, and adopting the gesture (just between him and himself) of jettisoning his golf game, I'm sure the golf wasn't that hard to cut loose.

(image 1: J. Scott Applewhite -- AP via WAPO.  image 2: Joyce Boghosian/White House. May 5, 2007.  Beltsville, Md.


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It would have been better if he would have given up presidentun.

In his tortured English the President
could be saying that golf is no longer enjoyable, as he might be interrupted.

"They pulled me off the golf course, and I said it's just not worth it anymore to do,"

Amen, KansasKowboy.

From the AFP story:

Bush's last round of golf as president dates back to October 13, 2003, according to meticulous records kept by CBS news.

So, more precisely, the President quit golfing less than two months after his traumatic golf experience. It is worth noting that suicide bombings had just started happening in Iraq and the Mission was starting to look something other than Accomplished.

Mid October, 2003 is also the time we broke out the dogs and Polaroids at Abu Ghraib. Coincidence? Or Satan?

I suspect it has more to do with this:

Now watch this drive

Words uttered by President George W. Bush to the media (on a golf course) after announcing his serious stance on global terrorism. Brought to light from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

Quickly becoming an Internet meme for either Bush's hypocrisy or a segue into a non-sequitor.

"I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive." (Swings)

- G.W. Bush

I like the bike picture because it shows GWB's legs. Those legs remind me that he's a human being, that he shares in the human condition which, in turn, means that he's subject to the same natural laws as the rest of us. He will grow old and he will die, just like us. No person can escape what they've done. He'll have his deathbed experience and quite possibly his judgement day or karmic rebirth or whatever else the metaphysical gears of the universe have in store for him. He's a mass murderer. He's made the poor poorer and the rich richer. He's abused his power and had a direct impact on the health of the Earth itself. He's approved torture. He's let loose the dogs of war.

I don't know if any of you have ever faced your demons (in therapy or meditation or in a 12 step or whatever) but even simple transgressions can be painful to overcome and forgive and move beyond. Can you imagine the suffering poor George faces once those skinny legs give out and he can't pedal away from his demons any longer?

Can he be born again...again? Jesus might have a thing or two to say about that since the deadliest of sins were committed in his name the first time around.

His last golf game was on Oct 13, 2003, so his claim that he gave it up in August is BS. More likely he gave it up because of his knee problems which he was suffering then.

It's really not fair on the smirk thing. It's a look common to those who began drinking at an early age and didn't stop until well after the brain had fully developed physically. It's not a smirk, it's a grin of incomprehension at the world that is so confusing to someone whose brain was always under the influence. It's not like he had a lot of extra brain cells to burn in the first place. He probably starts with an IQ of around a 100 and drops a few points for every decade spent living between bottle and spoon.

The hypocrisy really piles on when you take into account how much the military loves golf (see "The Military-Leisure Golf Complex" by Nick Turse at If golf's good enough for the officers in the Green Zone, it should be good enough for the president. If they don't feel guilty or worry about looking bad why should he? Besides, sociopaths don't feel remorse.

Re "the appropriate behavior to set in wartime" - that isn't even to mention the famous pictures of him playing with the guitar, or the one with him and John McCain joking over a birthday cake on the same day that New Orleans drowned.

I seem to recall that George H.W. Bush took heat for "recreating" during Iraq War I. So this is another case of the cretin son taking precedent from his Father. But not until he had gotten five years of golf in.

COPY WHAT WORKS.... "If you want to get rich, just find someone making lots of money and do what they are doing." - John Paul Getty –Well Known Philanthropist


Bike: your tax dollars at work

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