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September 5, 2005

The Potemkin Country

-- by Gary Boatwright

The Heretik's cartoon captures the essence of Bush's failure. The Potemkin Countryand he has a delightful roundup of smackdowns to go with it.

Bilmon builds on the same them with The Potemkin President

Today's featured rant is from Jeffrey Feldman at Frameshop, The Stranger:

But there is also a question of how the President delivered his messages to the nation in the face of this tragedy, and how the mere act of watching that delivery impacted the way Americans felt about him as a leader.

Despite endless reports and images that tortured the minds of Americans, President Bush’s delivery--his behavior in general--never registered any of the dramatic emotion that fell like a dark cloud on the country. He was and continues to be emotionally empty in the face of the tragic events.

Emotionally empty. That sums up the Bush administration and the man.

As the failure of the relief effort unfolded, Americans witnessed a startling contrast between a citizenry, press corp, and local leadership who spoke with more and more emotion with each passing moment, and a President, White House and Cabinet that grew more and more stoic.

After a short while, the President’s failure to deliver food and water became linked in the minds of Americans to the absence of emotions in his behavior. And once those two issues were connected, America had effectively lost faith in its leader.


I'm as baffled by the 35-40% of Americans who still support Bush as I am by Bush himself. Are there that many Americans who are as emotionally disconnected from the fate of their fellow Americans as Bush is himself?

We began to see a man who was unmoved by the desperate cries for help of his people. He became a stranger to us.
I never did understand all the polls about which candidate you would like to have a beer with. I wouldn't sit next to Bush in a bar let alone drink with the man.
And even though Americans were not saying it, they were all thinking the same thing: this person who shows no emotion in the face of such a tragedy--this man who stays above it all--this is our leader? How can this be?

The hurricane and flood revealed that our President seemed to lack the bond of basic human kindness towards other Americans. Or if he did not lack that human kindness, he certainly lacked the ability to demonstrate it to the nation in times of great need.


Bush's voice, his tired platitudes and his facial quirks turn my stomach. How can a country that worships success and accomplishment have a leader who has failed at everything he ever touched? How can any American ignore the staggering incompetence of the Bush administration?

Now, whenever the President speaks, he flicks his lower jaw from side to side as if readjusting a mouth piece.

Cold and distant, new facial ticks--ultimately Americans are sympathetic to individual responses in times of great emotion.

Jeffrey nails it. Even more than Bush's stark incompetence and failure, what stands out is the callous emotional emptiness of the man behind the policies. George Bush is a Potemkin person with a Potemkin heart and a Potemkin soul.

Posted by Gary Boatwright at September 5, 2005 12:12 PM

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