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Sunday, October 03, 2004

I Don't Wanna Work, I Just Want to Bang on the (War) Drums All Day

If you saw the first presidential debate, you know that President Bush has a hard job and that defending America is hard work. He must have repeated that 10 times, usually instead of answering a direct question.

But what struck me was how hypocritical it was. Recall that the hardest working man in Washington was vacationing on his Crawford ranch when he received and dismissed as unimportant a memo that warned Osama bin Laden wanted to carry out a massive terror attack in the US.

I thought one of the brilliant moments in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 relates directly to this hypocrisy:
“In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I hit every shot good; people would say I wasn't working.

NARRATOR: It was not surprising that Mr. Bush needed some time off. Being President is hard work.

REPORTER #1: Many folks say you're loafing here in Texas, that you're taking too long of a vacation.

PRESIDENT BUSH: They don't understand the definition of work. I'm getting a lot done. Secondly, you don't have to be in Washington to work. It's amazing what can happen with telephones, faxes, and...

REPORTER #2: What are you doing the rest of the day?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Uh, Karen Hughes is comin' over, we're workin' on some things. And uh, she'll be over here, we're workin' on these things. These matters. I'm workin' on some initiatives. We're uh... you'll see. There'll be some decisions I'm gonna make while I'm here and we'll be announcing them as time goes on. (looking around)”

The annoyed, distracted look on Bush’s face during the reporter’s questioning, with people socializing all around him, was the most revealing moment in the movie. It made it crystal clear that Bush was not seriously concerned with the work of being president, and the he was more concerned with his golf game.

Bush was practically a caricature of himself in the first debate. (Man, he does a good Will Ferrell.) Although firm in his conviction that being president was hard work, he seemed often at a loss to explain what how he was going to win the Iraq guerilla war, and he consistently avoided any rebuttal of Kerry’s many criticisms.

That debatin’ is hard work.


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