THE REAL GEORGE W. BUSH….I just saw Bush’s speech to a group of FBI agents on CNN and it highlights the personal aversion that I have to the man. Just as he did in the State of the Union speech, he made smirking references to the fact that thousands of al-Qaeda members “would no longer bother us” ? taking a sort of sophomoric pleasure in the fact. He acts like a ten-year-old who thinks he’s cleverly gotten away with saying something rude at the dinner table.
In fact, that was the only point in the speech where he seemed to really get animated. He practically started giggling in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge kind of way when he said this, and that kind of thing just sets my teeth on edge. In war people get killed, but it’s not something to take pleasure in. I wish he’d show a little more respect and seriousness when he talks about killing thousands of people, even if some of them are terrorists.
I can only imagine how non-Americans react to this kind of juvenile spectacle.
Valentine’s Day was always a very high-pressure occassion ? gifts to buy, romantic plans to make, etc. ? that didn’t feel like much fun. That, combined with the intolerable cold, has always made me feel like Eliot had it wrong and February is the cruelest month, which would also explain why they made it so short.
IF GARY HART’S REMARKS were regarded by some as crypto-anti-semitism, then what about this comment reported in the Washington Post that the “Likudniks” in the Administration are running American foreign policy?
This appears to be a slap at Hart, but apparently that’s just the result of some hasty wording. Hart is never mentioned in the Post article, which, after a long lead-in, quotes a “senior government official” saying that “The Likudniks are really in charge now.” The speaker is referring to Elliot Abrams and mentions that Abrams’ hawkish views are shared by Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld.
Using “Likudnik” as slightly acerbic shorthand for “someone who is hawkish on Israel and strongly supports Ariel Sharon” ? the head of the Likud party ? seems pretty reasonable, perhaps the rough equivalent of saying “the Bushies are in charge” referring to Tony Blair’s government. I’m not really sure why Glenn would even bring this up, but perhaps he’ll explain what he meant sometime later today.
UPDATE: For what it’s worth, a couple of readers have written to say that the “nik” suffix is commonly used in Israel and is roughly equivalent to “ite” in English. So calling someone a Likudnik would be about as anti-semitic as calling someone a Clintonite would be anti-Democrat.