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January 13, 2004
Max Boot: Don't Break Out The White Cane Yet

Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, provides an amusing and trenchant response to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's weird comment that George Bush is like "a blind man in a roomful of deaf people":

The breathless revelation from former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill that the president was disengaged at Cabinet meetings — like "a blind man in a roomful of deaf people" — reinforces the old stereotype that George W. Bush is a taco or two shy of a combination platter. And, in a way, the charge is warranted. Bush definitely must have been asleep on the job to have hired a whiny back-stabber like the former Alcoa chief as his Treasury secretary and have waited two whole years before canning him.

Boot continues by looking at the oddly partisan charge of stupidity, noting as I did two days ago that the Left loves to paint Republicans as stupid. No doubt that Bush's lack of talent at public speaking gives them an opening for this particular slander, one that was being made against him even while he ran for President against a purported near-genius and fellow son of privilege Al Gore. The inconvenient facts of Bush's more successful run in academia -- Bush received a higher degree and better grades, for one thing -- didn't deter his critics from painting him as a bufoon and a puppet, much like his political inspiration, Ronald Reagan.

Sure, we're in an election cycle and the heat has naturally turned up from campaigning, but it's clear that an elitist and almost offended attitude has permeated the Left's irrational reaction to Bush -- and it's due to his success. Reagan experienced the same backlash, but his genius at communication and warm, personal style blunted it. Bush, who does not share Reagan's talent at communication or projecting an image, has no such buffer. Instead, Bush relies entirely on his success, the American public responds to it, and it's driving his opposition nuts. Listen to the candidates in Iowa thunder on about Bush being evil, to the point where frontrunner and Tinfoil Hat Brigade commander Howard Dean can repeat paranoid conspiracy theories on NPR and still maintain his MoveOn base. Or, for that matter, that MoveOn can promote two different ads on its website equating Bush to Hitler and still remain a viable political entity. This level of attack surpasses anything that came before, including the irrational component of the Clinton-haters.

If Bush maintains his polling numbers, look for even crazier attempts from his opponents to slander him as a vacuous dullard who sold his soul to Satan for thirty drops of oil ... and look for the American public to utterly reject the Weekly World News style of politics in November.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 13, 2004 6:16 AM

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