Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush the absent

Where the hell is this guy? Is he even still the president? We've not heard word zero from this guy, and evidently Bernanke and Paulson are now his co-regents for the time being. I realize he's unpopular, and I'm sure he does too, but a solid response to this financial crisis might go a little ways toward not having a completely toxic legacy.

My guess: Bush just doesn't care anymore. He's proposed his solution via Paulson but he'll sign anything because he's written his legacy off. He doesn't want to lead on this because he's checked out and already feels repudiated. As well he should--he's been a lousy president, and that's more than likely how he'll go down in history. And his unwillingness to go on TV and, you know, tell us what's going on confirms his deficiencies as a leader.

Update: Bush is going to be on television tonight to talk about why Congress should pass his plan. Hmm...timely.

Update 2: Clay Risen says what I said, and brings up Lyndon Johnson, another hated President during a crisis:
Within minutes of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination on April 4, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson had his aides cancel a trip to Hawaii and book airtime on the networks. Within 24 hours he had gone on television twice, met with Congressional and civil rights leaders, and made a high-profile appearance at the National Cathedral. And this was a man so unpopular that he had pulled out of the presidential race just four days earlier (his poll numbers had since shot up, but he was still a lame-duck president). Johnson's appearances didn't prevent the ensuing riots, but as a demonstration of grief and concern from the nation's political establishment, they likely had a dampening effect on further outbursts of violence.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.