Sunday, October 28, 2007

Only Bush Could Make A Hug, Just Another Lie

Though the author of this seemingly serious piece of hogwash apparently believes that Bush's manly, enthusiastic hugs seem sincere, I don't. How can anyone think anything about George W Bush is sincere, unless one counts insanity; as in sincerely insane.

After NOLA, I have to turn my head or hit the clicker quick when I see him start to go in for the clinch. It's sickening.

Who does he think he is; Jesus, walking on water? Ever since Katrina, he has been racing around the country bringing healing hugs to victims of all kinds of catastrophes,, none of which he could be easily blamed, burning fuel we can ill afford these days, thanks to that god-damned war of his in Iraq, which is about to spin out of control, threatening us all with much worse than a wild-fire.

I'd hate to think what I would do to this president, if my house was 6 feet under water or turned to cinders, with gas prices about to top $100/barrel , if he showed up in by drive way, having just spent over $40,000 of the tax-payers money for a photo op that isn't going to do anyone a whit of good to give me a hug.

Let me just say, it would be much worse than the pretzel incident.

What a jackass.! He would do well to stay the hell away from me, even on a good day.

Bush the Embracer

Interpreting the Presidential Hug

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 27, 2007; C01

The wildfires in Southern California this week have served to remind the world once more about one of the singular and underappreciated skills of George W. Bush: The man is a generous hugger.

There he was, amid the charred remains of some formerly upscale neighborhood, embracing the weary and the dazed victims of the fire. He made a little speech as one of the unfortunate locals was snuggled up to his side, his arm clinching her close. The gesture suggested strength, solidarity, compassion. The resident looked almost reassured.

Long after his presidency is history, some of the most memorable images of Bush's years in office will involve hugs. Flip through the mental photo album: Bush, standing on that legendary rubble pile on Sept. 14, 2001, one arm vise-clamping a firefighter, the other gripping a bullhorn; Bush, in New Orleans and Mississippi, handing out embraces like the Red Cross hands out relief supplies; Bush, at Virginia Tech, hugging the relatives of 32 murdered students.

For a president who doesn't necessarily come across as a touchy-feely guy, he sure does touch a lot. In just the past six months, according to a database search, he has hugged hundreds of people in public: the families of dead firefighters and police officers; the parents of a posthumous Medal of Honor winner; workers at a Nashville bread company; the mayor of Huntsville, Ala.; the jockey who rode the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby; the survivors of a Kansas tornado; departing political mastermind Karl Rove; press secretary Dana Perino. He touches nobodies and world leaders alike.

Like most everything the president does, Bush's hugs come fraught with symbolic meaning. Photos and video of him embracing (or being embraced by; it's not entirely clear) then-Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) and Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) became fodder for Daschle and Lieberman's political opponents. Bush's embrace of an Ohio teenager whose mother had died in the 9/11 attacks became the centerpiece of an emotional campaign ad (funded by a conservative group) in October 2004.

Who hugged this often, this freely, this (seemingly) sincerely while in the White House? Bill Clinton was certainly a copious hugger, but his public displays of affection will forever be overshadowed by a single hug -- that tape-loop of his embrace of Monica Lewinsky at a rally. Richard Nixon's two most famous hugs -- his awkward semi-grapple with Sammy Davis Jr. and his iconic embrace of his wife, Pat, on the day of his resignation -- were the stuff not of uplift but of comedy and tragedy.

Bush the Elder? Yes, Dad could hug it out, but he did so stiffly and tentatively, as if he were still mastering a strange new custom. Did Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan hug? They may have, but not so you'd remember. LBJ could hug with menace. Ford and Kennedy? Eisenhower? No. And no way.

Journalistic skepticism compels us to note that presidential hugs usually are photo ops, staged for the cameras and calculated to deliver the prepackaged sentiment, as Bush 41 once put it, "Message: I care." But the visual evidence also compels us to remark that Bush 43's hugs are among the least stage-y of his mannerisms. There's an athletic, energetic, almost muscular quality to them. They seem, in a word, genuine.

This is something that many men -- at least many men of Bush's background and generation -- have long found difficult. Hugging, particularly hugging another man, is the kind of casual yet intimate PDA that such men shy from. It's acceptable with family members, and on formal occasions, like weddings and funerals, or if you've just won the Super Bowl. But let's not push it.

To these men, hugging suggests an excessive degree of emotion and physical intimacy, both of which violate the macho code (admittedly, this code" varies among different groups). The complicated male attitude toward hugging was once perfectly distilled by another Texan, the animated Hank Hill on "King of the Hill." Overjoyed by something his often-disappointing son has done, the uptight Hank exclaims, "Bobby, if you weren't my son, I'd hug you."

As Hugger in Chief, of course, Bush enjoys the advantage of power and privilege. As a rule, says David Givens, who runs the Spokane, Wash.-based Center for Nonverbal Studies, people of "higher status" can touch others without consequence, but the reverse is not true. Touch, he says, is of particular value to an unpopular president such as Bush. "A lot of people mistrust his words," Givens says, "but it's hard to fake the meaning of a handshake or an embrace. It's more trustworthy. [Touch] is an ancient form of communication that goes back further than words."

Leave it to Junior to turn even these usually hard to fake intimate displays of affection and compassion into presidential, political hogwash

Not all presidential hugs, however, are created equal. Natural disasters lend themselves to the comforting embrace, but not so the battlefield or military cemetery. Bush, like other modern wartime presidents, is less frequently photographed hugging wounded troops or their bereaved.

Perhaps that's considered too intimate an image for public consumption. Or perhaps it's simply too far off-message for any White House, raising uncomfortable questions about cause and effect.

In other words, for even as compulsive a hugger as George Bush, there may be some things any president would rather not embrace.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

1 comment:

Shimmy said...

Once the White House loses its "faith-based" community, it loses all the reference points of truly common language -- until such time as the divisions within the country at large can be overcome by the inauguration of a real historical community.