From Bozo to Churchill: George W.'s post-September 11 reinvention
Countless leaders have been deified by national emergency, but few have been remade as quickly and completely as George W. Bush. In many cases, those who had misread him as a simple tool, braying automatically at his most trivial mistakes, now automatically revered him. Such converts suddenly agreed with those who had seen Bush's flaws as signs of latent greatness--thitherto the notion only of a large plurality, but now the common wisdom.
And so, before you knew it, the seeming bozo was our savior. Not only were his famous foibles magically erased, but Bush's entire political pre-history also slipped right down the memory hole--the fraud and thuggery in Florida, the Supreme Court's complicity, the appointment of John Ashcroft, the budget-busting tax cuts, the moves against Social Security, the screw-you foreign policy, the slash-and-burn environmental policy, the lame prescription drug plan, the Jeffords controversy, California's power black-outs, Dick Cheney's Enron black-out and the many other signs of Big Oil's toxic spread, and on and on. Such a tacky record contradicted Bush's recent incarnation as America's Augustus, and so the record (briefly) disappeared.
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Last modified: Wed Nov 12 00:42:57 CST 2003