Monday, September 10, 2007

Best Lead of the Month

'Is it possible that for the past seven years we've gotten President George W. Bush wrong? Is it possible that that effortless stupidity and inexplicable arrogance that have become his hallmark are all just an act? Like Borat--only dumber? Is it possible Bush figured he could accomplish more for the commonweal if he didn't come off as just another responsible, competent world leader? Perhaps he assumed if he assumed the guise of a strutting, bumbling, dim-witted ass, everyone would give him a wide berth, much the way drivers slow down when they see a car swerving madly up ahead. Genius, right? Perhaps Bush was Rove's brain! Perhaps the vice president actually does report to the president. Perhaps Bush doesn't go to bed at 9:30, but instead, like Castro, works through the night in some candlelit aerie in the West Wing, his Promethean intellect humming away as he dots the i's and crosses the t's of his devilishly clever master plan. Maybe he's not the incurious, isolated simpleton the press makes him out to be. Perhaps the president has been playing chess while the rest of us have been playing checkers.'
--from Graydon Carter's editor's letter in the October issue of Vanity Fair, in which he recaptures much of the slashing bite of the late, lamented Spy Magazine, which he co-founded. You can review prior Best Leads of the Month here and here.


At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Mr. Bluster said...

That hypothesis has crossed my mind in a desperate attempt to make sense of how we could have this guy as our President for two terms.

It's also reminiscent of the Saturday Night Live/Phil Hartman impersonation of Reagan. An amiable goof when in public, a hard-charging, order-snapping exec in private. I think it resonated with the public for the same reasons as this Vanity Fair item.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Who would have ever thought we could have a president that would make thinking people almost nostalgic for Reagan's intelligence and moral trustworthiness? I, for one, would never have believed it. But he's somehow accomplished it.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Roldo Bartimole said...

No, John. He's got it all wrong.

Bush is bush. He's always had everything given to him and he's never had to really earn anything.

That is what shows in his combination of arrogance and ignorance. He's as incompetent as he has been.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Roldo, no argument there, either from me or Carter. Actually, as I should have pointed out in my post, Carter goes on in his piece (which isn't online) to knock down all those straw men he sets up in his lead, and come down mostly as you do. I just liked the artful way he set it up at the beginning.

At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Lou said...

And here I thought it could be the ramblings of a bad trip.

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Charles said...

I loved this article. Actually it is online. Here is the link:

Congratulations John for being the first person in the blogosphere to post about this article (according to a Google search on some text in the article)

Keep bringing this kind of information to our attention.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Charles, many thanks for adding to the conversation with this link. Either it wasn't yet up when I posted this, or I didn't notice it. So I'm always thankful for readers who add to our collective intelligence. I surely couldn't do it alone. There's always so much wonderful stuff in Vanity Fair. I can't recommend it highly enough.


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