The Bush Way: Fruit Fallen Far From the Tree

By Bernard Levy



Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

Eric Hoffer


    I, for one, give President Bush high marks…for incompetence, arrogance, leadership ineptitude and dishonesty.  Maybe I’m being a bit harsh.  Perhaps I’m blaming him for his privileged upbringing and continuing childhood but, at this supposedly mature stage in his life, he should have outgrown his childlike ways.  Let me explain.


    Our hometown newspaper’s past article titled, “Bush Stoic, Hopes to Move Past Slump,” covered Bush’s decline in the polls, growing opposition in Congress by both parties to his decisions in several areas including the Dubai port operations deal, federal government Hurricane Katrina recovery responses and the continuing Iraq war effort.  The following Bush quote was noted in the article written by Knight Ridder News Service reporter Ron Hutcheson.



    I’ve followed President Bush in print and visuals since his first campaign for President and have carefully researched his past history, including young manhood through Harker Energy, the Texas Rangers and his governorship. 


    Bush’s leadership and management weaknesses are clear from his lifestyle and actions.  What I’ve never figured out is why the majority of the media never put it all together.  True, Molly Ivins, in her columns and books, “Shrub” and “Bushwhacked,” presents many hard facts that should have put us on notice years ago, but there are those who have significant disdain for her.  However, facts, not opinions and perspectives, are irrefutable. 


    Columnists and investigative reporters are not unlike competent, ethical lawyers - all are dedicated to research, analysis and understanding of the subject matter.  In the case of a lawyer, he or she must understand the parties, witnesses, opposing counsel and judge in determining whether to hold ’em, bold ’em or fold ’em. 


    Bush, unlike almost all of us, was not only born with a well-oiled, golden spoon in his mouth, he continues to live in that realm.  He had received favored status in employment, business and political opportunities through connections and family clout, rather than on his own merit.  His past business successes were minimal at best, to stretch all points.  It’s clear he received favored treatment in the Reserves-I don’t hold that against him-but it is an indication of who he is and what he does.  He has what can be called “the rotten, spoiled kid syndrome.”  You know, “If I don’t get my way, I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue, and then you’ll be sorry.” 


    This attitude doesn’t apply exclusively to kids of the rich and powerful, but when it occurs in wealthy, powerful families, it can be formidable and very hard to correct.


    This syndrome is also manifested in the following behaviors:


            “My way is the only way, and I don’t need anyone else to tell me what to do.”

            “I’m never wrong, and if you tell me I’m wrong, you’re my enemy.”

            “I’m going to do what I want to do, and you’re not going to stop me.”

            “Gee, I don’t know anything about that, and don’t you play the ‘Blame Game’ on                      me.”


    It’s instructive to match up President Bush’s actions and words with one or more of the above and apply them, at least, to the Dubai port contract issue, our entrance into the Iraq war and our (his) subsequent decisions and failings in Afghanistan and our non-action against our real threats – Iran, North Korea, nuclear proliferation, global warming, polarization of the American people, and non-acceptance of American leadership and values in today’s world community; take it from there.


    His constant support, praise and reward of those in his administration who have performed incompetently and worsened conditions bring us full circle to the newspaper article‘s key message, “…but you can’t be a good decision maker….”     


    Wow!      That says it all.


    President Bush’s dad listened to others and took their counsel.  He was smart enough to assess difficult situations before he took action.  Unfortunately, in the Bush family, the fruit has fallen far from the tree.


I may have faults

but being wrong ain’t one of them.

Jimmy Hoffa