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(Manson) Family Snapshot

In this morning's Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby has a fascinating piece on the rising Bush Derangement Syndrome and its latest expression, the British planned film depicting his assassination and the consequences. It's a good read, and that's not surprising -- Jacoby is kind of the Globe's own Mitt Romney -- the token non-liberal to deflect criticism of one side completely and utterly "owning" the institution.

Anyway, Jacoby cites some of the more egregious examples of BDS of the last few years, including the death threats from some people who really, really ought to know better.

But I'm not so sure this "Death Of A President" will end up falling into that category.

Given what is known about it so far, and the people behind it, it's probably a safe assumption, but I consider myself a minor scholar of American history, and have read a lot of fiction that revolves around assassinations. I think it's a rich area to explore, and a well-done film about it could be very valuable.

I think it was in a David Eddings novel where there was a plot to kill an emperor. One of the heroes discovered it, and mentioned that "when you kill a nation's leader, the people tend to go crazy for a while." Even if the leader is inept or corrupt or just plain evil, it's still a hell of a shock to a country.

Sometimes, when the leader is killed, there is a huge purge and bloodbath as all those associated with the former regime are also executed. Sometimes, it serves as a catharsis for the people, as in the case of Nicolae Ceauşescu of Romania.

But in the United States, we don't have any such history. When our sitting presidents die, either from natural causes or assassination, it is a tremendous shock to our nation. We tend to react with fury at the assassin, if that is the cause.

But the longer-term consequence is that the president's agendas and plans tend to get passed and carried out with tremendous haste and popular support. It seems that we, as a country, tend to feel the need to honor our fallen commander-in-chief by carrying out what we perceive as their final wishes. It happened with Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. (It also led to an aircraft carrier being named in their honor, but that's just another historical oddity.)

In Bush's case, it would most likely have an even stronger effect than the Kennedy assassination. It would hardly trigger a violent revolution, for two reasons that spring to mind: 1) Bush would be succeeded by Dick Cheney; and 2) Bush's supporters tend to be very pro-2nd-Amendment, while his detractors are more into gun control, meaning that those who would be pushing this revolution would most likely be outgunned by several orders of magnitude.

The film brings up a valid point: the open hatred (for whatever reasons) for Bush is greater than any president I can remember, and might even surpass that of Nixon at the height of Watergate or Johnson during Viet Nam. There have already been at least one known attempt to assassinate him (the grenade that turned out to be a dud tossed at him in the Republic of Georgia), and there is no doubting that there are enough crazies out there to try it.

If the film is done responsibly, it could be a fascinating piece of work and I'd probably watch it We'll just have to wait and see.

And if the producers decide to add to the versimilitude of the film, they can always superimpose the face of Howard Dean, Al Franken, Kos, or (my personal favorite) Cindy Sheehan on top of the assassin's face, just like they're putting Bush's face on the actor who gets shot.


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Comments (20)

Bush has been President for... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Bush has been President for 6 six years...does he deserve Any responsibily for our failures in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Assuming that both nations are mired deeper than this Administration predicted those short years ago...

You are correct, it is a Da... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

You are correct, it is a David Eddings novel. Can't remember the specific title, but it was the 2nd or 3rd book in his "Mallorean" series.

See, Dhrew, that's the prob... (Below threshold)
Tim:

See, Dhrew, that's the problem. You're assuming instead of coming up with a rational thought. The only ones mired in Afghanistan are Taliban remnants. They hide over the border in Pakistan, decide they've recovered and built up enough to take on the unilateral US and all of our allies, then get killed for their efforts. I would love for the Taliban to build up and army of 10,000 or more, and come storming out of the mountain passes into Afghanistan. That's what you call a 'target-rich' environment. As far as Iraq goes, the Iraqis are taking responsibility for more areas every day, while we take less of a role. I've heard it expressed on several dozen occasions as "as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down". Still can't remember who said it though. Probably someone from the Carlyle Group, I'll wager.

Its as if all you folks hav... (Below threshold)
candace:

Its as if all you folks have blinders on, just admit it Bush has done nothing but cause the desenegration of this country, in the past 6 years. When you defend him its totally disgustin, and it insults your own intelligence, for the simple reason that you guys wont admit that he has failed the american people severely.

Get a introspect from different countries accross the globe.. they hate America, and it

s polocies, they think we are political bullies, and war happy. They dont respect us, becouse while The war is still going on, we have the crazy Korean dictator, waving a nuclear bomb in our face saying na na na..na na I have the capabilities...what you gonna do about it.

Who will stand up for this great country founded by God?

Fortunately the folks stand... (Below threshold)
epador:

Fortunately the folks standing up for this country can spell and don't suffer from BDS.

candace...I was goin... (Below threshold)
DoninFla:

candace...
I was going to make a few comments (fisks really)but,... You are either drunk, a poor BDS suffering soul, or just not really able to put together a rational comment. Either way, never mind, it's not worth my effort...


candace- What's the value o... (Below threshold)

candace- What's the value of being international Prom Queen if everyone knows you're a slut?

this is a great country "fo... (Below threshold)
gozorak:

this is a great country "founded" by god?

Are we supposed to take your opinions seriously after such stupidity?

The only thing worse than the religious right is the religious left..

looks like pick on candace ... (Below threshold)

looks like pick on candace day, so i'll hop on the bandwagon.

candace: what is "desenegration"? i'm assuming you meant "disintegration", but i could be wrong.

Here is something that give... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Here is something that give a picture comparison, for you on the left who like to think Clinton did something about terrorism. Compare the number of terrorists killed due to U.S. direct action during the two administrations. I know of none during the Clinton administration, except those killed by blowing themselves up. Seems thousands have died since 9/11. No more training camps in Afghanistan, no more Saddam. Oh thats right, he is not a terrorist. Guess those gifts of $25,000 to suicide bombers families does not count, at least to democrats. You creatins on the left are phoneier than a $3.00 bill.

desenegration </b... (Below threshold)
desenegration
Sounds like a surgical procedure.

"Hey, Maw, make sure you take your fiber pills or else you're gonna hafta go in for desenegration again...."

And he will your president ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

And he will your president for TWO MORE years "drewless"(or is that clueless).

Drew (and Candace) ...... (Below threshold)

Drew (and Candace) ...

You should evaluate the President's performance in the light of this. Looks to me like the President is in good company, since the "blunderers" documented in the article are now considered great leaders and statesmen.

Next, if you wish to accurately assign accountability, consider -- over the years since WWII -- that the diplomatic/negotiative/containment approach (favored by critics of this Administration) to dealing with totalitarian expansionism did little but maintain a status quo that included "peace" agreements that weren't worth the paper they were written on ... and the drip-drip-drip of MILLIONS of lives into gulags and/or mass graves ...

... while OTOH, so-called "cowboy diplomacy" (villified by critics of this Administration, many of whom also villified Ronald Reagan in the same way), led to the toppling of several totalitarian regimes ... the liberation of millions ... real reductions in nuclear arms stockpiles ... and an enhanced environment for true peace, instead of the facade of the Leftist status quo.

Maybe, instead of protesting against the war in Vietnam, your fellow-travelers in recent history should have protested LBJ's micromanagement of the war, and demanded that he engage the NVA and VC decisively ... not only would millions have been spared the re-education camps, killing fields, and pirate-infested waters of escape ... but the message would have gotten out, that you simply don't mess with America ...

... a message that might just have been heeded by today's enemies, and prevented our present war.

And if they didn't listen then, President Carter should have sent the message again ... even more forcefully ... when the Iranian radicals dared to take our diplomats hostage.

History has shown us that totalitarian expansionism does not stop, until it is CONFRONTED with a CREDIBLE threat to the continued existence of its perpetrators.

The refusal to recognize that ... regardless of the intent ... is the base failure of the critics of this Administration.

To the degree that this refusal was implemented as policy ... by ANY Administration ... its proponents should be held accountable for the results, for without their advocacy, wiser heads would have prevailed ...

... and today's wars would have been minimized, if not prevented, by the direct, decisive, and even preemptive use of American force against the thugs and fanatics at their weakest.

Reputation rather than popu... (Below threshold)

Reputation rather than popularity.

Self-respect rather than self-esteem.

Everything I read today has... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Everything I read today has the question 'What did we learn from the attack on 9-11-01'? The things I have learned for sure is (1) that almost 50% of the people in this country are too scared to fight to save their families lives. (2) The same almost 50% will lie about anything and everthing to cover for the failure of the Clinton adminstration to do anything to stop the attack when he had numerous chances to do so. (3) The democrats make up the almost 50% that will do anything and say anything to down this country and help the enemy. (4) The Islamic Fascists are far more dangerous to the world than Hitler and Nazism. (5) The Islamic Fascists will destroy Europe where Hitler failed. They already have a hell of a good start at it and the People in the EU are too stupid to see it coming. (6) The majority of the news outlets in the United States will tell a lie to help the enemy rather than tell the truth and help the U.S. because they have a personal hate for the president, or maybe it is that they failed to get their man (Lying Idiot Algore) elected. The influence of and confidence in the antique MSM is at '0' in every place other than the rabid democratic left. Too bad 3,000 people had to die to 'out' the real enemies of the country, Islamic Fascists and democrats, Equal.

Here are the FACTS!!<... (Below threshold)
candace:

Here are the FACTS!!

BUSH'S RECORD
Budget Surplus/Deficit 422 billon
Pct. change in Deficit +278.85% more
Unemployment Rate 5.2
Unisured Percent 15.6%
Poverty Rate 12.5
Crude Oil Price average $70 per barrel


CLINTON'S RECORD
Budget Surplus/Deficit 422 billion
Pct. change in Deficit +278.85% more
Unemployment Rate 5.2
Unisured Percent 15.6
Poverty Rate 11.3
Crude Oil Price $26.72

Lets not talk about the couragous lives lost in the war.

Rich, I am not agaist war, its the kind of war that this president decided to fight. I can hear him not...the iraqie people need liberation! Ridiculous, there are a lot of countries that need liberation. He went it alone in this war, and we are now feeling the backlash worldwide. And now that Iran, and North Korean has gone haywire, now our opinion, has no reflect on the UN.

Sanctions this sactions that yeah right, how can we be trusted, after this.

What's the value of being international Prom Queen if everyone knows you're a slut?

Well could never get the chance to be elected international prom queen, becouse your slut that has too many stds, get rid of your clymidia, crabs, gonorrhea.

Candace ... the Clinton eco... (Below threshold)

Candace ... the Clinton economy was coming apart, even before he left office. I saw it happen all around me in Dallas, as the dot-com bubble burst.

Had he been able to hang around for a third term, the only way he would be exceeding Bush's performance would be due to the gridlock his presence would have generated ... which admittedly, would have slowed down (but not stopped) the pork production.

That being said, if you think that the Dems would have had one whit more discipline with regards to spending, if they had the Congressional majorities, you should think again ... for their history of having majority status speaks otherwise.

Spare me the figures -- others have tried to use them before you, and have fallen short. Look at the reality behind them.

Given that President Bush had to deal with the aftermath (including the corporate scandals that got their start during the 1990's) of the Clinton economy, the shock of 911, and the need to prosecute a multinational war -- a war that, in all probability, could have been prosecuted at far less cost in blood, treasure, and time, had President Clinton possessed the 'nads to decisively prosecute it on his watch, over the objections of naive people like you -- I'd say that his ability to keep the economy as good as it is is REMARKABLE!

There were a lot more reasons than just liberation for us to go into Iraq.

And ... why do you base your moral judgment upon whether or not other nations go along with us? What makes them so authoritative on this subject ... as their own judgment has been too often shown to be clouded by envy, greed, realpolitik, or just plain politics?

I think this might be descriptive of your kind of moral judgment.

Because to many of our "sophisticated" and "enlightened", the Unpardonable Sin is having confidence enough in your principles to act in accordance with them ... even when those principles have been validated by history.

If my principles are sound, what others think does not matter ... if they are unsound, the concurrence of others does not correct them. Consensus in the absence of sound principle is the way of the lemming ... and leads to the same end.

Or, as Synova said ... Reputation rather than popularity ... Self-respect rather than self-esteem.

And as for sanctions ... why should we trust them to be effective against regimes who have shown they will exploit good-faith negotiation, through denial/delay/obfuscation and outright lying, to gain a lethal advantage against free people ... in order to impose totalitarian rule upon them?

In the case of Iraq, containment through sanctions was a leaky bucket ... in part, because of the UN corrruption of Crude-for-Food.

Iran might be more responsive ... but are sanctions a RELIABLE method of keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of the fanatics that run the place?

Show me ONE tyrant, with a will to expand his totalitarian rule, in history that stopped doing so ON HIS OWN, without a CREDIBLE threat of force being applied against them.

You say that we are infected with STD's ... not only do I totally deny that, given our history of helping the rest of the world ... but the ways you advocate for the promotion of peace are as deadly and intractible as AIDS.

Your kind of "peace" KILLS, Candace ... it just hides the stench behind a facade of civility. When you are facing totalitarian thugs, peace does not come through holding hands and singing "Kumbiyah" ...

... for the real peace song, when you have to face them, is "Yippie-Ky-Ay-A"!

Sanctions *only* work by ca... (Below threshold)

Sanctions *only* work by causing misery.

I wish people would get this through their heads. Sanctions are a way of *indirectly* putting pressure on a government to try to force them to do what you want them to do (or not do.) Sanctions only work by impacting the lives of the population who, in turn, put pressure on their leaders to change policy. Plus, leaders have to *care* that their people are miserable.

Food for Oil, even if it hadn't been corrupted, only shows that we do *not* have the will to enforce sanctions that hurt populations, yet hurting populations is the ONLY way that sanctions work.

Sanctions are nothing but low-grade, prolonged war.

I have to feel sorry for id... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

I have to feel sorry for idiotarians like Drew and Candace.

They seem to think we are all playing some "game" here. We are not.

They will have their "road to Damascus" moment-where they finally get the cosmic clue that they have been blinded by their politics, lied to by the political hacks that find them to be somewhat useful tools and their "reality-based community" is a fools paradise.

They will come to the realisation that the Islamofascists do not give a shite about petty politics unless it serves to further their cause. They will come to the realisation that they have been played for fools. They will come to the realisation that the Islamofascists see them not as human beings but sub-human infidels who must die.

And then they will die. Not like all of us would like-living a useful life and surrounded by their loved ones and comforted by them in a peaceful setting. No, they will die a very horrible and painful death surrounded by others who are dying the same horrible death and the maimed, broken bodies of those who have gone on before them.

Nahanni,I read you... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Nahanni,

I read your piece.
"do not give a shite about petty politics unless it serves to further their cause".

Does Rove know you're calling him an islamofacist?




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