,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Saturday, October 14, 2006


".....Bush's rising frustration...." And "Republican,Ut"

Ogden Nash's Senator Smoot

The inimitable Ogden Nash wrote about uptight Republicans 75 years ago. Watching them in action today makes it apparent that they haven't changed much. If anything, they have gotten worse as they strut around blathering about moral values.
"Senator Smoot (Republican, Ut.)
Is planning a ban on smut
Oh rooti-ti-toot for Smoot of Ut.
And his reverent occiput.
Smite. Smoot, smite for Ut.,
Grit your molars and do your dut.,
Gird up your l--ns,
Smite h-p and th-gh,
We'll all be Kansas
By and By."
-- Ogden Nash, "Invocation," 1931

Foaming at the Mouth

Remember the late Spiro Agnew's "Nattering nabobs of negativism" ? Spiro Agnew was Richard Nixon's vice president until he resigned after pleading "no contest" to charges of tax fraud. He will be remembered for his attack of the administration's critics in a speech on September 11, 1970, at Republican State Convention in San Diego, California. The journalist William Saffire is reported to be the author of the phrase. "In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. They have formed their own 4-H Club -- the 'hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history'."

Music to my ears. Usually Vice President Cheney plays the attack-dog role but our commander-in-chief has been going a bit shrill against his critics. R. Jeffrey Smith in the Washington Post: "But a survey of transcripts from Bush's public remarks over the past seven years shows the president's worsening political predicament has actually stoked, rather than diminished, his desire to proclaim what he cannot abide. Some presidential scholars and psychologists describe the trend as a signpost of Bush's rising frustration with his declining influence. Watch the bloodpressure.

In the first nine months of this year, Bush declared more than twice as many events or outcomes "unacceptable" or "not acceptable" as he did in all of 2005, and nearly four times as many as he did in 2004. He is, in fact, at a presidential career high in denouncing events he considers intolerable. They number 37 so far this year, as opposed to five in 2003, 18 in 2002 and 14 in 2001.

Through a spokesman and then in a televised statement, he declared North Korea's claimed nuclear test "unacceptable" before and after it occurred Oct. 9. But he could also be heard on Jan. 9 lecturing students at an elementary school in Glen Burnie, Md., that their recent scores on math and reading proficiency tests were "unacceptable."

Having a president call something "unacceptable" is not the same as having him order U.S. troops into action. But foreign policy experts say the word is one of the strongest any leader can deploy, since it both broadcasts a national position and conveys an implicit threat to take action if his warnings are disregarded.

Bush's use of the term "reflects in some ways his frustration with a world that doesn't seem as amenable to his policies as he would like them to be," said Stanley A. Renshon, a political scientist at the City University of New York. Bush "has strong views; he believes in doing what is right. All of those things give an emotional force to his response" to events he often sees and describes without nuance.


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