Thursday, May 13, 2004

Arrogance and Mr. Rumsfeld

I was watching a bit of Rumsfeld's Q&A session with the troops in Iraq (good moral booster for the troops btw) and I was struck once again by one of the defining characteristics of the Bush administration: they know how to make people feel good despite their incompetence. Rumsfeld and company know how to make the soldiers and the Americans tuning in to this event feel like they are in good hands despite the fact that they f*ck it up repeatedly.

In other words, the only thing these guys are competent at is public relations.

I've often heard liberals criticized by conservatives for being more concerned about people's feelings than in actually making their lives better (the old Rush line is that liberals want to keep the downtrodden downtrodden so that they can continue to appeal to their sense of victimization). Yet it is Bush and his people who are masters at pulling people's heart strings while glossing over the fact that they never actually accomplish anything positive (unlike Rush, I won't get into questions of motives).

Message: they care.

This is one of the most arrogant administrations this country has ever seen. But arrogance doesn't bother me so long as it is backed up by competence. When it is it is justified. When it isn't it is hubris.


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