Beating around Bush

There's been some amount of chatter about this interview with Bush. Actually, for once gwb comes across not as completely lost for words, but is at least able to string sentences together, even if they don't really adequately answer the questions thrown at him. What is particularly shocking is that on several occasions he berates the interviewer for interupting him (when it appears that he's finished saying anything of content). It makes you wonder if he's actually been interviewed by a serious interviewer any time recently. Compare this to the lively back and forth that you'd hear on the Today programme or Newsnight, and you wonder what he's complaining about. [xref to this transcript of a typical paxman interview with Blair and count how many times they cut across each other]. In fact, if he actually responded to the question rather than whingingly complaining about being interupted, it would actually cut out a lot of the waffle and make him sound a lot more focussed. Perhaps the expectation is that that all these snipes would get cut out as the 10 minute interview gets snipped to 30secs for consumption (it didn't; it went out in full on Irish TV).

Equally intriguing is this discussion (from NPR on Saturday) about Bush's debating style. It's based on an article in the current Atlantic Monthly [relevant article not available online at the moment]. In it, they play clips of Bush from Texas Gubernatorial debates from about 10 years ago, and contrast to some more recent examples. It's really quite staggering how big a difference there is: the 1994 bush is surprisingly eloquent, on the ball and responsive. The commentators suggest three explanations: that the current inarticulacy is entirely deliberate; that this is some recent onset of aphasia; or just that the stress of the job has pushed him into incomprehensibility.

Of the three explanations, I'd be most inclined to go for the second. It's very easy to try to dismiss gwb as a gibbering idiot. See, for example, that "Kelvin 761.5" movie. But that's just not the case; he may not be particularly bright, or particularly clever, and has succeeded thus far in life due a lot to his family, and his supporters. It's also a bit much for the already gulled US public to admit that almost half of them voted for a certifiable moron; much better to classify him as suffering from a mental disease. So, let's at least get the guy diagnosed. There's clearly something wrong with him. And, just as Martin Sheen got into trouble in the "Let's Pretend the Democrats were capable of winning an election" sci-fi/fantasy Show, "TheWestWing" for not telling the electorate that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis [... so should shrub].

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