Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The fitting emotional response

Apparently there is concern this week that the occasion of Bush's 15-minute TV farewell address (to dignify it more than it deserves by placing it in the same category with this) will stir up strong emotions.

It's not clear what emotions we're talking about here, or on whose behalf this concern operates: For Bush, who seems to have only two emotional settings: "smug self-righteousness" and "snide resentment?"

Or the American people, seventy-five or eighty percent of whom wonder how they can miss him when he won't leave?

I suppose "pissing ourselves with gratitude that he'll be gone in less than a week" counts as getting emotional.

Of course, Bush has promised that he'll use his air time for higher purposes than simply stirring up feelings: "If I give it," he said last month on C-SPAN, "it’s going to be trying to leave behind some lessons learned."

If, in 2009, Bush can mention himself and "lessons learned" in the same sentence, it must mean that "sniggering derision" is on the list of likely emotional responses, too.

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