September 10, 2005


AOG posts: I don't care about his response, I just want him to suffer

I find the whining about President Bush's non-suffering once again a bizarre attempt at sympathetic magic. Somehow (it's never explained) Bush failing to suffer like the victims of the latest disaster makes that suffering worse. Personally, if I were such a victim, I'd prefer to have my leaders in the best condition to make the best decisions rather than putting on some sort of fake humility show about how they're "just like me". But those doing the complaining tend to be logo-realists for whom the symbology of an act is the primary determinant of its effectiveness.

This hair-shirt approach does have the benefit of putting Bush in a no-win situation, where (as noted above) if he doesn't demonstrate his compassion through symbolic visits to the disaster site, he's callous. But if he does visit then he's callous for disrupting some rescue efforts for a photo-op....

I think it's the 'no-win" that is the goal here. The losers are lashing out with any criticism they can find. If Bush somehow were to suffer enormously in the flood they would not be the slightest bit appeased. In fact they'd be delighted, since they are haters. And, by the way, how come we haven't heard any complaints that Gov. Blanco is not suffering with the victims?. (And how come nobody's calling her racist? She's a white person who's presided for years over deteriorating conditions for blacks in NOLA.)

I think the popularity of this sort of argument is evidence that people's brains are rotting in the Age of Oprah. You see the same thing in claims that various conservatives should not be on the Supreme court because they've never been poor. (Liberals get a free pass; they can be stinking rich and still blather about how they feel for the poor.) The people using the argument are cynical frauds, but it's disturbing that such stupidity is not just laughed off the stage.

Posted by John Weidner at September 10, 2005 11:49 AM
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