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November 22, 2004

Amateur hour

Does loyalty trump competence in Bush's Secret Service?

Security Dispute Dulls Luster of Bush's Trip to Chile [NYT permalink]

The President's elite security detail should not get into shoving matches at state functions. Yesterday the leader of the free world had to yank his own guards out of the diplomatic equivalent of a bar brawl.

On this trip, the disagreements were more visibly on display. On Saturday night, attending a dinner with leaders from the 21 countries that make up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that was meeting here, Mr. Bush had to wade into a group of security agents to pull his lead Secret Service agent out of a shoving match with the Chilean police. The tape showing the president assuring the Chileans that his agent could come with him played over and over on television screens in the region this weekend. [NYT]

Digby notes the right wing's bafflingly effusive reaction to the debacle. For example, Hindrocket of Powerline writes:

It's a small story but it illustrates why so many of us not only support President Bush as a politician with whom we agree most of the time, but love and respect him as a man...

Your president and his bouncer entourage can't attend a state dinner in a friendly nation without getting into a brawl. His head Secret Service agent is so incompetent that he takes his eyes off the President to shove a Chilean police officer in a dispute over diplomatic protocol at the metal detector. I'm afraid your guys were seriously outclassed by the security presence at ODB's funeral, who negotiated metal detector etiquette without incident.

For his own safety, I urge the president to take some professional advice: When Entourages Attack.

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» Human, all-too human from Strata Lucida
Two incidents of brawling, in radically different contexts, have hit the heavy media rotation this week. First was the fight at the Pistons-Pacers game in Detroit, in which Pacers player Ron Artest jumped into the stands and attacked a fan.... [Read More]

» Human, all-too human from Strata Lucida
Two incidents of brawling, in radically different contexts, have hit the heavy media rotation this week. First was the fight at the Pistons-Pacers game in Detroit, in which Pacers player Ron Artest jumped into the stands and attacked a fan.... [Read More]

Comments

It just goes to show you how well the Republicans are at making silk purses out of sows' ears.

Dammit, I meant to say "it goes to show you how GOOD the Republicans are at making silk purses out of sows' ears."

Republicans are always desperate to portray the Little Shrubber's every action as a heroic moment, while dismissing the real sacrifices made by men like Max Cleland. For this reason I can't take the GOP seriously on any issue. Shameless partisanship, no integrity whatsoever.

It's the sort of slavering worshipful attitude that would have been thought embarassing at the court of Louis XIV.

People love this stuff. I don't remember who said it first, but shrub's voters weren't tricked into voting for him in spite of the fact he's an asshole. That's exactly why they voted for him. Getting into brawls in foreign countries only makes them like him better.

Feeds right into the false perception that this is a man that fights his own battles.

Everybody who's saying that Republicans like their men macho and unruly is hitting it right on the head. Bush does this and 10 million liberals slink away, "Um, no, don't know him, never seen him before," and 50 million conservatives beat their chests and say, "Yes! He is ours! He is our strapping, testosterone-addled leader!" And there you have it.

It really, really sucks, 'cause Fox News and their betwitted minions are never, ever, ever gonna see this incident as a negative. Take it to the extreme end: Bush whips out a 6-shooter and starts plugging away at some foreign leader who's pissed him off, fanning the trigger with his palm a la Hollywoodized Billy the Kid nonsense; would the Right damn him, curse him, demand that he be jailed? Hell no! They'd be saying that Dear Leader renders the frigging Marlboro Man impotent - that, comparatively, John Wayne possessed a single testicle.

What a sad and shitty day/but oh, when the pretenders fall/what joy awaits!

Hmm. I believe this is slightly more complex than anyone has credited. Bush wasn't rescuing his guard, nor taking charge, nor being a bully on his own.

Bush is a frightened little man who was being shorn of his clique, his 'posse', his hired goons, and needed to retrieve them to cover his shrinkingly frightened personage (Note that this is not a criticism of the Secret Service. They're a bit inflexible in their thinking, but I'm sure they're nice enough out of the office.)

He reinforced this frightened loser status when he sank a state dinner by insisting that Putin and Koizumi go through metal detectors before sitting at the table. What, Putin has a Kalashnikov in his pocket, and Koizumi has a katana at the ready, to poke into the Shrub's guts? Bush's paranoia is becoming clinically visible, along with his borderline personality disorder.

Bush is a punk.

As soon as I read the piece I knew it would send waves of joy and approbation throughout the right, confirm them in their belief that Churchill's stout-hearted ghost still walks and cuts brush among the living . Even so, isn't it possible Bush did the right thing here. Was there any sensible reason his bodyguard was detained? I think the cancellation of the dinner was the more serious offense especially since Bush's onerous security demands caused the cancellation. Apparently that level of scrutiny shouldn't apply to Bush's henchmen.

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