Friday, April 29, 2005

George Bush and his magic wand


Variety
reports that Bush’s decision to hold a pointless press conference in prime time cost the networks $40 million.

The least believable-sounding thing Bush said last night was also the truest: that on gas prices, he “can’t wave a magic wand.” I mean I know he can’t and you know he can’t, but we also know that he neither knows nor believes that. His magic wand has always been privilege. He has never done anything himself, so it’s all magic to him: he speaks commands and they are transformed into reality, he knows not how. His magic wand is his Dick... Cheney, that is. And all his other minions, practicing their pedestrian crafts. During the press conference, he disdainfully swept away the notion that he should have any idea of how things work; “I’m not an economist,” he said at one point, later asserting “I’m not a lawyer.”

So when he says he can’t bring gas prices down, it sounds like he’s lying, and he is, because he is not telling the truth as he (mis)understands it. He said, as he often does, “I’m an optimistic fellow.” Even if Americans understand that that optimism is grounded in self-delusion, they also realize that when he says he can’t wave a magic wand and reduce oil prices, what he means is that he is unwilling to exercise the magical powers he thinks he possesses on behalf of his less magically gifted subjects.

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