When Bush first “won” in 2000, after I recovered from the stun, I took the perspective that he’d just be a benign idiot. But that was when we were still in the peaceful and prosperous glow of Clinton’s terms. We know how all that turned out.
This deal with the UAE company to run a port is perplexing. Frankly, I don’t buy into the xenophobic stereotyping to think that everything the UAE does is evil (that’s Bush’s style of thinking, usually), but clearly this is the kind of deal that warrants a special level of scrutiny. Yet Bush not only vehemently defends it and threatens a first-ever veto of legislation to block the deal, but he also revealed that he didn’t even know about it. Neither did Rumsfeld, who’s on the board that approved the deal.
Now, I can think of 3 potential reasons for this position:
- He wants to show he’s an independent thinker by vetoing something that everyone likes.
- He wants to give Frist an opportunity to show strength (Bush’s favorite word) by heading the effort to kill the deal against Bush’s apparent wishes.
- He’s just plainly after a deal to benefit his friends.
I can see any of these holding up, but these are bizarre times, and I can’t tell when he’s playing stupid and when he’s actually stupid. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take lax security to find out.
PS Jeez, I’m actually writing about “security.” I’ve been sucked in by them!