Who's Uncivil?

Friday, December 01, 2006

George Will has joined the beltway circle jerk over Jim Webb's testy exchange with Bush. The consensus view of the chattering class seems to be that it was Jim Webb who was rude. I guess when you're the President you can't ever be in the wrong. It's good to be the King. But George Will was also disingenuous in his reportage of the exchange. He left out his majesty's classically Bushy rejoinder. As reported in The Hill:

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

Of course Will left out Bush's statement. Reporting the things Bush says makes him look bad. The media has been largely complicit in covering for his personality quirks. If he's reported as he is, he looks downright un-Presidential. It is not Jim Webb who has shown "patent disrespect for the Presidency." It's the child-man currently occupying the post. A civil person would have accepted the answer he got to an unwelcome question and moved on. Bush's response was that of a boorish control freak. Once again he put his morally stunted personality on full display and the punditry is too frightfully clever to notice his obvious defects.

George W. Bush has done more to degrade the office of the Presidency than any leader in memory; certainly more than Bill Clinton's or Jack Kennedy's sexcapades could have. At least they knew how to behave in public. Only Bush could get himself snubbed by third world leader. Beyond the echo chamber of the beltway, there's an entire world well aware that the leader of the free world is no longer deserving of respect.