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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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The Rules of the Decider

July 22, 2006

The ‘Decider’ Has Rules, All of Them Are Big, ‘Yo’
By ROGER COHEN
International Herald Tribune

NEW YORK - Now that an open microphone has given us the lowdown on how President George W. Bush conducts summits - "Yo, Blair" and all - it seems reasonable to list the 20 cardinal rules of the American president.

1) "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best," as spelled out on April 18, 2006.

2) Never fail, absent any other pertinent information, to note how "big" a foreign country is. "Wow! Brazil is big," Bush exclaimed in Brasilia on Nov. 2, 2005, a line of thought reprised at the St. Petersburg summit with his genial intuition: "Russia's a big country and you're a big country."

The last part of that sentence, a poetic personification of the bigness idea, was apparently addressed to President Hu Jintao of China. In short, big is better, with the exception of a few small countries like Israel and Britain whose conduct makes them honorary members of the big club.

3) Never miss an opportunity to hammer the United Nations, a cease-fire-pushing, mealy-mouthed, wasteful, puny, suspiciously Gallic and conspicuously un-Texan organization with a taste for temporizing with terrorists.

4) Always push freedom and democracy, especially in the Middle East, and even when the newest democracies are being bombed by your ally. As Bush said on May 24, 2005, "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

And, as he also noted on March 16, 2005, in defending Middle Eastern democracy: "There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, I look forward to blowing up America. I don't know, I don't know if that will be their platform or not. But it's - I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes."

5) When forced to travel, head home as fast as possible. It's weird out there in the world. A lot of people don't drink Diet Coke.

6) The best way to come across as a regular West Texan guy and not the blue-blooded scion of a wealthy dynasty is to keep the vernacular flowing: "Yo" and "Yeah" and "Yeah, yeah" and - woah! - you win elections time after time. Real men talk simple and talk with their mouths full.

7) Never express skepticism, doubt, nuance, ambivalence or uncertainty. None of these concessions to the complexity of the world wins elections. Winning is about remembering it's us against them. Politics is war by other means. Or rather: politics is war, at times by other means.

8) Deciders don't waste words. Nor do they shy away from an instant shoulder rub for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, when she turns her back. German newspapers may misconstrue this instinctive gesture as a "love attack"; they just don't get direct communication. Deciders make up what few words they use on the spot, without the preparation favored by East Coast eggheads, Europeans, liberals and the like for their tedious public comments.

9) Reward fealty, punish insubordination, remember terrorists are totalitarians.

10) A politician whose intelligence is underestimated is more effective, and more dangerous, than a politician whose intelligence is respected.

11) Never stray from the war on terror as paradigm. Once you've piled them all into a single sack - Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, much of the Iraqi insurgency, Chechen insurrectionists and the like - and stuck a "terrorists" label on it, you've simplified the world. Once you have war without end, you've solved the problem of the end of the Cold War, which left America without an enemy.

Sure, a price is paid, but as Bush said last year: "Well, we've made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don't have to face them here at home. And you engage terrorists abroad, it causes activity and action."

12) Action will mask a host of errors, at least for a while. Keep moving.

13) Always shore up the conservative base. An embryo sitting in a laboratory is not a spare part for stem cell research; it's a "a unique human life with inherent dignity." God speaks through such convictions, which is comforting.

14) Keep people on their toes with bamboozling statements like this one last year on the Iraqi response to America's presence: "I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful welcome." Or, when sitting in Russia with world leaders: "Got something to do tonight. Go to the airport, get on the airplane and go home."

15) Swagger trumps curiosity, which only invites doubt.

16) Be nice to Tony Blair, even if he uses expressions like "thingy" and "as it were." The Great Britons have quirks.

17) Israel is always right, or about right, or near enough right, or at least more right than its enemies.

18) West Texas is a flat, hot, good place to grow up and get values.

19) Darwin is dubious.

20) Deciders are decisive, and may history - which goes on for a very long time, and long after any of us are around anyway, by which point this particular decider won't be in a position to care - be the judge.





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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 12:48 AM
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So you are pro-Bush right?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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oops... he forgot the most important rule. You can issue "signing statements" which declare that you don't have to follow any laws... that's what keeps our "democracy" looking like a "dictatorship"
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