home

Bush Missed His Thespian Calling

Don't miss acclaimed playwright Sheldon Yellen's new Huffington Post piece, Bush as Bad Theatre. It's devastating, and so true.

Bush is our own Tartuffe, Molière's insufferable pseudo-religious comedic character who uses his so called piety to gain power over the lives of others.

....Hypocrites are easy to expose while true believers like Bush stand fast as reality implodes around them. He appears to believe what he says even as he plays the leading role in our national drama. He would serve nicely as a foolish father in a sit-com, or a ridiculous boss in an office comedy, but he is the Commander-in-Chief who can and does send young men and women to their deaths. Sadly, he does not even have the true villain's consciousness of when he has done wrong. This is why apology and admission of error is so difficult for him. He believes in his God-given rectitude in all situations.

The final paragpraph is the best. I won't spoil it, go read.

< Say Hello | More Missteps in Iraq >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:12:44 PM EST
    Lumbergh

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:17:38 PM EST
    Working link here. [Ed. Thanks for the heads-up, I fixed it.]

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#3)
    by wg on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 11:22:47 PM EST
    Bush is desperately struggling to avoid being remembered as the biggest joke in the history of this nation, a task he is bound to lose. Grabbing more power by him should be the least of our worries, tedium of a poor theater is what we will have to stomach in the next three years with this sad bunch of incompetents. Fair price to pay for the mistake made in the last election.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#4)
    by bad Jim on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:58:23 AM EST
    As best I can recall, Coriolanus was a rather unsympathetic character, which is perhaps one reason that play is so seldom performed. He had gravitas in abundance (which perhaps our president's fans think he has) but was so lacking in humility and generally clueless that the outcome doesn't feel tragic. Bush will likely show up in dramas yet to be played, but not as the protagonist.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:47:03 AM EST
    I really, really like Sherman's photo on his HuffPo Bio. But I'm really, really into graphic novels, and he writes too well for me. Bush is no comedian. And I disagree that he's bad theatre: he's just got sh*tty writers and an incompetent acting and elocution coach. Anyway, bad theatre is something you can walk out on and feel good about yourself when you do. This isn't theatre, and the revolution isn't being televised.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:15:50 AM EST
    XXXOOOXXX writes:
    Bush is no comedian. And I disagree that he's bad theatre: he's just got sh*tty writers and an incompetent acting and elocution coach
    . What the Left, and the Demos, has failed to understand is that he isn't playing to your audience. His audience understands his language, his beliefs and his intent. In that respect he is probably the best communicator we have had since Reagan.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:37:50 AM EST
    Jim, Preaching to the converted is NOT a virtue, it requires no imagination or intelligence, and it is pure cowardice in this case. It is for people without an ounce of intellectual courage or conviction.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#8)
    by profmarcus on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:41:06 AM EST
    thanks for sharing that... a commenter accused me the other day of having an obsession with bush... i think that's reasonably accurate although it's less with the man himself than with what he symbolizes for me - the most visible face on some of the worst destruction i could ever imagine happening to the united states of america... i've often said that watching what's taking place on our national political stage, for me, is akin to watching the snake charmer bringing the cobra out of the basket with his flute - it's hypnotizing... i keep watching in horror as the snake rises higher and higher, tasting the air with its flickering tongue... And, yes, I DO take it personally

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#9)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:51:13 AM EST
    Yeah Bush is an actor all right. But I think he knows when he's telling his whoppers. He may conveniently forget or ignore the truth when it suits him, but he knows. He's the one who says things like he'll fire anyone involved in the Plame leak, then months later says he'll fire anyone convicted of a crime in the Plame leak. Now you can't tell me divine inspiration caused those changes. He's a liar.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:52:39 AM EST
    In that respect he is probably the best communicator we have had since Reagan.
    Jim, George W Bush is a horrible public speaker. He constantly mispronounces words and has problems completing sentences. These are not attributes of a good communicator. Then again, maybe I am "misunderestimating" him.
    His audience understands his language, his beliefs and his intent.
    His audience is the entire US population and not everyone understands his language, beliefs, or intent.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#11)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:10:37 AM EST
    His audience understands his language, his beliefs and his intent. Are you then conceding that his "audience" is devoid of intelligent, articulate people who speak with precision and express ideas clearly?

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:16:30 AM EST
    Dadler - Happy NY and all that stuff. The problem is that there is almost no middle ground, and after a brew or two that bothers me greatly. The Internet may enable debate and an exchange of ideas, but it has also enabled a vast amount of outrageous comments by both sides, with the results being very fixed positions. For ease of reference, just read promarcus' comment. With little difficultly I could change a few words and it would fit into any number of blogs of the Right.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:33:25 AM EST
    Preaching to the converted is NOT a virtue, it requires no imagination or intelligence, and it is pure cowardice in this case.
    Dadler, demagoguery is the word that can accurately describe your entire statement.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#14)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 08:36:34 AM EST
    Yes, Bush missed his Thespian calling allright. The beetle-browed, beady-eyed Georgie should be the commander of a unicycle as one of the Marquis Chimps; a great act.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 09:45:47 AM EST
    macromaniac not only that, but his way of 'punching' his way through sentences with a heavy emphasis on every other word is irritating to anyone with an ear to hear him and some training in public speaking, while at the same time this 'style' makes his core base feel like 'he's one of us'. In this, he reveals his business training, in that he's turned what would ordinarily be a liability into an asset. I guess this demonstrates how effective a communicator our beloved Prez is these days in what should be a 'target' audience.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:14:25 AM EST
    Maybe George could take some acting lessons from Henry Fonda or Jon Voight or Anthony Hopkins or even Chevy Chase, and learn how to at least "act" like a real president. List of actors who played President of the United States Couldn't help myself - the devil made me write this...

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#17)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:21:25 AM EST
    edger, your list left out Ossie Davis as John F. Kennedy (Bubba-Hotep).

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:26:45 AM EST
    Desertswine, No, but it does include Jack Nicholson as President James Dale in Mars Attacks! Terrists from Mars, fer gawds sake... we's goin' to take the fight to them so we don't have to fight 'em here!

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#19)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 10:56:15 AM EST
    Terrists from Mars, fer gawds sake... we's goin' to take the fight to them so we don't have to fight 'em here!
    Between the demise of the Soviet Union and the discovery of vast hordes of Islamic fundamentalists, I wonder if this was seriously considered.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 11:01:01 AM EST
    Let's not forget the old Hollywood joke where someone says to a producer: "Ronald Reagan for President!" and the producer shoots back "No, Ronald Coleman for President, Ronald Reagan as his best friend."

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 11:32:39 AM EST
    D.A., I love it, hadn't heard that one. I also love that Reagan was an utterly corrupt president of the Screen Actor's Guild.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 12:49:10 PM EST
    I thought it was Dick Cheney's daughter who is a thespian.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:24:39 PM EST
    Repack - Nope. Just that they understand him, which is what communication is all about. As for collective intelligece, and based on many of the above comments, I would say this audience would not look good compared to them.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:28:44 PM EST
    mac - Excellent point re his audience/whole US-world. Problem is, at this point in time, his audience is as I described. The Left is not, and Bush doesn't care. And, based on the attacks, etc., neither would any rational person. Communication requires that both parties listen.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#25)
    by roger on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:37:52 PM EST
    Jim, With approval ratings of under 50%, it would appear that W's "audience" is less than half the US public. Doesnt that bother you a little bit?

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#26)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:38:57 PM EST
    "I also love that Reagan was an utterly corrupt president of the Screen Actor's Guild." Dadler, can you explain this one in more depth? Not that I expect the head of any union to be not corrupt...

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:42:55 PM EST
    And Bush LISTENS, Jim? The other side voted WITH him in the aftermath of 9/11, almost entirely. But this consensus has vanished because Bush LISTENED so much? And now for something completely different, a man with three buttocks.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 01:58:24 PM EST
    Problem is, at this point in time, his audience is as I described. The Left is not, and Bush doesn't care.blockquote> No... His audience, and any other future sitting president's audience, will always be the entire US population regardless of their political affiliation, race, color, sex, gender, criminal status, age, etc..., As far as Bush not caring that is his problem. Like it or not when he addresses the American people, he can't just pick and choose which citizens he wishes to communicate with.
    Communication requires that both parties listen.
    No it most certainly does not. Communication can be one sided. Effective communication requires both parties to listen.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#29)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:04:15 PM EST
    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:22:57 PM EST
    Thanks Dadler.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:38:27 PM EST
    Roger - One of Bush's qualities that I like is his "don't give a damn" attitude about what people think. And given the amount of time he spent not talking, just absorbing the Left's hits, 50% is an amazing number. sarcastic unnamed one writes:
    Dadler, can you explain this one in more depth? Not that I expect the head of any union to be not corrupt
    Short version. He opposed the communists. Read "Reagans War." Dadler - Wrong. The Left didn't like the message. mac writes:
    he can't just pick and choose which citizens he wishes to communicate with.
    And why can't he? I mean you may wish him not to ignore the Left, but if he has written them off, which I think he has, he can and should focus on those he needs to keep on his side. It's the old "reward your friends and punish you enemies" trick.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#32)
    by Sailor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 03:12:44 PM EST
    At this point bush has written off over 1/2 the people in the country, and no, a president doesn't have the option of only representing the folks who agree w/ him. The job title and job description is President of the United States. bush constantly changes course when the polls disagree w/ him. See 9/11 investigation; Plame investigation; Katrina response; iraq troop withdrawals ... etc. New year, sos from [redacted.]

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 03:35:36 PM EST
    sailor - Of course he represents them. But it is not written that he has to pay attention to them. That is why we have elections.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#34)
    by desertswine on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 03:42:57 PM EST
    Dadler, can you explain this one in more depth? Not that I expect the head of any union to be not corrupt...
    Dadler is probably referring to the despicable MCA-SAG affair. It gave Reagan his first case of the "I Can't Recalls."

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 03:51:43 PM EST
    As for collective (sp)intelligece, and based on many of the above comments, I would say this audience would not look good compared to them Yes, y'all keep misspelling words to show everyone how stupid 'this audience' is, por favor. <
    One of Bush's qualities that I like is his "don't give a damn" attitude about what people think
    Gee, the folks that work for him didn't act that way, and I'd be suprised to hear that they changed their tactics since this was written:
    On his primary mission—push forward ideas and policies to partner government with faith-based institutions—DiIulio says that he saw the beginning of what was to become a pattern: The White House "winked at the most far-right House Republicans, who, in turn, drafted a so-called faith bill that (or so they thought) satisfied certain fundamentalist leaders and Beltway libertarians but bore few marks of compassionate conservatism and was, as anybody could tell, an absolute political nonstarter. It could pass the House only on a virtual party-line vote, and it could never pass the Senate, even before Jeffords switched. "Not only that, but it reflected neither the president’s own previous rhetoric on the idea nor any of the actual empirical evidence. . . . I said so, wrote memos, and so on. . . . As one senior staff member chided me at a meeting at which many junior staff were present and all ears, ‘John, get a faith bill, any faith bill.’ Like college students who fall for the colorful, opinionated, but intellectually third-rate professor, you could see these twenty- and thirty-something junior White House staff falling for the Mayberry Machiavellis." DiIulio defines the Mayberry Machiavellis as political staff, Karl Rove and his people, "who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible. These folks have their predecessors in previous administrations (left and right, Democrat and Republican), but in the Bush administration, they were particularly unfettered." "Remember ‘No child left behind’? That was a Bush campaign slogan. I believe it was his heart, too. But translating good impulses into good policy proposals requires more than whatever somebody thinks up in the eleventh hour before a speech is to be delivered."
    Link

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#36)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 05:23:29 PM EST
    RR:Are you then conceding that his "audience" is devoid of intelligent, articulate people who speak with precision and express ideas clearly? PPJ - Nope. Just that they understand him, which is what communication is all about. Who are "they" that understand him? I am a former magazine editor, a job which required me to communicate clearly to whomever read my work. Bush is inarticulate, he does not connect his thoughts, and he is positively the worst public speaker I have ever forced myself to listen to. Help me here. What is there to like about Bush the public speaker? His stumbling delivery? His made-up words? "Misunderestimated" His use of the WRONG word ("...people who hate America, people that [sic - should be "who"] had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth.")? His mangling of common wisdom? "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." His flat out lies? "We found the weapons of mass destruction." What is there to like?

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 05:27:39 PM EST
    Maybe PPJ is referring to W and Rove's effective use of certain code words, like his comparison of Roe V. Wade to Dred Scott, that are meaningful and inciting to his base, but sound like gibberish to the rest of us.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 06:38:46 PM EST
    Repack writes:
    Who are "they" that understand him? I am a former magazine editor, a job which required me to communicate clearly to whomever read my work.
    His base. As a former magazine editor with your stated ability to comminicate, which means you understand the question, I would have thought you would know that. As for fooling, I think that is a universal saying. Does "former" mean retired? DA - If spelling is a judge of intelligence we all - you included - will be at the back of the bus. Of course we can all act like Monk and polish, and polish and pilosh. ;-)

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 06:55:39 PM EST
    oops - Can't spell and can't hit the right buton.. Punisher - You mean code words like, "win," "reduce taxes," "medicare Rx insurance." Dearest charlie you write:
    Let's get the babies back in their mama's bellies and the darkies back in the fields wheres they belong.
    Can Rice and Powell stay? Or is your hatred of blacks who leave reservation so intense that you won't spare even them? And a lot of people, just like you, charlie, didn't listen to Hitler and didn't read his book. As a result he wasn't stopped when the cost would have been practically nothing. Instead these people, like you, thought they could do business with this terrorist, and millions died, including six million Jews. Shame on you charlie for boasting of deliberate ignorance.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#40)
    by Repack Rider on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:03:00 PM EST
    RR: Who are "they" that understand him? I am a former magazine editor, a job which required me to communicate clearly to whoever read my work. His base. Okay, about 35% of the population. Don't the rest of us deserve someone who can communicate? As a former magazine editor with your stated ability to comminicate, which means you understand the question, I would have thought you would know that. I have the ability to communicate and I was paid for that ability, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I understand people like you and Bush, who do not communicate well. As for fooling, I think that is a universal saying. The old saw says, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." How long would it take an average person to memorize that? Does "former" mean retired? I published my own magazine for seven years, then worked as an editor for Rodale Press for four years. Now I own a company in an unrelated business, because I would rather be the boss than an employee.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:29:18 PM EST
    Jim: Punisher - You mean code words like, "win," "reduce taxes," "medicare Rx insurance." Don't forget "personalized private investment accounts" to mean "kill social security," and "intention to develop WMD programs," to mean "ok, maybe not iiiiminent danger..."

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 07:58:32 PM EST
    DA - If spelling is a judge of intelligence we all - you included - will be at the back of the bus. PPJ, have you ever heard of the old saying about glass houses and stones? LOL!

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:50:38 AM EST
    PPJ: SC reform is a failure... you will regret it in years to come. A few thoughts on regret: Woody Allen: My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. Soren Kierkegaard: my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 08:44:39 AM EST
    punisher - A few friendly thoughts on retirement. The butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker. All demand to be paid. And if you think the current SC will do the trick, you will be punished by the market. My guess is that you are young and can't grasp the fact that old age will visit you... if you are lucky.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 08:55:52 AM EST
    PPJ: My guess is that you are young and can't grasp the fact that old age will visit you... If you're expectations for SC are as off the mark as your guesses about me, then things are looking up for the future of the welfare state.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:31:39 PM EST
    Punisher - Here I was being kind and laying the fact that you don't understand the problem with SC on the lack of experience. So, I withdraw that excuse for you. What's the real reason? DA - Did I hurt your feelings when I gave you the benefit of the doubt instead of saying something like: Hey! What's the matter with you? Anyone should be able to see the "we all" in the sentence. Just trying to make a dishonest statement, are you? But I didn't. BTW - pick, pick, pick.

    Re: Bush Missed His Thespian Calling (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:38:21 PM EST
    PPJ: Punisher...you don't understand the problem with SC... Jim, have you noticed how off topic you are?