Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The isolation experienced by US Presidents, and its effect on their judgment is something that is often remarked upon; we are seeing an example of it today. Like LSD, the effect of the office seems to amplify some underlying character trait in the individual occupying the office: if you harbor a sense of persecution, when President this will blossom and you will be Nixon. If you are ruled by your appetites, then the Penthouse Forum fantasies that fill your subconscious become real, and you become Clinton. The unelected leader of the free world has always been a spoiled child, incapable of believing that he is not everyone's favorite. It is weird to imagine what it must have been like, growing up the son of Barbara and George Bush, christened with the name of a man prominent enough to be the object of sneering denunciations by the Yale Chaplin. It seems clear that being popular was always what motivated George, as if that was the quality that defined his father's success. In any event, it seems clear that young George determined that popularity would help him succeed where his father had not, and now he believes that he really is bigger than Elvis. This manifests itself in a number of ways: for one, he is oblivious to the fact that he is not universally beloved; or, at least, he thinks that those who disagree with him are some sort of deluded minority. This is part of where all the "uniter not a divider" talk comes from-- to use a cowboy term, he carves out the part of the herd that isn't running with him.

It must be interesting living in his little bubble. It means that today he is coming to Buffalo, a place where he is far from popular, to give a speech about the Patriot Act. We are a prop here, just like New York will be a prop this summer, and the fact that there aren't many people in either place that like him, or approve of his policies is something that is either irrelevant to him or of which he is blissfully unaware.

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