Give 'Em Heckuva Job GeorgeIn a recent address to West Point grads, the Decider-in-Chief compared himself - favorably - to Harry Truman. I'm sure if Harry got the word through the celestial grapevine, he's not only turning in his grave, but also ready to become a member of the undead so he can track George down and beat him like a gong. Harry, who once threatened to kick a reporter's ass for giving his daughter's piano recital a bad review, doesn't seem like the type to let unadulterated slander go unchallenged.
George has never been shy when it comes to talking about his greatness, but this particular comparison is a stretch, even for him. However, to be fair, there are a few small points in common.
Both were National Guardsmen, although Harry actually went to war. Perhaps his lack of connections had something to do with that, but we'd like to think it was because he didn't shirk responsibilities like his modern-day, self-professed twin.
Both men failed at business before becoming President. Harry ran a dry-goods store into the ground while George drilled his oil "bidness" into a dry hole. George's crash was quite a bit bigger than Harry's, so I suppose George is entitled to bragging rights on this score. It's a dubious distinction though.
Both men were renowned for their "plain talk", but Harry's actually made sense, unlike George's lazy rambles through the lexicon of the banal. People actually believed Harry would back up his tough talk with action. When he threatened to kick the reporter's ass, people could easily imagine him doing it. When George taunted the terrorists with his famous "bring it on", I was ready for him to be the first one departing for a secret, undisclosed location and screaming, "Outta my way old man! Preznit a-comin' through," to the Big Dick.
But the similarities end there.
Harry kept the famous "The Buck Stops Here" slogan on his desk and generally adhered to his own advice. Dub proudly touts his belief in personal responsibility, but really means, "The buck stops anywhere but here! No really, I dint do nothing. It was all Clinton's fault!"
While George fancies himself the Decider-in-Chief, he looks like a piker next to Harry. Harry made many decisions, most of them under greater pressure and with larger stakes than Dub. He decided that nuking the Japanese would shorten the war. While you may not believe it was the right thing to do, I don't think anyone would quibble that it wasn't a bold and pivotal decision. When things went south in Korea and MacArthur publicly criticized Harry, Harry knew what to do - "fire the sonofabitch".
Contrast those decisions with George. Dub can't even decide if he should talk to the Iranians about nukes, despite the fact no one seems to think they even have them yet. What little talking he does comes while hiding behind Condi's skirt. "Ah'm skeered Miz Condi. Make them old terrists go away!"
And fire people? Not in this lifetime. Rummy has screwed the pooch more times than the head stud at a puppy mill. Yet, Commander Bunnypants not only doesn't fire him, he gives him chance, after chance, after chance. He lets Rummy run around setting fire to things and yelling, "You can't fire me! You can't fire me," like a pyromaniacal kid. Dub's response? "The Secretary has my full support."
So to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, "Mr. President, I know about Harry Truman. I like Harry Truman. If Harry were alive today, I'd be a friend of Harry Truman's. Mr. President, you're no Harry Truman."
Cross Posted at Bring It On!
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, June 01, 2006