Why George W. Bush is Like Tucker Max

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 22 2010 5:36 PM

Why George W. Bush is Like Tucker Max

My two favorite reviews of Decision Points are this very serious -- devastating, actually -- take from Dan Froomkin, and Paul Constant's less serious take which dual-reviews it with the newest book by Tucker Max.

Early passages in both books pivot on the protagonist's use of a bullhorn. Max writes, "Everything you say becomes one level more humorous through a bullhorn. Stupid becomes passable, passable becomes funny, funny becomes hysterical, and hysterical becomes Dave Chappelle doing Rick James." Max uses his bullhorn to yell "Go practice your throw-ins, you cheese-eating surrender monkey!" at some "European-looking dudes." With his amplified voice, he tells a "chunky girl" to get tested for "hoof-and-mouth disease" because she is "frothing at the udder." At the ruins of the World Trade Center shortly after 9/11, Bush finds a bullhorn "thrust into my hands... People shouted, 'We can't hear you.' I shot back, 'I can hear you!' It got a cheer." The bullhorn turned his stupidity into something passable, and he used those cheers to power his administration's ascent into madness. After 9/11, Bush writes, "My blood was boiling. We were going to find out who did this, and kick their ass." (Important note: Bush never did kick the ass of the person who did it. You will not learn that from reading Decision Points . As in real life, he conveniently changes the subject.)

Advertisement

And so on.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.