Generous Orthodoxy  

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Should a President suffer?

Peggy Noonan, Bush 41's speechwriter, has a column in this weekend's Wall Street Journal (back page of the "Pursuits" section). She confesses that she is baffled that George W., unlike his father who has taken to crying in public, shows no signs whatever of the state of things in Iraq or the battering he himself is receiving. She summons up images of the suffering of Abraham Lincoln and the lonely anguish of Lyndon Johnson. Then she writes:

But George W. Bush seems, in the day to day, the same as he was. It is part of the Bush conundrum -- a supernal serenity or a confidence born of cluelessness?...I'll tell you, I wonder about it and do not understand it...I'd ask someone in the White House, but they're still stuck in Rote [Rove?] Talking Point Land: "The President of course has moments of weariness but is sustained by his knowledge of the ultimate rightness of his course."
If he suffers, they might tell us; it would make him seem more normal...but maybe there is no suffering. Maybe he outsources suffering. Maybe he leaves it to his father.