September 05, 2003
Can someone please tell me exactly what the connection is here between a picture of President Bush dropping his poor dog (which fortunately seemed none the worse for wear) and the economy?
I have leftist friends I love dearly, and I always endeavor to be polite, and engage in reasoned dialogue. But there seems to be no end to purely ad hominem tactics like the above. So the president dropped his dog! (Or maybe the dog got excited and jumped.) And some lucky photographer managed to capture the moment on film. The president and first lady are both shown grimacing, too. I guess that means they were also caught in the act of being genuinely upset. Perhaps you could somehow twist this into an argument against VIPs carrying dogs around when they are burdened with larger responsibilities. I don't even know about that; to me, knowing that someone has a dog means that he might be half human. When Pervez Musharraf was yelled at by the Saudis for owning a dog, I found myself suddenly warming up to the man greatly. And here, despite the fact that I am often very annoyed with the president (and disagree vehemently with many of his policies), I ended up feeling sorry for him. He certainly didn't drop the dog deliberately, and anyone who has owned a dog can vouch for the fact that they can squirm and make themselves very difficult to hold.
The economy, though. I just can't make the connection, try as I might. For something like that to be self-apparent requires a leap of leftist faith. Perhaps if your hatred of Bush is all-encompassing enough, you can see "connections" anywhere. If the president swung and missed hitting a golf ball (or maybe hit the ball into a sandtrap or a pond), I guess that would represent whatever policy failure of the moment might be under discussion.
But would it be logically persuasive of anything other than the fact that the president might need to spend more time practicing his golf game?
Let's try a libertarian analysis of the same picture. President holds dog. Dog (whose entire existence is thanks largely to human tinkering) squirms -- yearning to break free. Finally, dog lands on the ground. Did the president let go, or did the dog break free? Should the president pick up the dog or is that too interventionist? Should the dog be allowed to run around a little? Or is laissez faire too dangerous? What if he bites the hand that feeds him? Or lifts his leg?
It's all meaningless symbolism. Unless, of course, you just enjoy ad hominem attacks. So I'd better stop, lest I be accused of overanalysis once again.
As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
No overanalysis here. You'll have to go elsewhere for presidential cigar jokes.
posted by Eric on 09.05.03 at 08:18 PM
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