Yo, Blair!

October 23, 2008

I made a very depressing discovery yesterday. I have long held that Bush addressing the British Prime Minister at a G8 summit on the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese conflict with the words “Yo, Blair!” was the highlight of his presidency. If you take a look at the footage of the exchange below, it’s pretty clear that what he actually says is “yeah, Blair”. There is nothing hilarious or charming about that.

So I was wrong about the importance of this video. But so was everyone else. America’s lamentable Puritan streak lead a lot of people to think the key revelation is that Bush said the word ‘shit’. Indeed, most American media outlets reported that he used the word ‘sh**’, which is a good indication of how ugly a story has to get before the press refuses to cover it accurately. Serious-minded folk tried to squeeze some real diplomatic content out of it, as it shows that, shockingly, the G8 leaders weren’t really as united as their joint statement suggested.

The real thing to take away from this, though, is that our president is a caveman. Now, I can hear a lot of people objecting that this isn’t such a newsflash either, but really take a good look and listen. He tells someone that he doesn’t have a speech but is just “going to make it up”, but promises not to go on “too damn long like the rest of ’em”. As Blair attempts, in his adorably neurotic way, to have some kind of meaningful interaction, Bush continues eating, chewing with his mouthful, occasionally interrupting, his mouth still full of food, to insert some simplistic but extremely confident analysis of the situation. It doesn’t seem that he has an active role in, or even know much about what America is doing about the situation (he thinks Condi is going to be on the move), but as a figure head, he is a boorish disaster. I think our choice on the 4th is a stark one, but whatever happens, we stand to have a civilized adult representing us in the world for the first time in eight years:

UPDATE: Also, it’s nice to see Koizumi again. There was an awesome looking world leader.

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