Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Okay, I'll admit it -- I like women's beach volleyball. It's a great sport that moves fast, the rules are easy to understand, and let's be honest the women are beautiful -- long, lean, tanned and athletic.

Earlier this week, President Bush stopped off to see U.S. gold-medal contenders Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, who traded a few volleys with the president and offered up a few tips -- along with one more thing.

It's a tradition in beach volleyball, ostensibly, for players to pat one another on the behind for luck. And keeping with that tradition, Misty turned around and offered the president a swat, with a playful "want to?"

As the LA Times observed in recounting the tale, "Want to has nothing to do with it in public life."

The president, choosing propriety and judiciousness over irresistible temptation but not wanting to insult or jinx the athlete, instead brushed his hand across her lower back.

I stand in respect of the man's incredible restraint.


Craig Bob said...

Commending President Bush on restraint ... you are a true professional communicator my friend!

JBlog said...

The man doesn't get half the credit he's due.

As for you, you'd have spanked her.

I know it.

Craig Bob said...

No comment on the spanking thing.

But on a serious note - do you know of any web sites, articles, books, etc that lay out the case for President Bush deserving more credit than he gets? I want to try and understand that position.

JBlog said...

TOTALLY commenting on the spanking thing -- you KNOW you would, dammit!

I know of no such serious analysis of President Bush's term of office, and don't expect any to appear, probably, for at least 10 years -- these things are typically best viewed through the lens of history, and can't be properly judged in the near-term.

But if you want to know who the current president is doing, I'd suggest you do some deep reading of U.S. history over the past 200 years. Those who claim we're in our worst position ever haven't done the homework.

Example, if you had asked the average American how things were going in late 1944, the answer would have been "not so good."

Civilian morale was at an all time low, the war that was supposed to be over by Christmas was raging on with no end in sight and we weren't winning yet, the U.S. treasury was bankrupt, and FDR -- arguably the greatest president of the 20th century -- just BARELY got re-elected (he polled fewer votes statistically than GW Bush got in 2004, for comparison).

In objective terms, and looking at isolated events and not the whole of an administration, I can pretty much paint any presidency for the last 50 years as far more disastrous and destructive than the current one.

But history doesn't judge on the short-term -- it judges on the long-term results.

My own view is that the current administration got dealt an exceptionally tough hand, that it's blunders are typical of those made by administrations tested in such a way (and not nearly as bad as some), and that overall the long-term outcomes will probably -- probably -- be significantly better than the media and partisan politicians are currently painting them.

But then, it's widely held that I have no idea what I'm talking about.