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July 22, 2006

A Touching Man

(Revised 8:33 pm:  Yep.  Makes more sense now.)

Bushputinhug

Over the past month or so, The BAG has registered an uptick in mail regarding Bush’s tendency to hug, kiss or put his hands all over people.  Whether you attribute the behavior to a frat boy’s defiant lack of boundaries or an infant’s urgent need to be “all there is,” we’re still talking about someone who never learned to play grown up.

The behavior is not the same in all cases.  Sometimes, it has to do with establishing parity in the presence of people or situations where Bush feels less than equal.  Other times, it’s more simply the (supposed) cool guy’s exaggerated attempt to step off the pedestal and make contact.  At other points, it seems like a caveman’s neutralization or intimidation tactic.

Bush-Naacp3

What is especially scary is that this behavior is becoming more frequent in high visibility, high stakes situations.  Contributing to the stress is Bush’s new emphasis on collaboration.  (In the unilateralist mode, you could just bypass the pretense of getting along with anybody.)  Also, Bush is now having to spend much greater emotional energy to contain his humiliation over (the increasingly evident) loss of the Iraq war.

As the guardedness breaks down, Bush’s awkwardness and anxiety is now surfacing more often at exactly the wrong time. (Witness the open microphone incident at the summit last week.  Also, I’m also wondering just how pressure he actually applied to Congressman Green’s face at the NAACP conference.)  As a result, we are seeing less of the uhh, umm, I, uh ummmmm, and more outright examples of physical symbiosis, interpersonal rope-a-dope, and various gestural forms of “throwing one’s weight around.”

Bushkisser400

The victims are piling up of late.  I never thought I’d feel for a steely KGB agent.  Still, the almost continuous hugging and touching Putin had to endure before and throughout the G-8 summit was nothing short of relentless.



(image 1: Grigory Dukor/Reuters.  Strelna, Russia, July 14, 2006.  Via YahooNews.  image 2: Jason Reed/Reuters. Washington July 20, 2006.  image 3: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters.  St.Petersburg, July 15, 2006.  Via YahooNews.)

  • Wisechick

    Oh come on, Bag! That’s all you’re going to say about the Merkel rubdown? I’ve been dying for some REAL analysis of these pics from you since I first saw them. You know, with the fancy arrows and hand-written commentary? Pretty please?! I disagree with your assesment that in real time it isn’t that bad. In real time it totally looks like an assault! Even my 65 year old father–who voted for Bush–thought it was inexcusable behavior. Bottom line: this event deserves the full-service Bag treatment, not just a passing mention!

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    He’s acting like a dog, the kind that shoves its rump up against you to let you know who is boss. It is purely an attempt to dominate. Look how he has nearly wrapped Putin in some kind of “See Me Looking Down At You” grip. And his “I’m Going To Touch You In The Way and Manner That I Choose” stunt with Chancellor Merkel was nothing more than a polite, stately, ass-smacking. It was rude, it was inappropriate, it was a violation of her person and her pride.
    It’s funny you bring this up now. I was just thinking about it. What I was thinking was that he is overcompensating for feeling insecure. I may just be dreaming that a rock has a soul, but I can’t help but think that he was especially feelin’ the heat at the G8. Does he think he still has a 90% approval rating? No. Does he think Europe approves, overall, of what we are doing? No. Does he think everyone at the G8 respects him? No. I think he has been bouncing around rudely and overdramatically acting rude, as a way of saying “See how much I care what y’all think of me? Yeah, that’s right, I’m gonna make it clear that I want to leave this joint early. Yeah, that’s right, I’m gonna jam my mouth fulla meat and talk. Whatcha gonna do? Have a meeting about it? See me making reality while you comment on it?”
    I don’t approve of all the USA does. And hardly any of what Bush does. But I do want our President to appear as a leader, a statesman, an intellectual (yeah, I said it), a humanitarian, an educuted and thoughtful and strong person. (“strong” as in “mature, self-confident, and unafraid” not as in “frat boy bravado”). Just as Bush offered an egregious offense against Germany-as-represented-in-her-representative, he shames our entire nation with his RIDICULOUSLY IMMATURE behavior and inability to internalize the humbling truth that he is a Dumbass Extraordinaire, and a moron, and a fool, and a…well, a schmuck, to boot.
    Whew, thanks. I needed that.

  • margaret

    As a woman, I, too, was offended by what Bush did to Merkel. I have had men do that to me, and it’s not only startling, but, I would think, in today’s atmosphere of fear, with heads of state targets for terrorists and crazies, it could trigger some serious heart-thumping. Merkel’s reaction is, in that Martian recognition of reality, one of fear and repulsion. She only smiles afterwards, because women have been taught to be polite, even to crudity in men.
    Bush’s other physical intrusions reflect some kind of out-of-control behavior which is also manifested in his speech, of late. He seems, more and more, to me, someone who is medicated in some way. His chickens are coming home to roost, and it must be horribly depressing to him. I think he is still a dangerous person, and should not be dismissed as a fool. Wounded animals are the most dangerous.

  • Neal

    See face “slap{?)” of black congressman at NAACP speech (dependable renegade site). It is a sign of ownership and domination, the ability to make contact with anyone he wants. A false closeness by a small man.

  • jt from BC

    See, its like this, as a decider I’ve got the whole world in my hands.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    Ever had a dream where the big event has caught you unprepared? You sit down in a classroom for the first time, look around, everyone’s getting ready to take the final exam? Or you’re ushered on stage to wild applause, sit down at the piano wondering dumbly “Now what? I don’t know how to play any musical instrument.”
    Your nightmare is the Decider’s day job.
    The recent surge in these incidents coincides with the bottom dropping out of President Bush’s approval ratings. The Plan for Approval Rating Victory™ included a new press secretary and the rather dubious notion that more exposure would somehow stem the tide of disapproval.
    Press conferences didn’t work out so good, in part because the Decider tried to charm his inquisitors by interrupting their questions with non sequiturs and lame “jokes”. Words fail him but he still wants our approval. Clutching at those around him appears to be Plan B.
    Pity is all I feel. For him, for us.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    Bush is a deranged little monkey. Why anyone even tolerates his presence is beyond me.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/Lordchocice/ EyesOnly

    The Merkel incident was way too obvious (I mean even MSM picked up on it). Why bother analyzing it at all? Frat boy gone wild, period.

  • http://www.pearlswine.blogspot.com Bill

    Actually, I’ve been thinking it’s Putin that’s getting grab-assy.
    http://pearlswine.blogspot.com/2006/07/roman-hands-and-russian-fingers.html

  • readytoblowagasket

    margaret said: “He seems, more and more, to me, someone who is medicated in some way.”
    Yes, medicated with alcohol. LOTS of it. It’s one “medication” that makes people less able to function in socially appropriate ways.
    Other symptoms of excessive drinking include his strange bloodless skin color lately and his puffy face. He looks ill.

  • Cactus

    Isn’t touching someone’s head a gesture reserved for intimates? Lovers, children, family? One just does not touch the head, especially the face, of a business/political/social acquaintance. In the case of Gdub/Green, it is a desperate attempt by him to be included in a group he knows is not welcoming him. However, it is demeaning for Green, tantamount to an insult. What it says is: you are so far below me in status that I can take this liberty with your person and get away with it.
    In the top photo, Putin doesn’t look all that happy with the embrace. And that little golf cart in the back seems to be smirking. Again, in the bottom one, Putin looks away as if to say, please take the damn photo so I can get away from him.
    N-LX-Jonez made the point beautifully. He is the frat-boy falling out of favor in the dorm. The kind of misfit kid that has to ask people ‘why don’t they like me?’ Instead of doing that, he puts on this monkey act of ‘I can do anything and you can’t stop me, nyah-nyah-nyah!’ He’s acting like a sociopath without any boundaries. I keep thinking about how his family reacted to the death of his older sister. Perhaps he IS still reaching out for mommies reassurance. Knowing that everyone hates you, or that all the other G-8 guys are talking about you, would sure bring up such old memories/behaviors.
    When someone’s poop is so valued that it is collected and secured by the secret service (who else?) when on state visits, one is bound to think he’s a god and can do anything to anyone. A dangerous fool, indeed.

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    Serious? Poop?

  • http://cls.pyrrho.net Pyrrho

    Are there any links to this alleged feces cordoning? If true, would it be to mask what drugs he’s on?

  • Cactus

    Well, I heard it on the radio 2 or 3 times in the past few months. But here is a link:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-krassner/excrement-in-the-news_b_24536.html
    My guess is that this is not peculiar to Austria, but that this ‘follows him’ wherever he travels. And yes, the speculation is for drugs, but probably medical as well as recreational. Is he taking psychotropics? Could that count for his aberrant behavior? Or is he drinking again? Hmmmmm.

  • Peanut

    Can you get DNA from feces? Maybe they are afraid someone will find out GHWB is not the daddy but that British diplomat that Bar is rumored to have had the affair with.

  • Mad_nVT

    I wouldn’t trust a man that is always saying stupid things, and then he goes around putting his hands all over you.
    Putin certainly doesn’t look happy about being pawed. I wonder if anyone else does that to that cold calculating power-grabbin weasel
    Regarding DNA from feces– maybe they will use that DNA and inject it into some fence post cells, and make a whole bunch of Bush Clones.

  • jt from BC

    MR BAG that former KGB guy works out daily as a black belt in Judo, I’ve seen that smile in the dojo just before a hulk is dispatched effortlessly, Vladimir grapples daily with better men that “W” one throw and the whole world would rise up clapping is my guess.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Is it just me, or do you feel dirty everytime you see this. This is the kind of behavior that should earn you a punch in the face or a knee to the groin.

  • Brian Boru

    Drugs, booze? I don’t know, but it’s clear from the images that he’s in some sort of a trance. It’s not the case that MSM picked up on this: someone (Crooks and Liars?) I read a while ago had a post on this dog that isn’t barking.

  • ummabdulla

    Sadly, the fact of the matter is that he can do anything he wants – who’s going to stop him? No matter how much of an embarassment he becomes, he’ll get by with it.
    I wonder what goes through his father’s mind when he sees all this.
    By the way, the caption for that photo with Congressman Al Green (in Yahoo News) says: “U.S. President George W. Bush playfully slaps U.S. Congressman Al Green (D-TX) as he greets delegates following his remarks at the annual convention at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington July 20, 2006.” Even if he were a close friend of his, to the point where he might give him a “playful slap” (which I doubt), this certainly wouldn’t be the appropriate setting.

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    I can’t wait until after The Trials, when all these photos can be viewed in their proper historical context…that of some sort of drunken, coked-out sociopath on his path to utter destruction and public humilation.
    Ah….dreams.

  • lytom

    Sure the “pervasive bush” is offensive, but even the discussions here seem like that. What is happening? Here, it seems, the sensitive readers are ignoring the larger part of the picture and that is the clear complicity of the USA in the genocide of the people in the Middle East! By labeling bush as ignoramus, idiot, clown, and what not…the evil of his decisions is lightened up! and for that matter even the readers start feeling good that they have labeled bush evil. There must be another way than just noticing the wrong and not doing anything about it!

  • ray

    I would say that Bush’s “physicality” is completely artificial: a pathetic effort to make up for his total lack of human emotion or empathy. He tries to show “he cares” by hugging, back-rubbing, etc; but it is obvious by his statements and behavior — which have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including American troops — that he doesn’t (pardon the cliche) “care about people.” I would attribute it to his WASP upper crusty formation, which has led him to see most of the world’s inhabitants (except DEK frat brothers at Yale) as essentially inferiors — e.g., domestic animals you occasionally pet to make them “feel good” and “like you.”
    It would be interesting to speculate if he considers his moments of intimacy with Laura another form of “I-touch-you-because-I-care,” another expression, in other words, of his absolute incapacity actually to care about others.

  • Cactus

    lytom makes a good point, but I’m not sure (at this point) that we CAN do anything about him. I’ve long thought that Darth is the REAL president and they keep Gdub around as the distraction. All focus can be on him because he’s the putative president and if he acts the ass then all the better for Darth to do his dirty work in the dark. The same goes for Ahnold. He’s a charmer and a fool and a distraction for the guys in the hotel room with Enron sticking it to Californians. John Dean talks about (in his new book) the bond between Gdub & Darth. It’s a very useful ruse. Darth knew he could never get elected as president because of his personality and heart condition. Ergo, Gdub is the clown du jour.

  • http://www.wreckingboy.com/madworld Nezua-Limón Xoloquinta-Jonez

    lytom, dig this for genocidal theme:http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/s11/churchill.html
    And well, all I can say is Bush is the witless fool currently at the wheel of the Genocide Express. I think there is nothing unreasonable about mentioning both. But these pictures do not naturally initiate a “Genocide” discussion. So…that’s why we are talking of personal space, Bush’s sociopathy, dominating and misogynistic tendency.
    What can we do about….”it”? About living in a country with such history and methodology? Heh. You could stop paying taxes, but that suggestion always seems to reach unappreciative ears for some reason. These wars cannot be waged without our funds.
    Otherwise, we can blow off steam once in a while by “voting,” and more often by ranting about jpgs.

  • http://areyoudressed.blogspot.com momly

    “There must be another way than just noticing the wrong and not doing anything about it!”
    I tried in 2004 by voting for Kerry. Yeah, that worked.

  • Gasho

    Perhaps this is a holding-on jesture of a man who’s going down.. he’s emotionally and litterally grabbing onto others around him who may be as deep in the s#!t as he is to hold himself momentarily from falling into the moral abyss.
    My question to Bush is this, Christian boy that he is: Are you going to give Jesus a hug and a kiss when he judges you for your very very bad behavior?
    George W. Bush must be the most morally conflicted person alive. Stem cells and collateral damage are hard to reconcile on the ethical spreadsheet. “Christian servant for death and torture” isn’t a title you want to have earned on this sacred journey.
    He’s so disconnected from his spiritual side, that he’s clutching for safety using those around him – world leaders. He probably cries like a baby to Karl on a weekly basis. Dick doesn’t put up with it, probably, but little w must break down sobbing every so often for the babies he’s killed in his attempt to do the lords work with bombs, missles and white phosphorous. I pity him. He’s the lowest of the low.
    *Important* George needs to be charged and convicted of his Treasonous acts and International War Crimes while he is still in office to keep his misbehavior from becoming precedent.
    Be well.

  • jtfrom BC

    A picky point perhaps MR. BAG but your feelings for steely eyed Vladimir reminded me of my feelings for “read my lips” Herbert, and that a background in Intelligence has never been a hindrance in attaining the highest office in any land. While cleaning up the CIA and establishing a $ 100,000 dollar friendship with Noriega, he had no difficulty publicly demonizing his longtime friend and employee, Bush slaughters thousands of Panamanians and installs a puppet government, in the nick of time, on December 20th, 1989 http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/poli/soa/panama.htm

  • Mad_nVT

    I agree with Gasho that Our President is un-moored and adrift, he grabs on to whatever happens to float past his reality bubble.
    And I very much agree that he should be charged with war crimes.
    But I don’t believe that Bush is “most morally conflicted”. That man is an emotional rock. And that can have different meanings to different people. Millions of people love his Rock-ness. I don’t.

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