I welcome my first commenter and appreciate her/his civil – if misinformed – rebuttal; it also gives me an opportunity to clarify a couple of points of my earlier post.
She/he touches on two important points, in my opinion: honesty of the new administration and the damage of Bush legacy.
About the first, there is nothing I can (or wish) to say: hope, like faith, is something that you either have or not have (I must admit I rather admire the pure souls who have this gift).
Besides, if the AIG bonuses pantomime (signing the bonuses, then denying the fact, then going on tv trying to look surprised and revolted by the “scandal”) hasn’t confirmed to all and sundries that politicians – no matter their message – are corrupt by definition (some more then others, of course), there is nothing an old cynical bastard like me can say to shake her/his faith/hope.
The second point is funny in its own way because it is based on a mantra that the dems have – apparently with success – repeated for years; that is, the world hated Bush and therefore America.
It is funny because it is totally baseless and relies more on Bush’s lack of personal warmth and communications skills than anything else. It is not the first time that I encounter this argument and I thought about it a good deal. I believe the answer I have come up with could be useful (perhaps the NYT, The Huffington Post, The Wapo, the BBC might want to adopt it) if some good blogger has the time to develop and publish it.
Here it is: take pen and paper and draw a divider (no pun intended) like a T on the sheet (like an accountant’s debit and credit graph); go back in your mind to a few months or few years ago. On the left column start listing Bush’s foes and on the right his friends/allies; you will immediately realize that the list on the left contains the names of tyrants, dictators, madmen, fraudsters, corrupt politicians, etc. (Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers, Chavez, Morales, Chirac, Schroeder, Saddam Hussein, etc., etc.) and the right mostly the names of heads of state of democratic countries (Israel, Sarkozy, Merkel, Harper, John Howard and now Rudd, New Zealand, Iraq, etc., etc.). You will admit that to be hated by the scum of the earth is rather a nice compliment, no?
PS: Since I mentioned heads of state and their feelings towards Bush, I would also like to remind my commenter that the main culprits for boycotting the coalition against Saddam (who would have quietly gone into exile without a shot being fired had he seen a united Security Council) were Chirac, Schroeder and Martin, who all played the card of opposing the Iraq liberation war in the hopes of being re-elected. Lo and behold, the Bush haters were kicked out of power!