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Bush The Golfer

Peter Boyer has a fairly long Keith Olbermann profile in this week's New Yorker which is not necessary reading, although it does feature a notable anecdote. Olbermann is reading over an interview with President Bush in which the following exchange occurs:

Q: Mr. President, you haven’t been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?
Yes, it really is. I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as—to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal. 

And here's Boyer: 

Olbermann suddenly had another sensation, unrelated to neurology—a feeling, he later recalled, that was “like being hit by lightning.” He sat down at his computer and began to write. After an hour, he had the first draft of a lacerating indictment of Bush, a twelve-minute-long (eighteen pages in teleprompter script) j ’accuse, addressed personally to the President.

“Mr. Bush, at long last, has it not dawned on you that the America you have now created includes ‘cold-blooded killers who will kill people to achieve their political objectives’?” Olbermann wrote. “They are those in—or formerly in—your employ, who may yet be charged some day with war crimes.”

Olbermann turned to Bush’s golf remark, which he called the “final blow to our nation’s solar plexus.” He wrote:

Mr. Bush, I hate to break it to you six and a half years after you yoked this nation and your place in history to the wrong war, in the wrong place, against the wrong people, but the war in Iraq is not about you. . . . It is not, Mr. Bush, about your golf game!

Oh, how quickly we forget!  Just four years ago, in fact, Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11 arrived in theatres, and one of the big scenes featured--you guessed it--Bush playing golf. The president is asked a question about terrorism, he responds by saying that all countries must unite against evil, and then he pauses before saying, "Now watch this drive." Moments later he tees off. This was of course supposed to prove that Bush does not take terrorism seriously, or is an idiot, or God knows what. But now Bush has sworn off golf, which apparently also proves that he is cruel and uncaring. And something tells me the same people who nodded vigorously at Moore's movie are now nodding vigorously at Olbermann's monologues. Terrific.

--Isaac Chotiner