Alarming News

December 30, 2003

Loving Bush

I know I’m a few years late on this, but, last night, Peter, Doug, Ari, Oschisms and I sat on my couch and watched ‘Journeys With George’, Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary about George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000.

I was in no rush to see the movie when it was playing, mostly because the reviews all mentioned how Bush appears to be a ‘frat boy’ and how much Pelosi despises her ex-subject. Pelosi is, unfortunately (and despite Oschism’s protests to the contrary), an ass. Every interview I’ve read with her (example here) has her tearing into Bush and generally acting like a jerk. It seems like she wanted to hate Bush, and is able to do so more successfully now that she isn’t around him all day, but that her film didn’t get that point across as well as she would’ve wished. The movie definitely tries to show Bush in a bad light but is ultimately unsuccessful. He comes off as so down to earth, funny, real, approachable, honest.

There was some degree of boozing going on while we watched the film so we didn’t really discuss if that was the consensus agreement. I would love to hear from the two Democrats and one Independent in the room, or others who have seen it, if they got a different impression of Bush off the movie. My thesis for this post is: anyone who sees this movie will find it impossible to hate George W. Bush, no matter how intense their current anger and hatred. Agree/Disgree?

Posted by Karol at 10:21 AM |

I’ve flip flopped on Bush completely. When he was running for Pres I thought he was 50 brain cells or so beneath a total idiot. But 2+ years have changed the way I think about him. Based on his campaigning I really thought his big issues were going to affect me negatively {religion, faith based programs, Roe v. Wade}. Well, I can admit it, I was utterly mistaken. Turns out, I’m not working for Jesus, wearing a cross or toting around 7 unwanted kids. Bush has been the friend to Israel that I have sought for years. He’s taken the aspect of world freedom to unheard of levels and I, for one am impressed.
As far as the movie… I think it shows a human side of Bush we would not have seen otherwise. It shows him as not stupid but rather highly observant. Not dim, but fun and funny. Dare I say… caring even. And despite your assertations that Pelosi hates him {or tries to}, she’s ultimately unsuccessful. You can tell she likes him and hates herself for it but hey…
sometimes I feel the same way. This upcoming election is definitely his to lose.
**and I had a great time last night, thanks for the terrific hospitality!!**

Posted by: Ari at December 30, 2003 at 11:08 am

I agree that Alexandra is bitchy in the movie- perhaps that’s why I thought she was charming when I met her. She benefited from my low expectations, perhaps?
The cool thing about this movie was that you could see what type of person Dubya is. You can tell what a politician’s policies are, you can deduce the content of his character from the way he treats his family. But you can’t really tell what he’s like unless you spend some time with him.
I agree with Ari that she tries so hard to hate Dubya but likes him in spite of herself. It must be hard to take when the people you’ve been told are eeeeeevil turn out to be likeable.

Posted by: Oschisms at December 30, 2003 at 12:24 pm

I guess I should pay more attention to Pelosi’s quotes subsequent to her film’s release because as I remember the viewing, I thought she had come to like Bush despite her disagreements with his policies (it has been awhile since I have seen the film). I think the film showed his genuineness (something sorely lacking in Gore). You saw someone ‘comfortable in his own skin’ — again a stark contrast to Gore. I would believe an argument that Pelosi intended to show Bush in a negative light (ie pull back the curtain to see who is pulling the strings on the great and powerful Oz) but I thought she gave him an even-handed portrayal which showed many of thiose qualities many of us admire.

Posted by: Kevin Patrick at December 30, 2003 at 12:24 pm

Hey, why wasn’t I invited? ;-(

Posted by: Radical Redneck at December 30, 2003 at 12:35 pm

I cannot agree with your thesis. I have no trouble liking GW, but I think that for some, the likeability of GW is just more evidence of how dangerous he is. If you are one of those who buys into the rhetoric that he is “evil incarnate” or “the most dangerous man in the world” then any positive portrayal of him, no matter how genuine, is just evidence of how insidious he is. Indeed, the more genuine, the more insidious.
The Kool-Aid has already been embibed, and no matter how much we would like to see them redeemed, they cannot be saved.
Now, that is just a response to your rather extreme thesis. If it were moderated to say, for example, “Many Bush-haters would find it difficult to continue hating Bush after seeing this movie,” I would probably go along.

Posted by: Jason at December 30, 2003 at 1:45 pm

Sorry RR, it was an Upper East Siders thing. :-) But you are welcome any time.
Jason, I can change my thesis to accomodate that: “Many Bush-haters would find it difficult to continue hating Bush after seeing this movie” is fine with me. I realize there are some that would never change even if Bush cured Cancer and pulled their mom out from under a bus.
I forgot to note this in my post but I watched this documentary with 4 Clinton voters. 3 of whom are definitely voting for Bush in 04 (Ari wants to see who the Dem will be, if Gephardt pulls a miracle, he may have her vote). The times they are a-changing.

Posted by: Kashei at December 31, 2003 at 11:31 am

Hey Hey Hey- I only voted for Clinton once, in 92. By 96 I was a Republican in all but name.

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