I’ve long viewed George Bush as a temperamental conservative, the kind of guy you meet in a bar who slams down his drink and asks belligerently, “You know what this country needs?” and then proceeds to tell you.
Maybe this is just fuzzy and sentimental of me, but I think that guy in the bar actually quite earnestly cares about the country and what it needs. If through some twist of fate he became president, he might do a terrible job initially. But if that was the case, then as problems mounted I think he would either become chastened, take advantage of the president’s ability to get the counsel of better-informed people and start doing a better job, or else become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task and abdicate in favor of someone better-suited to the job.
Bush has remained seriously jerky to the end, taunting the rest of the G-8 about his crappy environmental record, vetoing health care for poor children, utterly unrepentant in his goodbye interviews, delaying needed fiscal stimulus and plunging the world into depression, fighting tenaciously to keep American troops in Iraq in the teeth of opposition from the American and Iraqi publics, etc.
In other words, I get the analogy to the drunk in the bar. But ultimately I think it’s unfair to people who like to rant and rave in bars. This is how Bush really is, year after year.
UPDATE: See also Brian Beutler on Bush the nice guy versus Bush the jerk.