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November 06, 2008

New Tomdispatch


The George W. Bush Story

By Tom Engelhardt

They may have been the most disastrous dreamers, the most reckless gamblers, and the most vigorous imperial hucksters and grifters in our history. Selling was their passion. And they were classic American salesmen -- if you're talking about underwater land in Florida, or the Brooklyn Bridge, or three-card monte, or bizarre visions of Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicles armed with chemical and biological weaponry let loose over the U.S., or Saddam Hussein's mushroom clouds rising over American cities, or a full-scale reordering of the Middle East to our taste, or simply eternal global dominance.

When historians look back, it will be far clearer that the "commander-in-chief" of a "wartime" country and his top officials were focused, first and foremost, not on the shifting "central theaters" of the Global War on Terror, but on the theater that mattered most to them -- the "home front" where they spent inordinate amounts of time selling the American people a bill of goods. Of his timing in ramping up a campaign to invade Iraq in September 2002, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card infamously explained: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."


From a White House where "victory strategies" meant purely for domestic consumption poured out, to the Pentagon where bevies of generals, admirals, and other high officers were constantly being mustered, not to lead armies but to lead public opinion, their selling focus was total. They were always releasing "new product."

And don't forget their own set of soaring inside-the-Beltway fantasies. After all, if a salesman is going to sell you some defective product, it always helps if he can sell himself on it first. And on this score, they were world champs.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 6, 2008 11:40 AM

I helps to have a "few" suckers out in the crowd to sell to, the more the merrier.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 6, 2008 12:07 PM

This time will be remembered for generations. We watched a President almost destroy a country. The country answered back with, "Hell No!"

Posted by: Doctorpants at November 6, 2008 02:00 PM

Doctorpants: ONLY AFTER it hit them in the wallet. Don't count YOUR chickens before they come home to roost, Obama ONLY has sold himself into the job, he ain't done nothin' yet.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 6, 2008 02:54 PM


Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 6, 2008 02:56 PM

I second mike meyer!

now that the great Obama has won and the Dems picked up 5 seats in the senate and lots more in the house, there is no need to prevent an impeachment anymore.

I'm calling today to see what excuse they have now to keep impeachment off the table..

Posted by: Sam at November 7, 2008 09:08 AM