Bush Akimbonians V. Bookish Conservatives
George Bush is what we call an Arms Akimbo Conservative.
Arms Akimbo Conservatism, is all about 'tude, dude.
Shortly before he ran for President, George Bush bought a pig farm is Texas, called it a ranch, and there's been no looking back. Bush is all hat, no cattle. He does not ride horses. He is not actually a rancher.
However, Bush deepend his drawl, exaggerated his strut, began squinting a lot, and kept his arms akimbo. Intellectually lazy reporters thinks that means Bush is a conservative Texas good 'ol boy.
There is really nothing essentially 'conservative' about Bush actual policies.
Even the 'social issues' are carefully dealt with by the Bush policy people to never go anywhere; they do not want to lose great wedge issues and they don not want to scare off the socially liberal elite donors.
Rare is the person in the GOP elite who would send their own children to school that teaches "Intelligent Design" in science class.
Do you think George and Laura would have considered sending their kids to such a school? Exactly.
Even highly regarded religious schools have not taught such philosophies/theolgies in science classes for hundreds of years.
But for Arms Akimbo adherents (Akimbonians) , it doesn't really matter. It's all about the image. Akimbonians just like the fact that Bush acts rustic and is hated by all the right (left) people.
Bush is not a real cowboy. He does not ride horses. When he "cleans brush" it's totally meaningless.
Do you think Bush will clean Brush when he is no longer in office? Exactly.
Compare Bush's presidency to those boxes of Whitman's Sampler chocolates. You know the ones we are referring to. They have that imitation needlepoint design on their cover.
In a similar way, the needlepoint printing on a box of Whitman's chocolates is not actually needlepoint. It's just an image to hide the manufactured reality. The actual candies inside are not excellent, but people still buy them.
Whitman's Sampler wants a needlepoint image. Bush wants a rustic Texas image.
Whitman's sampler chocolates prints a fake needlepoint design on it's mass produced candies because they want to evoke a sense of hearth - of 'Ye 'Ole , so as to tap into the nostalgia that runs rampant in a deracinated post-industrial land.
Bush's Akimbo style was developed to sell like mass produced candy too.
Bush's posh backround was a a political liability and it cost him a congressional race. So he changed. He liked changing. Bush likes this role.His akimbonian style compensates for much that is lacking.
Bush's Akimbonian style made Bush look like a simpleton. As a bonus. this was brilliant , because it stoked the scorn of the people Bush wanted to be scorned by. Thus, Bush could tell the 'folks,' "I'm one of you."
Bush's style is so off-putting to so much of "blue" America, that his people were able to point to that disdain to help him win converts in "red" 'Murica.
Bush is viewed with amused condescension by many people who cannot even afford free checking. Comedy ensues, as millionaires alligned with Bush score his pauper pencil weilding opponents as elitist.
Fans of Arms Akimbo Bush overlook the deficits, the nation building nonsense (democracy at gunpoint? In Muslim lands?) , the reckless foreign policy, the scandals, and much else. Why?
Just because Bush pretends to be rustic? Because Bush pretends to be a good 'ol boy, anti-elitist, non tennis playing (but he does play tennis, semi-secretly), NASCAR luvin' , and because he pretends not to pretend.
Late in life, Bush developed a good Crawford demotic, and this has managed to drive liberals so crazy that they forget that they used to like real Texas accents when Lloyd Bentsen was around.
The intellectual conservative don't really care about that stuff. Afterall, there's nothing akimbo about William F. Buckly or George Will.
The Bookish Bushies like the Akimbonians for electoral reasons, but it's not always a happy marriage.
Many Bookish Conservatives (Paleocon V. Neocon, etc) do not like each other. There is no great fondness for the Norquistians, by the Kristoleans. Many more rivalaries.
The Bookish Conservatives (Bookishcons) take ideas seriously.
The Bookish Conservatives unite in disagreement with Justice Breyer, but they recognize that Breyer is intellectually formidible and they doubt Harriet Miers is equal to the task in taking him on.
Ms. Miers is probably very bright. We could never run a law firm, so we respect anyone who can. But can Miers stand toe-to-toe with anyone on the Supreme Ct?
The Akimbonians don't really worry about such stuff. They just trust Bush. If Bush says Harriet has a good heart, then they just think that's swell.
This attitude drives most of the Bookish Conservatives nuts.
David Frum, the nimble minded Canadian controversialist, to whom Bush outsourced parts assembly for his "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address, is a "Bookish Conservative."
Patrick Buchanan, the cackling medaevelist, whose unique amalagm of 'ChesterBelloc' Catholicism and South Carolina Calhounism, is a "Bookish Conservative."
Buchanan and Frum, often at odds, unite in their dismay at the Harriet Miers choice. They are both joined by many of the best writers on the right.
John Fund, a Bookish eclectic-con, wrote a great critique of Miers. He did not dwell on her good heart.
Many liberal critics of the Bush administration are somewhat surprised by the vehemence of the opposition to Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court.
Why is this?
It's complicated, but often liberals see conservatives the way many Bushbots see the Muslim world.
Many elite liberals think all conservatives are a bunch of violent simpletons, just as many Bushbots fail to distinguish between those who attacked us and who did not, in the Muslim world.
Recall all the polls after the last election; between 70 and 80 percent of Bush voters, in a fugue/delirium of willfull ignorance, thought Hussein and Iraq were connected to 9-11.
True, that rumor was pushed along a bit by the Cheney and his media allies, but the rumor was able to get traction only because elements of Bush's base were pre-disposed and , in some respects, trained to believe such things.
Bushbots were led to believe "they" attacked on 9-11. Wink. Wink.
The Akimbonians fell for the war winks and this pleased many of the Bookishcons (with many exceptions).
Now the Bookishcons would prefer the Akimbonians leave the Supreme Ct. to them.
Akimbonians will win. Harriet Miers, will be confirmed. She will vote pretty conservative, but she will not contribute much to the conservative Judicial philosophy.
This will be just fine with the Bush family.