Home > Uncategorized > Sometimes guys may be nicer than you think

Sometimes guys may be nicer than you think

Listening to this on Saturday, I was stuck by the different window it gave me into the news of the last year and a half.

Listen to the interview — don’t read the piece — and tell me what you think >

So often, we form our opinions about officials’ motives by what we read in the paper (or for some see on TV), or by what we imagine to be their political motives. In fact, had I seen the Web headline (“Paulson calls for more financial regulatory power”) for this story instead of catching it mid-talk, I think I would have been disposed toward an entirely different opinion.

But I’m really buying that this is a smart, reasonable guy who was truly struggling to do the very best he could for the future of our country. And you know what? He says Bush was, too. It’s often hard to remember that these are people who sometimes transcend Jaffner’s “assery” to make hard decisions.

Go ahead, all you “Sadly, No” folks. Just call me Pollyanna.

I’m reading The Clinton Papers: Wrestling History with the President, and every evening I’m struck by how different the reality of the situation was from what we were fed publicly. More on that later . . .

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. jennofark
    February 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

    In a word, NO.

    I’ll let Rachel Maddow explain why, since we both agree that she’s a nice person:

  2. jennofark
    February 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

    And I should clarify, what I mean by that NO is that “no, these guys aren’t ‘nicer than we might think’.” Nice people aren’t shameless like these folks are.

    We had a discussion about this many years ago, Beth, when Bush Sr. was president or running for president. You were more kindly disposed to him than you had been to Reagan and made the comment that “he seems like a nice man.” My response at the time was “they don’t hire ‘nice men’ to run the CIA.” And IIRC, I elaborated that opinion by saying I thought Bush I was worse than Reagan, because he was at least smart enough to know better, where Reagan pretty much just served as a figurehead.

    So, Paulson? Maybe he has some redeeming qualities. Bush? Not so much. As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Bush was driving us down that road at warp speed. If a person is either too dumb to realize he doesn’t know it all, or too egotistical to acknowledge it, and creates a disaster for everyone else as a result, it really doesn’t matter how much he loves puppies and kittens or how nice he is to his mama – the end result is still disaster.

    I should note here that although in the preceeding I’ve accepted the premise that perhaps Bush wasn’t all that bad a fellow, in reality, yes – yes he was. Lest you forget: ruthless abuses of power; mocking of woman being sent to her execution; tasteless jokes about looking for the “missing” WMDs under furniture in the Oval Office (this after several thousand Americans – and many thousands of Iraqis – were already dead thanks to the premise of WMDs); hamming it up for the cameras with a guitar while grandmothers in New Orleans were drowning in their attics…I could go on, but I won’t.

    I’ll just say this: I don’t count the man as “evil”, only because I think you need some smarts to be truly evil, and he lacks them. But truly a shameless individual, and as Salman Rushdie reminds us, the complete lack of shame is a dangerous thing – and not something found in people typically considered to be “nice guys”.

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