Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer, in his own words

Norman Mailer, the great American man of letters, died today at age 84. His mind and pen sharp right to the end, Mailer recently had this to say about Bush:

"Democracy, more than any other political system, depends on a modicum of honesty. Ultimately, it is much at the mercy of a leader who has never been embarrassed by himself. What is to be said of a man who spent two years in the Air Force of the National Guard (as a way of not having to go to Vietnam) and proceeded--like many another spoiled and wealthy father's son--not to bother to show up for duty in his second year of service? Most of us have episodes in our youth that can cause us shame on reflection. It is a mark of maturation that we do not try to profit from our early lacks and vices but do our best to learn from them. Bush proceeded, however, to turn his declaration of the Iraqi campaign's end into a mighty fashion show. He chose--this overnight clone of Honest Abe--to arrive on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln on an S-3B Viking jet that came in with a dramatic tail-hook landing. The carrier was easily within helicopter range of San Diego but G.W. would not have been able to show himself in flight regalia, and so would not have been able to demonstrate how well he wore the uniform he had not honored. Jack Kennedy, a war hero, was always in civvies while he was commander in chief. So was General Eisenhower. George W. Bush, who might, if he had been entirely on his own, have made a world-class male model (since he never takes an awkward photograph), proceeded to tote the flight helmet and sport the flight suit. There he was for the photo-op looking like one more great guy among the great guys. Let us hope that our democracy will survive these nonstop foulings of the nest."

Note that Norman Mailer, even with his Harvard degree in hand, found time to serve during World War II in the South Pacific, unlike the many chicken hawk neocons who have filled the Bush Administration.

"What does it profit us if we gain extreme security and lose our democracy?"


Anonymous said...

Boy did this blog take a step back. Please explain how Bush's half-service is any worse than Clinton's complete dodging?

And when you look at Hillary, John Edwards, and B. Hussein Obama who collectively have zero military experience, where does that leave you yet again?

Bush's 20-something percent approval rating pretty much says it all. But lets not fool ourselves over what the rest of those rascals are like. Remember its the John Kerry's, Dick Durbins, Harry Reid's, and others who tell us our soldiers are incompetent, terrorists, rapists, and civilian targeters.

Anonymous said...

Q:"What does it profit us if we gain extreme security and lose our democracy?"
A; It keeps us alive! (and we don't "lose our democracy" btw)

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous on 11-12. The problem with many idealogues is their spotty memory. There are few,if any, modern politicans that have served in the armed forces, yet do not object to sending others to fight for (insert your cause here).