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May 19, 2011

We Are Just So Totally the Boss of You

Slate compares Barack Obama's course on Middle Eastern policy to George H.W. Bush's management of Eastern European affairs. Beats me what the whole comparison is, 'cause I dissolved into laughter with just the first two sentences:

"Do you remember how wisely, how patiently, President George H.W. Bush presided over Eastern Europe's transition from communism to freedom? Do you remember how calm he was when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed?"

George H.W. Bush presided over Eastern Europe as it switched on The Freedom. And yet, despite the awesomeness of his direct responsibility for every moment of the event, he managed to stay personally calm.

Picture it, ladies and gentlemen: George H.W. Bush, eating a lightly buttered corn muffin in his West Wing dining room. He doesn't shake! He quivers not! Crumbs tumble not from his mouth! "Hey," he says, "that was pretty good. How about another one?" Awed, the staff gathers to stare. And then one leans in close to the others to whisper: 

"My god! Doesn't he know the Soviet Union just suddenly collapsed!?!?"

"Yes," a waiter says, nodding with raw manly admiration. "The Iceman!"

That evening they cut him, but are stunned to discover that he does not bleed. He looks up, frowning slightly.

"A sparrow," he says. "In Lublin. It has fallen."

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