I tried to let it go. I wanted to believe that I could just forget that the president of the United States exposed himself to be nothing more than a cheerleader-in-chief, goading another enemy like he did during his silvered days at Yale, antagonizing another Ivy league school into all manners of high jinx. Americans should not forget the rather disturbing connection of the young Yale student and head Yale cheerleader George W. Bush yelling incoherent and ridiculous provocations as only a great cheerleader can muster.
And as only a great cheerleader can – in the waning moments of a terrible game – the cheerleader tries desperately to whip the crowd into one last frenzy of excitement before all is lost.
The president, whether desperate for strong presidential affect, tired from a grueling schedule of presidential politics, or (as I sincerely hope) frustrated by the daily casualties of a war in Iraq that is supposedly over, slipped back into the easy ways and days of cheerleading when he declared, “Bring ’em on,” to a faceless enemy during a press conference.
I am not the first columnist to question the sagacity of his remarks. Even the most conservative papers paused at the sheer immaturity of such a response. Yet what none noted, and what I must note, is a revisiting of the commander in chief’s curriculum vitae: lowly ranked college graduate in an upper tier school, party boy, military no-show, party boy, failed businessman, born-again Christian, and now President. George W. did excel, though, as head cheerleader of Yale College. With megaphone to lips, he was able to yell such things as “bring ’em on” without question; now with the largest megaphone in the world, such words are strangely juvenile and providing the veneer to a deeply troubled foreign policy.
On Sunday in the op-ed section of The New York Times, the accuracy of the administration’s justifications for war received a public flogging. A claim of Iraqi’s capability for nuclear weaponry was exposed as a fabrication of overeager intelligence gathering (not necessarily a bad thing). This was not a surprise and had been a debate for the last several weeks in the press and policy circles. Now, though, it is very clear that the president and his circle of men- and women-of-war systematically propped up faulty intelligence as justification for their war in Iraq. More clear is the president’s inability and unwillingness to be anything more than a cheerleader for the stream of rationalizations for war, chaos, death and destruction that war inevitably brings. His “bring ’em on” is only the latest of paltry propaganda from a cheerleader’s megaphone propped up by the soldiers he is so willing to let stand in harm’s way.