Generally speaking, the more people tell you how tough they are, the harder they're working to convince themselves. George W. Bush is no exception. The president's authoritarian impulses, on display during an amazingly petulant Rose Garden press conference, so clearly derive from his own fundamental weakness of mind and character that it's become increasingly embarrassing to watch him perform. The more strenuously he struggles to hide his inner punk, the more clearly it emerges. Consider his childish response to NBC News' David Gregory's question about the administration's pre-election efforts to legalize torture. Bush's testy attitude toward the tall newsman he calls "Stretch" goes back a long way. After Gregory, covering a joint news conference in Paris in 2002, asked President Jacques Chirac a question in French, Bush sneered, "The guy memorizes four words and he plays like he's intercontinental." Last week he mockingly told Gregory, "You're looking beautiful, Dave."
There's no 'inner punk' to it. Bush is a punk. Period.
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