Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Doing Something, Anything

Dan Bartlett talks about his soon-to-be former boss (via TPM):
"You may not always agree with him. But I think he's demonstrated that he's doing something -- the things that he is doing, however bold or aggressive or wrong-headed that some people think they are, he's doing what he thinks is best for this country."
It reminds me of a Thucydides quote I read somewhere recently: "Frantic energy was the true quality of a man." Is there a better epitaph for this president and this administration?

13 Comments:

Blogger Grodge said...

Bush is like a first year surgery resident who is sure of only one thing: he wants to cut people open. the frantic energy quote is very germane.

The first part of the training for the young surgeon is to realize the pre-operative evaluation necessary and the post-operative care required for successful outcome. And outcome is measured in the long term. To say "we won the war" is tantamount to saying the operation was a success, but the patient died.

Bush is learning on the job, and at huge expense. Bill Richardson has made this comment during his campaign, and I think he's a compelling candidate-- he has at least finished his residency.

6/19/2007 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Trainwreck said...

Perhaps you read it here: http://framed.typepad.com/framed/2006/12/thucydides_nail.html

6/19/2007 11:07 AM  
Anonymous RW said...

I liked this one from the following paragraph (3.83.3) in the Jowett translation (available http://tinyurl.com/2d3f9w ; cf. http://tinyurl.com/2xjdhn) : "Inferior intellects generally succeeded best. For, aware of their own deficiencies, and fearing the capacity of their opponents, for whom they were no match in powers of speech, and whose subtle wits were likely to anticipate them in contriving evil, they struck boldly and at once."

6/19/2007 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supposedly, Stein to Hemingway: "Never mistake movement for action",

and another apropo quote from Gertude: "Real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself".

6/19/2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thucydides, The History of the Pelopnnesian Wars
Chapter 10

To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect....

6/19/2007 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The things that he is doing, however bold or aggressive or wrong-headed that some people think they are, he's doing what he thinks is best for this country.

Is there any evidence that Hitler and Stalin were not, too, doing what they thought best for their countries?

6/19/2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Undeniable Liberal said...

Just wunderin' if the lives of those lost, and the lives of their families appreciate that he is doing what he thinks is best .....

6/19/2007 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wunderin' if the lives of those lost, and the lives of their families appreciate that he is doing what he thinks is best

Some of them do, between swigs of Kool-Aid

6/20/2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous semper fubar said...

I can think of lots of epitaphs for Bush, but none of them have the word "true" or "quality" in them.

I think history will be just a wee bit harsher on Mr Bush than any quote from Thucydides.

6/20/2007 3:03 PM  
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