[ Wednesday, August 18, 2004 ]
Ah yes, the famous "seven minutes".
Buzzflash has a piece on it this morning.
I've stayed kinda clear of this debate; I've said my piece once or twice and left it at that.The reason, simply, is that watching the full seven minutes of Bush sitting there with that stupid look on his face, I can't help but remember what I WAS DOING those seven minutes. Waiting for instructions was not on my list.Watching that full seven minutes is a profound experience. Few can actually do the whole thing. It's rather agonizing. But doing so this morning led me to a conclusion that needed solidification and that need clarifying here; the failures that morning indeed had as much to do with the institution as the man.
Yes, it is maddening to watch Bush sit cluelessly, but it becomes just as maddening to watch his staff stand placidly in the back of the room cluelessly. Vital information was not flowing to the president at that time. I may fault the man for not leading, but even Bush would have reacted favorably had the right information been getting to him in a timely manner.
This conclusion may surprise some. In a way, it surprised me. But I think, when criticizing Bush for his actions during that seven minutes, one should instead be criticizing the staff below him for failing to provide him with timely information, information he would have used to act differently.
"But doesn't capnmike hate Bush?""No", I've always maintained. I hate the evil that surrounds him and controls him. I think the famous "seven minutes" is a great place to illustrate the line between Bush-the-man and Bush-the-president. In this seven minutes, it is the machine, the staff beneath him that is really the culprit; Bush, in effect, is blameless.
Should a president demand more of his staff? Should this, that and the other thing?Yes, and probably; that's what all this 9-11 commission stuff is supposed to be about.But there, again, it's beginning to look more like an institutional failure of the governing machine than the failings, real or imagined, of the president.
Here is said Buzzflash piece. At the bottom of the page are links to the famous seven minutes, both streaming and downloads.
gonzoliberal [9:43 AM]