Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Portrait of a narcissist

Judging from the blistering analyses in Time, Newsweek, and elsewhere
these past few days, it turns out that Bush is in fact fidgety, cold
and snappish in private. He yells at those who dare give him bad news
and is therefore not surprisingly surrounded by an echo chamber of
terrified sycophants.…

"It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to
deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and
snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure
of the president of the United States," Thomas writes.…

Among Thomas's disclosures: "Bush can be petulant about dissent; he
equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in office, he
is surrounded largely by people who agree with him.…

Just as Katrina exposed the lurking problems of race and poverty, it
also revealed the limitations of Bush's rigid, top-down approach to
the presidency.…

"Bush's bubble has grown more hermetic in the second term, they say,
with fewer people willing or able to bring him bad news -- or tell him
when he's wrong. Bush has never been adroit about this. A youngish
aide who is a Bush favorite described the perils of correcting the
boss. 'The first time I told him he was wrong, he started yelling at
me,' the aide recalled about a session during the first term. 'Then I
showed him where he was wrong, and he said, "All right. I
understand. Good job." He patted me on the shoulder. I went and had
dry heaves in the bathroom.'…

"The result is a kind of echo chamber in which good news can prevail
over bad -- even when there is a surfeit of evidence to the
contrary. For example, a source tells Time that four days after
Katrina struck, Bush himself briefed his father and former President
Clinton in a way that left too rosy an impression of the progress
made. 'It bore no resemblance to what was actually happening,' said
someone familiar with the presentation."…

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