Home > Bush and Character > As Then, Is Now–He Just Learned How to Hide it Better

As Then, Is Now–He Just Learned How to Hide it Better

August 11th, 2004

The photo at right kind of says it all, doesn’t it? In a way, that is–there’s more to it than just the punch. Bob Harris, over at the This Modern World blog site, explains how:

Incidentally, while rugby is a contact sport, every player knows that tackling above the shoulders is a foul. So is leaving your feet during a tackle. Either of these is serious enough that the other team is immediately awarded a penalty kick, often directly resulting in points for the other team.

So even without throwing a punch, Bush is already well outside fair play.

Grasping an opponent by the back of the head and punching him in the face is beyond the pale — I’ve watched rugby avidly for years, and I’ve never seen it during an open-field tackle like this, honest — and will typically result in a player being immediately sent off.

Of course, this is in line with a lot of other stuff Bush did in college. Arrested twice (once for stealing a holiday wreath from a department store, again for rushing another college’s football field and tearing down the goal posts), interviewed in the national press defending the branding (with a red-hot coat-hanger) fraternity pledges, admonishing classmates for wanting to avoid going to Vietnam and then using family connections to do exactly that–lots of stuff of this nature. Gary Trudeau, writer of Doonesbury, was at Yale with Bush and describes him as being cruel back then: “He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable. He was very good at all the tools for survival that people developed in prep school — sarcasm, and the giving of nicknames. He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.”

Bush apologists say that these were “youthful indiscretions,” but they do show character; people change a great deal, but many fundamental characteristics will last a lifetime, and Bush has carried some of these principles into his later life, as governor of Texas and as president. For example, while governing Texas, he refused to use his power to grant clemency, particularly in the case of Carla Faye Tucker, who was born-again and was doing good works, and pleaded to Bush for her life. Bush’s response? To cruelly mock her in a purse-lipped, falsetto voice, mimicking her saying “Please don’t kill me!” Not a youthful indiscretion–this guy is, in truth, fundamentally cruel. Look at a rundown of Bush’s pre-presidential record, and see the category, “Bush and Character.”

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  1. pdq332
    August 12th, 2004 at 00:35 | #1

    It’s rugby! I don’t know what rugby games Bob Harris is watching, but having played the game as an amateur, it doesn’t look any worse than I’ve seen.

    This whole meme is deranged for two reasons: (1) The picture and the accompanying caption are completely irrelevant. Only an English Literature major, steeped as they are in literary devices, could draw an inference between Bush as rugby player in college and Bush as president of the United States. This is beneath laughable, it is just pathetic. (2) If you and the other bloggers out there jumping on this succeed in marketing this inference more widely, all you do is carry water for George Bush. Only a preening leftist would look at that picture and walk away whining, “Bush didn’t play fair.” A normal voter would look at that picture and say. “That’s the guy I want in their fighting Al Qaeda, whatever it takes.”

    Good job digging this up. I hope it starts appearing in some Bush campaign commercials.

  2. Luis
    August 12th, 2004 at 00:42 | #2

    Boy, don’t any conservatives read the entire entry? Not nonly this comment, but trackback reference both assume that the photo alone is being presented as the entire argument against Bush.

    Read the whole thing. Then whine–but not before.


  3. Enumclaw
    August 12th, 2004 at 04:29 | #3

    Um… I think Bush is kind of a dork, and I think as a youth he was probably a hell raising asshole.

    That said… this picture is definitely a bit much. You can’t tell if he’s really delivering an uppercut to the guy, or if he was trying to catch the ball carrier from behind with both arms and was actually falling away from him at the time this picture was snapped.

    The caption about the “illegal” right hook is hardly conclusive, either; it’s a yearbook, for crying out loud, and yearbooks are frequently making fun or making jokes.

    There’s plenty else to rag on Bush for- any thinking person should be shocked, dismayed, disgusted, and pissed off at him mocking Carla Tucker (a woman he was going to put to death). Or for burning pledges with hot wires. Or for being a drunk driver. Or for being a partyboy who didn’t fulfill his stateside military commitment.

    It’s typical of a conservative (see comment above) to ignore the REAL thrust of the problems with Bush, and mock liberals (“preening”, “go away whining”) while ignoring perfectly valid points.

    Did Bush sucker punch some poor slob while playing rugby? I dunno, but as someone else online said- “it’s RUGBY”. It’s not like Kermit Washington sucker punching Rudy Tomjanovich- it’s a nasty, tough, brutal contact sport.

    Yeah, if Bush is giving the guy a pop, it’s against the rules and mean and nasty and says something about his character… but there’s a lot more, a LOT more, to focus on that IS verfied (or at least a lot more verified than some 30+ old yearbook photo) that shows us Bush shouldn’t be President.


  4. Luis
    August 12th, 2004 at 13:14 | #4

    Okay, so maybe it’s not even the best example, but I still would say it makes for an amusing “garnish” to the pile of evidence that does exist to demonstrate the man’s cruelty. Probably this should have gone under the category, “The Lighter Side.”

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