How do I dislike Bush? Let me count the ways:
Production Notes: The major "jinx" entry was added was added after the 9/11 attacks, and though some of the other items could use updating, I'm letting them stand, except for fixing "jibe" per some email feedback. 29 September 2001 (jinx part updated again on 3 November)
Time for the conclusion. During the election I was basically bemused that the GOP couldn't come up with a better candidate, and I was somewhat surprised that the political machinery worked in a way that it somehow gave Dubya credibility as a candidate for high office. I think almost all rational people agreed that there were very large differences between the two candidates, and I thought it fascinating that somehow all of these differences were cancelling out, and I even wrote an extended commentary on the political deadlock in American politics. However, I no longer regard Dubya as a peculiar joke, but rather I've come to see him as an archetype. He is truly an odious little man.Do I actually hate him? I don't think so, though I do very strongly dislike some of the things Dubya stands for. Basically, in spite of his archetype status, he doesn't seem to be 'big enough' to be the target of hate. Some of Dubya's strongest supporters are extremely hateful people, but still... Disrespect? Most definitely. I can only think of a single item that might be worth some respect, and I don't know for sure about that. Did Bush really stop drinking of his own free will? Or was he forced to stop and it's just another one of his secrets? Or maybe Dubya still drinks in private? Many former alcoholics say he's just 'in denial', by which they apparently mean they believe he can't really address or solve his alcohol problems without even admitting that they exist. But who's to say he hasn't admitted to them in secret?
But hate Dubya? I don't really think so, in spite of the fact that he and his supporters seem to have more than their share of hate for other people and things. And I certainly regard them as dangerous and potentially harmful.
By the way, this page is obviously dedicated to the authors of all those negative pages that, lacking anything positive to say about Dubya, focus on saying negative things about other people. Mostly that means criticizing Clinton, but Gore, too. However, I can't really blame them for not wanting to think too deeply about Dubya.
As far as criticizing Clinton at this late date, regardless of his real flaws, I regard it as a kind of safe bullying. Clinton is history, and he knows it. His work is finished, there is no higher office to go to from here, he is retired. He is no longer in a position to seriously play the political games or even to defend himself, which is apparently why the Bush supporters have seemingly become even more fond of criticizing him. Bullies are like that, but now the only real judgment will be history's, and you can't rush that one. None of us will live to see it.
As far as criticizing Gore, all of the attacks that I've investigated so far have turned out to qualify as vile calumny. Much of it was in the press in the form of vicious attacks in the headlines followed a few days later by tiny retractions buried in errata boxes, usually explaining that Gore had been misquoted again. However, the press publishes what sells, and I guess that's what people want to pay for—but perhaps that's why I almost never buy a newspaper or news magazine. I do not want to pay for slanted spin that claims to be impartial news. Perhaps strong control of the media is another GOP lesson learned from Nixon's demise? Ironically, a lot of the calumny was broadcast via the Internet that Gore worked so hard to support during its critical early years. But the most ironic part is that 'I read it on the Internet' has become synonymous with 'truth value completely unknown'.