Never mind what the president actually says during his joint appearances with Kerry: Are the words really his? I have missed out on the fever of speculation about the humplet that appears on Bush’s back in some video from his first stammering, mumbling, slurring encounter with Kerry. The Washington Post points out 1) that Bush’s people only grudgingly give a straight answer to questions about the bulge and 2) that a new site, Is Bush Wired?, is dedicated to explaining the bulge.
My question: Does it really matter. What difference does it make that Bush has a voice in his ear telling him what to say, if he does? I suppose it would confirm the view of people, like me, who have come to believe he’s some kind of idiot (emphasis on “some kind,” because I persist in believing he’s not as stupid as he looks). But I can’t really think of anything that would make my opinion of Bush lower than it already is. People who like Bush — a species of citizen with whom I’m personally unacquainted — are going to be inclined to ask why it’s a big deal even if someone’s talking into his ear. Reagan fans don’t think less of Dutch even though he nodded off in public and had to be prompted by Nancy from time to time. So why shouldn’t W get a little help, especially when he’s up against a silver-tongued intellectual like John Kerry?