The President as a (Very Troubling) Young Man

Monday, September 26, 2005 at 09:28 AM

My apologies to James Joyce for the title, but about this time last year, there was a lot of buzz about George W. Bush's old college professor telling tales on the president.  If you believe the professor, and I find little reason not to, our president was just as arrogant and self-serving as a student as he is now, but without the veneer of "good old boy caring" he's had applied by Rove and the PR boys.

Since most of us have now forgotten what the prof had to say (if we ever came across it at all), here's a refresher, as reported in several outlets, including Mary Jacoby, "The Dunce" at and Les Payne, "Our modern-day 'Grapes of Wrath'" in Newsday, 9/11/05:

Yoshi Tsurumi, Harvard Business School professor who had GW Bush in his Economics class:.
"George Bush came across as totally lacking compassion, with no sense of history, completely devoid of social responsibility and unconcerned with the welfare of others."

"He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that."

"He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically."

"In class, he couldn't challenge them [other students who embarrassed him]. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

"He was just badly brought up, with no discipline, and no compassion."

Quotes from George W. Bush, according to Profesor Tsurumi:
"'Look, people are poor because they are lazy."

"Why are you going to show us that commie movie?" (referring to The Grapes of Wrath)

Restoring honor and integrity to the office of president is what he said.  Look around you and this is what we got.  As one might expect from a child of privilege who is probably one of the laziest people ever to serve as president, yet thinks the poor are just lazy.  Who starts a war fought in large part by members of the National Guard, the branch that he himself used to avoid serving in a war.

As David Corn said better than I can:

"Lying has been one of the essential tools of his presidency. To call the forty-third President of the United States a prevaricator is not an exercise of opinion, not an inflammatory talk-radio device. Rather, it is backed up by an all-too-extensive record of self-serving falsifications. While politicians are often derided as liars, this charge should be particularly stinging for Bush. During the campaign of 2000, he pitched himself as a candidate who could "restore" honor and integrity to an Oval Office stained by the misdeeds and falsehoods of his predecessor. To brand Bush a liar is to negate what he and his supporters declared was his most basic and most important qualification for the job." Source here