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Monday, May 14, 2007

There are many kinds of bullying behavior
Posted by Jill | 7:09 AM
We tend to think of bullying as being the stuff of elementary school playgrounds -- stealing lunch money, beating up other kids -- physical expressions of dominance.

Yet in over six years of the Bush presidency, preceded by his campaign in 2000, no one has ever called George W. Bush's frat boy behavior what it is -- psychological bullying. The condescending nicknames like "Turdblossom" and "Fredo", the rubbing of the heads of bald, black men, the smirking, joking, "towel-snapping" behavior that the lapdog press has described as "playful" and "charming" is all designed to send the message that he, George W. Bush, is the dominant alpha dog.

Perhaps this works in all-male groups, but he has a nasty habit of doing this with women as well. This behavior reached its most embarrassing level with Bush's impromptu neck massage of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel last year. The press should have taken him to the woodshed on that, but they didn't. And if anyone believes that his "joke" about Queen Elizabeth wasn't transference of his hostility towards his mother, guess again.

Yesterday he did it again, to an unsuspecting band conductor:

JoAnn Falletta was doing what a conductor should — concentrating on the orchestra in front of her. No wonder it took her a few seconds on Sunday to realize someone behind her was motioning for a try. President Bush.

"Smiling at me kind of devilishly," Falletta said.

She gave him her baton and stepped aside.

Gesturing exuberantly, the president led the orchestra during part of its performance of "Stars and Stripes Forever."

"We didn't expect him to know the score so well," Falletta said afterward. "He was not shy about conducting at all. He conducted with a great deal of panache."

That was the music played for Bush's exit after his speech at a ceremony commemorating the founding 400 years ago of Jamestown, America's first permanent English settlement.

Just before the music ended, Bush turned to Falletta, who stood on a step below him, kissed the top of her head and left without saying a word.

I'm sorry, but this is not how civilized people behave. This president is a boor, and if his mother raised him to behave like this, it's time they get someone to teach him how civilized people conduct themselves in public.


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