The aesthetics of hating President Bush

I don’t have much to add to Joshua Scharf’s analysis (posted below by Trunk) of Jonathan Chait’s case for hating Bush. In fact, despite some of Chait’s whoppers, I wouldn’t have had much to say in response to Chait’s case, even in the absence of Scharf’s analysis. I take Chait at his word — he hates President Bush because Bush is unapologetically masculine, unapologetically white-southern, unapologetically well-born, unapologetically not intellectual, unapologetically successful, unapologetically disposed to using America’s power, and unapologetically unapologetic.
I agree with Chait that his sentiments do not manifest any “mental affliction.” They are neither rational nor irrational. Like most reasons why people hate, Chait’s are aesthetic in nature, and the aesthetic in question is not even idiosyncratic; it is widely shared. Fortunately, however, it is not the prevailing aesthetic, which is another reason why Chait hates Bush.
DEACON adds: I hadn’t read Rocket Man’s fine analysis when I posted my brief comment. I certainly concur that Bush’s unapologetic religiousness is another reason why liberals hate him. Chait’s substantive quarrels with Bush take up much of his article, but I don’t think he seriously holds them out as the real reasons for his hatred. If he does, he is fooling himself. For example, you don’t hate Bush because you think he lied about Saddam Hussein; you think he lied about Saddam Hussein because you already hate him.


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