Mark Steyn has an amusing, if rather unfocused, piece entitled, “What counts is what a guy does when he’s not talking.” Especially amusing is the discussion of the “presidential lunchbox,” which I shall not excerpt here.

The part of the column that goes with the title is actually buried toward the bottom:

The chaps who dismiss Bush as a moron forget that what counts is what a guy does when he’s not talking. It’s true that he didn’t know the name of the leader of Wackistan before he became president. But one advantage of that is that he isn’t the prisoner of his past the way, say, Chirac, Schröder and Putin are. Chirac the sleazy deal-maker, Schröder the 1960s anti-American peacenik and Putin the KGB hardman seem incapable of rising above their CVs.

That’s the subtext of the Russian president’s extraordinary performance with Tony Blair the other day. How would you feel if you were Putin? Your guys kill more people in a single Moscow theatre than Bush’s do liberating Baghdad. Bush wraps Iraq up in a month, while you’ve spent years killing hundreds of thousands and reducing Grozny to rubble and your boys are still coming home in boxes.

Quite right.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tiger says:

    Your term, “unfocused,” was a kind way of describing the general trend of inane rambling and sexual innuendos that plagued Steyn’s piece.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Heh. Well, deadlines and all that.