Here is one reason George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in U.S. history: He's an incompetent dope who is incapable of learning from his mistakes. Oh, and also, he has a stubborn, constipated view of life and the world. President 70%-Disapproval-Ratings proved his worth again yesterday when he chose a visit to a foreign country - speaking before that country's legislative body, no less - to deliver an attack on domestic political foes. President Screw-Up chose an address to the Israeli Knesset to launch his unashamedly partisan, not to mention historically dead wrong, attack on those who think diplomacy should play a part in American foreign policy. You know -- the way U.S. foreign policy has been conducted by pretty much every president until President National Disaster took office.
Much has been said about BushLeague's Knesset rantings (my favorite comment was Sen. Joe Biden's immediate reply, "That's bullshit"), so I'll only point out that when President Lame Duck used the term "appeasement" - referring to concessions made to Hitler after his invasion of Czechoslovakia - he was, essentially, abusing historical facts. It wasn't "appeasement" for the British and others to sit down and talk with Germany - the appeasement came when THEY GAVE HITLER PART OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA! There's a huge difference between talking to your enemies and giving them whatever they want. The question now is, "How stupid do you have to be in order not to grasp such a fundamental difference?"
ONE MORE ITEM: I'm not a visual arts critic by any means, but I have always been enthralled by the work of Robert Rauschenberg, and was sad to see that the wildly inventive artist had died this week. David Byrne wrote a nice piece in today's New York Times about Rauschenberg, and here's a link to it.