'Dark' Natured Bush, Cheney and Rice Exporting 'Fear' and 'Relentless Pessimism'

Fresh from his most recent trip to the Middle East, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman returned to offer his latest rationale for Bush hatred. Appearing on yesterday's Meet the Press Friedman theorized: "What this administration has done, is actually stolen something from people. Whether it's an African or a European or an Arab or Israeli, it's that idea of an optimistic America out there. People really need that idea, and the, the sort of dark nature of the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Rices, this, this sort of relentless pessimism about the world, this exporting of fear, not hope, has really left people feeling that the idea of America has been stolen from them."

Just a week ago Friedman, right before his departure to the Mideast, sat down with NBC's Russert to espouse the miraculous benefits of a gas tax. Friedman returned just in time, to the still warm seat across from Russert, to the following welcome from the Meet the Press host:

Tim Russert promoting Friedman's latest Times column: "Let's talk about the Bush administration and quote from your column on Friday. And here's what Tom Friedman wrote: 'America should be galvanizing the forces of order - Europe, Russia, China and India - into a coalition against these trends. But we can't. Why? In part, it's because our president and our secretary of state, although they speak with great moral clarity, have no moral authority. That's been shattered by their performance in Iraq. The world hates George Bush more than any U.S. president in my lifetime. He is radioactive - and so caught up in his own ideological bubble that he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies.' Pretty strong."

Thomas Friedman: "It was strong. It's meant to be strong. Look at the situation we're now in. You can't go anywhere in the world right now-and I travel a lot-without getting that feeling from people thrown in your face. Why is that? You know, I've been asking myself that a lot. Some of it's excessive, this dislike, this distaste, this hatred of George Bush. But what's it about? Whenever you see something that excessive, you know? And the way I explain it is this way. Foreigners love to make fun of Americans. Our naivete, our crazy thought that every problem has a solution, that silly American notion, that silly American optimism. But you know what, Tim? Deep down, the world really envies that American optimism and naivete. And the world needs that American optimism and naivete. And so when we go from a country that, historically, has always exported hope to a country that always exports fear, what we do, and what this administration has done, is actually stolen something from people. Whether it's an African or a European or an Arab or Israeli, it's that idea of an optimistic America out there. People really need that idea, and the, the sort of dark nature of the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Rices, this, this sort of relentless pessimism about the world, this exporting of fear, not hope, has really left people feeling that the idea of America has been stolen from them. I would argue that, that is the animating force behind so much of the animus directed at George Bush."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.