By Franklin Foer, editor of The New Republic
Where Nixon was a barrel of laughs, the Bush presidency simply isn’t very funny. There are no masterful Bush impersonators. Nixon’s comedic appeal resided in his dark interior life. When he spoke in public, you knew that you weren’t getting the full Nixon. Back in the private quarters of the White House, he was famously brooding over his enemies, sipping scotch, and talking to the portraits on the wall. The fact that the leader of the Free World was neurotic, paranoid, and palpably creepy made him a genuinely excellent premise for jokes. Bush has none of these qualities. Even as his entire presidency has tanked, he shows no signs of acquiring psychological complexities. He remains the “simple,” “resolute” man that his hagiographers once venerated. If you put Bush on the couch, I’m afraid he’d still take a nap.