"During Bush's first term, besides policy issues, I was particularly worried because of the man's juvenile behavior. This was perhaps most obvious, on an almost daily basis, by his smug smirks and nervous little laughs after saying something extremely trite or grossly rude or downright stupid.
"He actually thought that anything he said was funny, and he looked for approval, rather like a pampered child whose every word draws smiles from his adoring but timid and lazy parents.
"The most extreme expression of this juvenile identity was Bush's performance at the White House correspondents' annual dinner in 2004 when he crawled around under tables pretending to search for WMDs and making light of not finding any.
"Over 4,300 US troops have been killed and tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed as well because of Bush's amusing search for things that never existed....and he thought this was so damn funny. I shall never be able to find the words to express my utter revulsion at this cowardly and boorish comedian-in-chief.
"Bush's repeated lying and bullying during his first term underscored the impression that he was a very juvenile character. He lied with the brazenness that only a child can muster when asked whether he broke the lamp by parents who he knows do not really want to hear the truth about their precious but malicious little bundle of joy.
"And he bullied like only a three year old can bully a one year old who tries to take one of the elder's dozens of unplayed with toys. This behavior was quite evident both domestically and on the foreign stage. Along with lying, name calling and threats were this manchild's standard operating procedure.
"Perhaps exhausted by the applause he received during his first term, Bush has shown a few signs of becoming a moderately thoughtful adolescent in his second term. He still displays his nervous little laughs from time to time, but these no longer occur on a daily basis and they seem more nervous than smug. He does seem at times to have come almost face-to-face with his own incompetence, if not with his moral guilt then with his inability to solve any of the huge problems that he has created.
"He now acknowledges that there were never any WMDs and so forth; this is a step forward, though he does not take the blame for his crimes. Oh, he still says he believes in his principles, but this sounds ever more defensive every day rather than confident and aggressive as before. And as the past year has shown he is quite ready quietly to betray some of these principles.
"Perhaps Cheney's influence has waned, perhaps Bush's other advisers have developed somewhat independent voices to which he has to listen because no one else seems interested in joining his sinking ship of a regime. Whatever the cause, he seems to have grown up a teensy bit. Maybe he will even achieve his sixteenth birthday before leaving office.
"When I look at McCain's performance over the past several months, I anticipate NOT a continuation of Bush's last term but of his first, for McCain, despite his years, seems no more mature than Bush did in his first four years in office. Like Bush, when facts do not support him, he lies brazenly.
"I am not saying that his campaign ads distort, but that he personally and repeatedly lies. Alas, rather like a parent who does not want to hurt little Johnny's feelings, his polite and tolerant opponent merely says that each lie from McCain's lips is not true.
"McCain also throws little temper tantrums, suggesting he is still in those terrible twos. Used to nothing but adulation from the weak-minded mass media, when some journalists or ordinary citizens suddenly started asking serious (and awkward) questions, McCain started throwing fits, kicking them off the bus or the plane, refusing to answer their questions and calling them names.
"And, of course, he has shown himself a bully. His knee-jerk response to situations is to fire someone (even though he could not do so even if president), or to bomb someone. His self-amused bomb Iran ditty comes to mind first, but there are other episodes of this solving problems by smashing things childishness.
"Like the early Bush, McCain finds his little outbursts of immaturity funny. So, when he makes nasty jokes which demean people, we can see on his face a nervous little smirking laugh just like Bush's. He is very pleased with himself for calling women bitches, lesbians, and worse (in the case of his own wife). He is, after all, so very cute. And like a cute little baby still craving the pap, he has chosen as his running mate our first T&A vice-presidential candidate.
"What other qualifications has she?
" Given McCain's obliviousness to the consequences of the behavior he threatens to engage in as president, one might also ask what qualifications he has other than self-absorption. It is too late to ask this of Bush, but it is high time to ask it of McCain.
"Policies are the main thing in considering whom to vote for, assuming that the character and maturity of the candidates is reasonably adult. But there are times, such as the present, when the utter and obvious immaturity of a candidate is of comparable importance. And how high such a candidate rises is a direct reflection of the maturity of the American electorate."