Wednesday, April 14, 2004
In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa. You've looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say? And what lessons have you learned from it?

Hmmm. I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it. I'm sure historians will look back and say, Gosh, he could have done it better this way or that way. You know, I just — I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet.

What most troubles me about W. Bush (and about extremists, Left an Right, in general), is not so much what he does: the cultural wars, the religious demagoguery, the imperial crusade-mongering, &c. It is his apparent utter incapacity for nuance, self-reflection, and self-criticism that arouses in me a most visceral dislike. The untroubled mind of a conservative, or a communist, has about as much life-like qualities as an algorithm, which can be upsetting enough to run afoul of during routine life. To find it in a position of enormous power is absolutely frightening.