Donald Rumsfeld: Repulsive, yet Compelling

Update, Dec 11 4:30 AM
     Note to self:  Am I really speaking about myself here?

    I spent most of my adulthood hating members of the Bush administration so much that it made my hair bleed.  Good God, I’m so glad that’s over.  

   I was unusually fascinated by Donald Rumsfeld.  He reminds me a little bit of Robert McNamara (whom I blogged about here), except that McNamara had lots of IQ points on Rumsfeld (still no slouch in the IQ department).  I was glad when Bush fired Rumsfeld, but I must admit that a part of me was sorry that I wouldn’t be able to see Rumsfeld on the TV anymore.  The bastard was tremendously entertaining.  Even though I hoped he would die in a fire, I always enjoyed watching him.

    The first time I saw this, I thought it was real!  Rumsfeld is just that type of asshole.  Hostile and grotesque, yet witty.  Even charming, in a gross sort of way–like Satan, or Shakespeare’s Richard III (full disclosure: I’d probably have sex with him.  Once.):

“Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so that I will shortly send they soul to heaven, if heaven will take the present from our hands..!” 

HAHAHA!  Richard III is one of the all-time best Shakespeare villans–right up there with Iago–what a loathsome, sarcastic monster.  But funny, so funny!  He’s malformed in every way–physically, psychologically, morally–and yet, he retains a seductive power.  He charms almost everyone in his orbit, all to their detriment (his mother sees him for what he is).

  The way he gloats after he bags Lady Anne always gets to me: “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?  Was ever woman in this humor won?  I’ll have her; but I will not keep her long!”   

      The way Richard addresses the audience (viewer, in the film), admitting to us his true, bloody intentions, is one of Shakespeare’s great devices.  Richard tells us the awful truth about himself, but not to anyone else he interacts with in his life (the play).  We know how he is manipulating the people around him, but they don’t.  

     In this way, Shakespeare shows us how isolated Richard is.  He cannot confide in anyone in his life, and so he addresses the audience.  How very alone Richard is, and how wretched.  

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