Friday, September 17, 2004

Bush's Harvard Tutor Reminisces

Yoshi Tsurumi, the Harvard professor who had the dubious privilege of being Bush's tutor is interviewed at Salon.com. Tsurumi, who has also spoken on Air America, says he remembers the best and worst of his students and that Bush was one of the latter. Tsurumi's recollections are very revealing:

Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film "The Grapes of Wrath," based on John Steinbeck's novel of the Depression. "We were in a discussion of the New Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt's policies 'socialism.' He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically."

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. "In class, he couldn't challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that's how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

Full Story at Salon.com



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