caravaggio_narcissus_sm.jpgDear George — Open mouth, insert oblivious, non-compassionate, utterly out-of-touch with reality outside the gated family compound vacation manse ass? Swell:

Q But given China’s growing strength and America’s own problems, realistically how much leverage and influence does the U.S. have here?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I don’t see America having problems. I see America as a nation that is a world leader, that has got great values. And leverage is — I don’t think you should look at the relationship as one of leverage. I think you ought to look at the relationship of one of constructive engagement where you can find common areas, like North Korea and Iran, but also be in a position where they respect you enough to listen to your views on religious freedom and political liberty.

ThinkProgress has the video. It is to laugh. America doesn’t have problems? Well, Americans beg to differ:

Poverty and inequality are not usually subject of wide debate in the United States but this is an election year which might mark the beginning of a change. A poll this month by TIME magazine and the Rockefeller Foundation showed that 85 percent of Americans are unhappy with the economy and think their country is on the wrong track. TIME termed the percentage unprecedented.

Ooopsie. And I’ve got yer great values right here, too, George — what you’ve wrought and wronged:

…Nevertheless, her gut-wrenching first-person accounts of detainee abuse by American soldiers at the Bagram Air Base are consistent with the findings of a recent report by the inspector general of the Justice Department on detainee interrogations in Guantánamo, Afghanistan and Iraq. F.B.I. officials observed detainees being subjected to sexual humiliation, body cavity searches and other indignities similar to the abuses that Khan reports.

The fact that many of the prisoners Khan describes appear to have been innocent of the vague accusations against them, were imprisoned for years without formal charges or fair hearings and were eventually released by the United States without apology or compensation makes the abuse they suffered during years of imprisonment all the more outrageous….

As one mom blogger from Kentucky puts it:

And then, in the middle of watching women’s gymnastics we are suddenly forced to listen to George W. Bush congratulate himself on telling other foreign leaders how to run their countries and how to make sure that their citizens have their full share of civil rights. And, as can be expected, the Russians and the Chinese told him what they thought of his suggestions….

Bush knew this before he even flew to Beijing and so did we. This was nothing more than a vain attempt to make himself look good on our athletes’ time. These men and women have worked to be the best at what they do and they shouldn’t have to share their podium with a politician who doesn’t even qualify.

Amen. It’s not about you, George.

And other than the beach volleyball women who volunteered their asses for the slapping, your antics aren’t fooling anyone. Do your reputation rehab on someone else’s time.

(Painting is Caravaggio’s Narcissus.)