A reader sent me a piece by Pete Hamill from January 2001. It's buried in Hamill's mess of a website, but if you search under "Journalism" and then click on "Politics", you'll find the whole thing. In the piece, Hamill laments Bush's crippled 2000 election victory and predicts the ensuing presidency. I found the following passge disturbing:
"[W]e should be prepared for armed melodrama. Bush is not a worldly man. His father was head of the CIA, ambassador to China, and president of the United States. The son stayed home. During the Vietnam War, he hurried into the Texas National Guard, defending the skies over Houston. He has visited only two foreign countries, one of them Mexico (the other seems to have slipped his mind). He was the first presidential candidate in memory who needed briefings about geography.
But he knows where Iraq is, and is completely aware of what his father failed to do in that country: remove Saddam Hussein. A son in rivalry with a father can be a very dangerous man. To show "leadership", the new President Bush might defy the European allies of the United States, and risk another oil crisis, by seizing on some slight -real or imagined to finish off Saddam Hussein. He would thus force his father to admire him and get a boost in the public opinion polls."
I didn't see it coming. But it behooves me to acknowledge those who did.
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