I don't know whether I can read Decision Points.
A few weeks ago, I met up with some friends at a bar in Austin. The flat-screen TV's were showing some football game that people around us were watching, off and on. At some point, my attention turned to the screen as I realized that they were promoting a clip from Matt Lauer's interview with George W. Bush about his new book.
I was captivated, spellbound. And, as I looked around me, I realized everyone was, too. There was a group of people standing up to leave, about eight of them, and they all paused what they were doing -- putting an arm through the sleeve of a jacket, opening a purse to dig for keys, swigging the last ounce of Fireman's Four -- and watched. It was as if someone had yelled "Freeze!" during a game of tag and they became statues, almost as if they were afraid to move, stopped in their tracks by a man who, last we heard from him, was the receiving end of a tennis shoe.
He's different than President Obama. What power Obama had during the election, all his "Elvis," has worn off. Our President now proselytizes or lectures and most people don't pay him much attention, as far as I can tell, in a 24-hour news cycle. In this age of pundits and cable TV, it's easier to pay closer attention to those who filter Obama for the masses, awash in either a positive or negative light.
But Bush is different. He's a car crash of epic proportions, so grizzly that you can't bring yourself not to look at it. And for every time I think to myself "I can't read that book," part of me thinks "I have to." There's a certain part of human nature that wants to observe, hit the brakes just a little bit, peer out the windows, just to see if you can make some sense out of a pile of twisted metal and rubble. In this case, I'm no longer looking for dead bodies left lying in the road -- I'm just looking for answers as to how they got there.