Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bush: 'in the head'

Froomkin:

Bush on the Couch


New York Magazine tries to get inside Bush's head.

John Heilemann writes: "Whatever else one thinks of Bush and his lieutenants, their political acumen has always been estimable -- last year's rout notwithstanding. But now they seem to be pursuing their aims in a manner clueless, reckless, and hopeless. Has Bush simply lost touch with political reality? Or has he actually lost his mind?"

Among the 16 accompanying views:

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick writes: "It sounds counterintuitive, but I think the president is thinking that he may have lost the battle but he's won the war. The battle being the short-term fight in Iraq and maybe some political capital. The war being the endgame: enshrining a radical new vision of the scope of executive power."

Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra writes: "One of the most unnerving things about George Bush is his smile. As the situation in Iraq has grown more calamitous, the smile hasn't disappeared. It's become markedly patronizing, saying, 'I'm right on this. The rest of you just don't understand.' A pitying smile. . . .

"Bush has to remind himself to put on a sad face when he talks about his war. The black dog, as Churchill called his depression, doesn't nip at this president's heels. Have we seen a more inappropriate smile from any politician since Nixon? I doubt it."

Author Andrew Solomon writes: "One reads in Lincoln's diaries of how his heart bled for every soldier who died in the war he felt obliged to wage; one reads in Bush's face and in his speeches an inability to conceive of other people as fully human, including the soldiers who die at his behest, a quality that renders him less than fully human himself."

9 comments:

ewastud said...

That last line reminds me of a recently recorded John Prine song titled "Some humans ain't human" about, of course, George W. Bush.

rimone said...

John Heillieman: Has Bush simply lost touch with political reality? Or has he actually lost his mind?"

silly man. he's NEVER been in touch w/reality, political or otherwise and never had a mind to lose. the past 6 years has embiggening his phoney self-esteem and that's about it.

damien said...

Rimone, it's good to see 'embiggens' getting a greater usage. It's a perfectly cromulent word.

lukery said...

damien is trying to press rimone's buttons ;-)

Kax said...

Exactly, you have to have a mind to lose, and without one, is he really human?

rimone said...

damien, you're absolutely correct. it /is/ a perfectly cromulent word.

lukery, damien can press my buttons whenever the hell he wants to. nyah.

in truth, i feel guilt when i come over here w/no fucking idea what's been going on even though i read everything and everyone's comments. then again, the confluence of separate incidents in august steered me away from all politics all the time and the state of my head is much better for it.

steven andresen said...

J. Heileman said,

"To any impartial observer, the conclusion here is fairly inescapable: We are looking at a presidency that is, for all practical political purposes, finished—except to the extent that Bush can wreak more havoc by means of his monomania. The cynical interpretation of his recent moves is that he is stalling, trying to buy himself a few more months of time, praying that something, anything, will happen in Iraq that will let him claim a kind of victory, however trifling or evanescent. But I don’t quite buy that theory. The more convincing explanation is that Bush believes he is playing for history now—hence his obsessive focus on the single issue that he believes, rightly, will define his legacy. Where we see a failed president in Bush, he looks in the mirror and sees himself as a leader who pursued a burdensome, painful path and whose vindication will be meted out long after he has left office. As a righteous man who forged ahead in the face of weak-willed and wrongheaded opposition, in particular the impulse toward appeasement. As Harry Truman. As Winston Churchill..."

Well, if the goal in Iraq was to make the place a democracy, then he's failed. But then, we already doubted if democracy could be imposed on Iraq.

If the goal was to make Iraq a safe place to produce oil profits, then we can see the war failed to do that. But, we already understood that oil profiteering requires a stable political environment. The war there could not provide or secure any kind of stability. We should not be surprised if the oil stays in the ground there for a long while.

We were told that we had to invade Iraq to stop the terrorists there, so they wouldn't be coming here. We knew from Afghanistan that once we created the Muslim terrorists organizations and sent them off to ruin the Russians, they did not stay in one place. Like Frankenstein's monster, they became the scourge of just about all over the world...Why would we be so confident that if we beat up the Iraqis, creating in them a desire to get their revenge, they will stay in one place?

No, we cannot expect anything but blowback from the Iraqi war.

Why would he persist though and think to pick a fight with the Iranians? At this point I have to bring up the idea that seems plausible, but was not mentioned by Heileman. I suspect the President has religious reasons for his policies about Iran. That is, he's a Christian Zionist and he believes Iran poses a threat to Israel that he has to deal with because later Presidents cannot be relied upon to do the job.

The righteous plan here is about "cleaning house" before Jesus comes.

It seems to me this explains the unnecessary destructiveness of his wars, and his seeming disregard for the future. The future of our economy, the environment, or the Republican party doesn't matter to him because Jesus is coming...

damien said...

re cromulent and embiggens...I was just hoping you guys would pick up on the Simpsons link. :)

rimone said...

nyah, Damien, i posted that link here ages ago, lol.