Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Faith-based presidency, or just psychos?

The Ron Suskind article on Bush is very interesting, but it is possible that it relies on a fundamental misunderstanding of Bush's religiosity. The entire story of Bush's religious beliefs may have been created by Rove to allow Bush to appeal to a core group of religious hard-core fruitcakes. Jeff Sharlet and Ayelish McGarvey each question the nature of Bush's faith. As I have noted, the fact that Bush doesn't even appear to go to church is at the very least extremely odd. Suskind may be wrong in connecting Bush's psychology to faith. He, and the people around him, may simply be psychopaths. Suskind writes:

"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend - but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

That is exactly how psychopaths think and act. 'Reality' is as much a quibble to them as is morality. Strong people do what they want, and weak people just get to watch. The unfortunate thing is that the United States is powerful enough now that it can act without paying any attention to the opinions of anybody else, or even to the apparent realities which would normally constrain it. The American government seems to be able to borrow an unlimited amount of money, the American military has an apparently unlimited number of troops (at least after the draft is introduced), and no other country appears to have enough military power to challenge the decisions of the Bush Administration. Of course, at some point the 'realities' catch up to the psychopaths. The borrowing can't go on forever, and the American death toll will eventually reach politically unacceptable levels (how many neocon wars will it take to reach 55,000, the number from the Vietnam war?). When the series of Zionist wars are in full throttle, the Middle East will be on fire, and the price of oil will destroy the world economy. By the time the shit hits the fan, the psychopaths will be long gone, and everybody else will have to pick up the pieces, if there are any pieces left to pick up. The strength of the United States means there is no check on the bad decisions of evil people, and the strength of the United States is thus its weakness.