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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Is reality invading Bush's realm?

By most accounts, George W. Bush exists in a secluded realm, in which the events of the world are granted (or denied) permission on an ideological basis. All the Kings Men (and women) have erected a barrier that has, so far, proven to be impenetrable to domestic and international realities that might upset the Bush Kingdom. By his own admission, Bush relies solely on his advisors to interpret the world around him. One can imagine Bush as he swaggers to the window to get a look at the political landscape.

Looking within the walls of his realm, Bush notices RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT abusing his subjects. What is RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT doing in my castle, abusing my subjects Bush asks? Karl Rove is quick to inform Bush that RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT is actually ROBUST ECONOMY. ROBUST ECONOMY is here and the people are very happy. The subjects are yelling, not because they are being abused by RECORD UNEMPLOYMENT. No, they are yelling because they are celebrating with ROBUST ECONOMY. Not to worry. Everything is fine.

Bush swaggers to another window and notices that GUERILLA WAR IN IRAQ has set up camp just outside the walls of his kingdom. Why has GUERILLA WAR IN IRAQ come to the walls of my castle, Bush asks? That's not GUERILLA WAR IN IRAQ, yells Rumsfeld, that's actually AL QUAIDA TERRORISTS or SADDAM LOYALISTS or FOREIGN FIGHTERS. They will be gone on June 30. Just ignore them and they will disappear.

Scanning futher, Bush is at a loss because he can't see WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION or SADDAM AND BIN LADEN CONNECTION. Where are they, he asks? They were supposed to have been here already and I'm getting worried. I was told they were out there somewhere and now they seem to have disappeared. Not to worry, Cheney whispers. They are scheduled to arrive with our new friend OCTOBER SUPRISE. If any of the subjects get out of hand, then OCTOBER SUPRISE will deliver the necessary jolt to whip them back into line.

And so it went until the summer of 2004, when Bush was forced to venture outside of his protected zone. His advisors, knowing that Bush's worldview was about to crash into the wall of reality,have sought to protect him by encasing him in the armor of history. Bush is going forth as the War President. The catch is, he's not going forth as the Iraq War President, he is journeying out as the World War II President. This passage from Tom dispatch's Robert Manoff.
As could have been predicted long ago, the President and his administration, increasingly desperate, are being driven by a distant, ragtag insurgency toward potential disaster at the polls in November. The desperation is such that his advisors are praying the ongoing remembrances of "the Good War," six decades past, might now somehow rescue the President from the bad one at hand. His speech at Arlington like the upcoming ceremonies at Normandy might, it is hoped by those close to him, "launch a turnaround in his battered public image." Saving Private Bush?

However, invoking World War II has not given the Bush the appropriate protection.

A recent Tomdispatch noted that Bush's Army War College speech about Iraq seemed to have been "fedexed in from la-la land" in a "state of denial" and that for Bush -- in the words of Slate's William Saletan -- the "unpleasant facts" about Iraq "aren't even facts, they're illusions." Indeed, Bush's confusion on this point, says Saletan, is nothing less than psychopathology. full article

Sensing that World War II was not enough, World War III has now become a part of the efforts to protect Bush.

IN HIS commencement speech Wednesday to the Air Force Academy, President Bush all but declared Iraq to be World War III. He talked of Midway, Iwo Jima, Normandy, D-Day, Eisenhower, and the recent dedication of the World War II Memorial. He told the crowd that his war on terror "resembles the great clashes of the last century."

He said, "Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless surprise attack on the United States." He said: "This is the great challenge of our time, the storm in which we fly."

Never mind that it was not Iraq or Saddam Hussein that attacked us on 9/11, nor did it have, by Bush's own grudging admission a few months back, any connection to 9/11. Never mind that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction to make him an imminent threat to his neighbors let alone to us. Never mind that his military remained in sorry shape after it was creamed by the United States in 1991.full article

This job is getting especially difficult for his handlers. Bush's speeches are given to a handpicked audience of Bushites and his press conferences are merely a platform to mouth RNC talking points. But, what will happen as Bush's public appearances increase in relation to the approaching Presidential elections? When Bush is finally forced into an arena, the presidential debates, that are not orchestrated by Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, one wonders what will happen.

Today, in France, Bush tried to go "off message" in answer to a question posed by a French Journalist. Here is the witticism by Bush

Q Thank you, sir. I would have a question for Mr. Bush. Once, President Kennedy said, "Everyone has two countries, their own, and France." And why is it that your policy tends to be pushing your country and France to divorce?

PRESIDENT BUSH: To paraphrase President Kennedy, there's America, and then there's Texas.

What that answer is supposed to mean is a mystery. Its reminiscent of another quote Bush had about Texas.
There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee...that says, fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...you can't get fooled again. [9/17/2002]

There are signs that reality has been ambushing Bush. If this report from capitol hill blue is accurate about the mood inside the White House, then it would seem to point to a man who is having problems trying to contort reality to fit his fantasies. This captures Bush in full meltdown mode.

President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues. full article

Bush, according to these articles, is engaged in 4 wars; World War II, World War III, with John Kerry and the realties of the world that he has been secluded from. GUERILLA WAR IN IRAQ is still being ignored but it may be the rider to topple him from his horse. Will OCTOBER SUPRISE be able to rescue his "kingdom"?


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