Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dance Of The Elephant

A Cross-Post By LarryO at God’s Madmen

Barbara Tuchman, in "A Distant Mirror," mentioned one of the Philips of Spain, about whom it was said (and I am paraphrasing) that no failure of his policy could dissuade him from believing in its essential excellence.

That puts me in mind of George W. Bush. The Internet is just chockfull of revelations about the failures of Bush's policies. There is a short, concise list in an article on Huffpo and a rather larger one compiled by the Center for American Progress.

My belief is that Bush is really just a talking head, who will blithely peddle any reactionary nonsense suggested to him by Karl Rove, Richard Cheney or any of the other war monger criminals with whom he has surrounded himself.

As shallow as he is, however, I think that Bush is actually persuaded to believe the claptrap he is spewing. Much of his fundamental attitude, of course, he learned at his mother's knee. What is generally seen as Bush's mendacity, it appears to me, is more the result of willing ignorance and a disregard for facts that approaches psychopathology. That was Philip's problem; he simply did not care what was or was not true outside his protective shell.

Thomas Paine identified this tendency in "Common Sense," one of this country's founding documents. In his dissection of the various traditional justifications for the existence of the institution of monarchy, and by extension the sovereignty of any elite, Paine noted:

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions."

This, I believe, describes the occupant of the White House at present to a "T." However, considering his ability to convince large segments of the American public that he can do no wrong, his sincerity makes him doubly dangerous.


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