Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What is Bush thinking?

Today's topic already makes the assumption that Bush is, in fact, actually thinking, a supposition for which there is scant evidence thus far. Nevertheless, the Commander-in-Creep is obviously beginning to panic over his plummeting poll numbers, and is speechifying before the general public, before the press (who are finally displaying some cojones), and before his traditional cheerleaders, the military families. Everyone is asking the same basic question: How much longer are we going to be in Iraq? Bush's response is as disheartening as it is politically inscrutable; he says, "Don't ask me, ask the next president after me!" Huh? If this isn't an admission that he doesn't have an exit strategy and never did, I don't know what is.

So what exactly is going on inside Dubya's cranium? I believe that he is caught between two mutually competing convictions: the almost Messianic megalomania that keeps Bush convinced that he must bring Western-style democracy to the Middle East, starting with Iraq; and the growing realization that we're mired in a situation that has no acceptable conclusion. Leave, and Iraq quickly descends into civil war; stay, and we go right on sending our young men and women to be blown to bits by roadside bombs. The thumb on the scale here that tips the balance for Bush towards staying for the bloody duration is that, deep down, he is incapable of even acknowledging the possibility that he may have made a miscalculation or two. Instead, he looks for scapegoats: Michael Brown in the Katrina debacle (who, the videotape record shows, actually tried repeatedly to warn a disengaged Bush that the levees would not withstand even a Category 3 hurricane); and now, with Iraq, the Media. How ridiculously, pathetically desperate! If anything, the Media have until quite recently bent over backwards to give the administration the benefit of the doubt about the war. However, even they have their limits; or, to quote the Chump Executive himself, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice...uh, uh...well, won't get fooled again!"


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