Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hunkered Down in Crawford, Divorced from Reality

As Bush continues his 5-week vacation, avoiding Cindy Sheehan and issuing ever-more clueless proclamations on the situation in Iraq, it occurs to me that this is the sort of behavior you'd expect from a man of limited intellectual capacity and no curiosity--a man who was reared in a life of privilege, buffered from any sort of reality from day one. His born-again redemption from his alcoholism surely super-charged his faith-based Jesus complex that he can alter reality by sheer force of will--the notion that believing something should be so actually makes it so in his universe. If you surround someone like this with a cadre of power-mad idealogues who have the unparalleled ability to shield him from any opposing viewpoint, it is hardly surprising that he ends up having little, if any grasp of reality.

This explains an awful lot. By keeping their vacationing frat-boy in the dark about the details of "his" policies and their consequences (or for that matter life beyond the compound at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and his Crawford non-ranch), Karl Rove and Co. can simply choose friendly venues or fundraising events, trot out a Bush who fervently believes in his faith-based constructs. He can therefore talk very passionately (albeit in a limited range) using his sound bites and talking points, unfettered by pesky things like contradictory facts, scientific evidence, government studies, opinion polls, etc. This is the source of his "plain-talkin'" style--he really doesn't have to act like he's telling the truth: he either believes it outright, is too ignorant to know better, or he thinks that by believing in it, it will be so in his universe. It's also why he often has that frustrated smirk/nervous laugh/handwaving thing when he's trying to explain things to a skeptical audience or reporters. In his black and white world, it really is so simple, but the questioners are out of touch and just don't get it. If they'd only listen to him recite his little soundbite one more time, it would all be clear to them. It may not even be arrogance--I think it is truly inconceivable to him that someone presented with the same (limited) facts he has access to could come to any other conclusions than his own. Ah, the balanced life of the willfully ignorant.

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