As we prepare this morning to greet the words of wisdom with which Fearless Leader hopes to tide us over until the State of the Union Address in January, I thought it might be helpful to reflect on who it is that will be addressing us at this point, because according to Seymour Hersh, it isn't the same man who was trying to fill his daddy's shoes five long years ago:
Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.I marvel at those still looking for a "motive" for the smearing of Joe Wilson. Good lord just look at their response to Murtha, he's the new Joe Wilson, he dared to challenge them. It's all the motivation that kind of unbridled, hair-trigger arrogance needs to snap into Defcon Three.
Murtha’s call for a speedy American pullout only seemed to strengthen the White House’s resolve. Administration officials “are beyond angry at him, because he is a serious threat to their policy—both on substance and politically,” the former defense official said. Speaking at the Osan Air Force base, in South Korea, two days after Murtha’s speech, Bush said, “The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. . . . If they’re not stopped, the terrorists will be able to advance their agenda to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, and to break our will and blackmail our government into isolation. I’m going to make you this commitment: this is not going to happen on my watch.”
“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”
The ego and the delusion are staggering. I'm sure they're hoping they can keep Dubya from a public crack-up of the Nixonian variety, but I won't be wagering any heavy money on it myself.
(graphic by Monk at Inflatable Dartboard)