July 20, 2007


Once again, can't resist...

Bush's Cognitive Dissonance, By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, Friday, July 20, 2007

One hopes the leader of the free world hasn't really, truly lost touch with objective reality. But one does have to wonder.

Last week, George W. Bush invited nine conservative pundits to the White House for what amounted to a pep talk, with the president providing the pep. Somehow I was left off the list -- must have been an oversight. But some columnists who attended have been writing about the meeting or describing it to colleagues, and their accounts are downright scary.

National Review's Kate O'Beirne, who joined the presidential chat in the Roosevelt Room, told me that the most striking thing was the president's incongruously sunny demeanor. Bush's approval ratings are well below freezing, the nation is sooooo finished with his foolish and tragic war, [Only if you think you and your lefty pals are "the nation"] many of his remaining allies in Congress have given notice that come September they plan to leave the Decider alone in his private Alamo -- and the president remains optimistic and upbeat. [It never enters your darkest dreams that Frodo might just toss the Ring into Mt Doom and then go home to Texas, content that he has done his duty, which is all any man can do. (You won't understand that, it's a Red State thing)]

Bush was "not at all weary or anguished" and in fact was "very energized," wrote Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report. He was "as confident and upbeat as ever," observed Rich Lowry of National Review. "Far from being beleaguered, Bush was assertive and good-humored," according to David Brooks of the New York Times. [It's so FUNNY, the way leftists keep expecting Bush to be "anguished," and then feeling BEWILDERED because he isn't! It's a subset of their bewilderment that the country is no longer what it was when their world-view gelled, somewhere around 1973. Guess what, I'm not "anguished either. I laugh at you, and spit upon your ideas.]

Excuse me? I guess he must be in an even better mood since the feckless Iraqi government announced its decision to take the whole month of August off while U.S. troops continue fighting and dying in Baghdad's 130-degree summer heat. [Uh, make that "fighting and winning." You have read the latest reports, haven't you Mr Robinson? The Iraqi parliament might as well take some time off and see how things develop.]

It's almost as if Bush were trying to apply the principles of cognitive therapy, the system psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck developed in the 1960s. Beck found that getting patients to banish negative thoughts and develop patterns of positive thinking was helpful in pulling them out of depression. However, Beck was trying to get the patients to see themselves and the world realistically, whereas Bush has left realism far behind. [Do we see transference here?]

"He says the most useful argument to make in support of his policy is to show what failure would mean," Barone wrote of the president and Iraq. "It would mean an ascendant radicalism, among both Shia and Sunni Muslims, and it would embolden sponsors of terrorism such as Iran. Al-Qaeda would be emboldened and would be able to recruit forces."

Excuse me again? This is what Bush believes would happen? Hasn't he noticed that these catastrophes have already befallen us? And that they are the direct consequence of his decision to invade and occupy Iraq? [No, they are a direct consequence of your Iranian and al Queda buddies PROVOKING radicalism and violence, because they are shit-scared of the possibility of a democracy in the heart of the Caliphate. As are you. When my enemies react with desperation, it probably means I'm doing something right.]

At a news conference last week, someone tried to point this out. Bush replied with such a bizarre version of history that I hope he was being cynical and doesn't really believe what he said: "Actually, I was hoping to solve the Iraqi issue diplomatically. That's why I went to the United Nations and worked with the United Nations Security Council, which unanimously passed a resolution that said disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. That was the message, the clear message to Saddam Hussein. He chose the course. . . . It was his decision to make."

Let's see, we have learned that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. That means Bush is claiming that Saddam Hussein "chose" the invasion -- and, ultimately, his own death -- by not showing us what he didn't have. [That is the simple truth. If the inspectors had had really free access, they would have found no WMD's and probably aborted the invasion. Of course it is likely that by then Saddam himself wasn't sure whether he had them or not! His generals thought Iraq did. And, to be precise, UN 1441 mandated that Iraq account for the weapons found in 1992, not show it had none. Funny how I've yet to see a single lefty mention that little fact.]

"Bush gives the impression that he is more steadfast on the war than many in his own administration and that, if need be, he'll be the last hawk standing," wrote Lowry. The president says the results of his recent troop escalation will be evaluated by Gen. David Petraeus, wrote Barone, and not by "the polls."

Translation: Everybody's out of step but me. [That's how great leaders are seen sometimes. But in fact he is in step with an enormous number of people. Wapo just doesn't want to admit we exist.]

One of the more unnerving reports out of the president's seminar with the pundits came from Brooks, who quoted Bush as saying: "It's more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn't exist."

It's bad enough that Osama bin Laden is still out there plotting bloody acts of terrorism, convinced that God wants him to slay the infidels. Now we know that the president of the United States believes God has chosen him to bring freedom to the world, that he refuses to acknowledge setbacks in his crusade and that he flat-out doesn't care what "the polls" -- meaning the American people -- might think. I'm having trouble seeing the bright side. I think I need cognitive therapy. [OK bigshot, why don't you take a poll of Americans and find out how many of us believe that freedom is a "gift of the Almighty?" Oh, and while you are at it, ask how many agree with the Washington Post, that life is meaningless, and there is no god, and that fighting for a better world is equivalent to terrorism?]

Posted by John Weidner at July 20, 2007 12:56 PM
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