"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Sep 6, 2007

re: Dead Certainties

Bush’s Deadly Certainties

  • Candide's Notebooks -Pierre Tristam
  • In his book “Dead Certainties, Unwarranted Speculations” from back in 1992, the unconventional historian Simon Schama explored the gulf between the “lived event and its subsequent narration.” The two can be vastly different, depending on the quality of your spin-meister. In his book “Dead Certainty,” an extended profile of George W. Bush, Robert Draper paints the picture of a president given dangerously and entirely to reinventing everything, but absolutely everything, in his image, however divorced from reality. As Michiko Kakutani writes in the Times,

    It is a portrait of the commander in chief as a willful optimist, proud of his self-confidence and convinced that any expressions of doubt would make him less of a leader: a man addicted to “Big Ideas and small comforts” (like riding his bike), a stubborn, even obstinate politician loath to change course or second-guess himself, and given to valuing loyalty above almost everything else.

    The result: a presidency at the improv, the improv being the seat of Bush’s pants, themselves a crease away from his guts. We find out along the way the astounding revelation that John Roberts, the chief justice, was actually the one who suggested Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee,m which gives you an idea of the shallowness lurking beneath those baby blues of Roberts’s (whether he has blue eyes or not is irrelevant: he packaged himself, in his confirmation hearings, as a baby-blue boy. It worked, obviously). Further:

    This is a president who says he cries easily and often about dead and wounded soldiers, a president who Mr. Draper says doesn’t defer, as widely believed, to Vice President Cheney and Mr. Rove (who apparently recommended that Mr. Cheney not be put on the 2000 ticket, arguing, in Mr. Draper’s words, that picking “Daddy’s top foreign-policy guy ran counter to message.”) Mr. Draper tells us that the president repeated his conviction that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction to his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., “all the way up until Card’s departure in April 2006, almost exactly three years after the Coalition had begun its fruitless search for WMD’s.”

    Are you reading this? Are his diehard supporters reading this? Delusion as faith, delusion as policy, delusion as the bullet in the chamber that keeps ensnaring soldiers and Iraqis. No surprise, he dislikes bad news, so his closest aides, like Card, like the increasingly pathetic Condi Rice, like Rove, don’t deliver bad news to him. “[T]his volume is studded with examples — on matters ranging from the Iraq war to Hurricane Katrina — of aides failing to deliver distressing information to the president or failing to persuade him to grapple quickly with unfortunate developments.” That’s right in line with what Draper describes as Bush’s “almost petulant heedlessness to the outside world.” Why almost?


    At 9:34 PM , Blogger JoeC said...

    Hmmm...my opinion of Rove just jumped a micrometer, knowing he didn't want Cheney to be VP. Ok, maybe it only jumped a half-a-micrometer, but it moved one or more molecules in a positive direction, not that it got him out of the sludge in the bottom of my opinion's primary sewer.

    At 12:41 AM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

    Who can divine the hierarchy of these douchebags?

    It creeps me out -in my weakness for searching out the humanity in every individual- when I find myself swayed by some displayed measure of charm, or decency, or just fundamental warm-bloodedness by any of this bunch. Then I snap out of it, like suddenly waking from a falling dream, and ask myself who tf are you trying to kid?


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