by carl wilson

The Faith-Based Presidency

Seems I'm not the only one who's been thinking about the faceoff between blind certainty and close-reading complexity this week. Read Ron Suskind's excellent Times Magazine cover on the Bush regime today, "Without a Doubt". It opens with Bruce Bartlett, a former adviser and official in both the Reagan and Bush Sr. White Houses:

"I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do. ...

[...]

This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all, they can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. ...

"He truly believes he's on a mission from God."

This is a Republican establishment figure saying this. And people are still seriously trying to say there's no significant, urgent difference between Bush and Kerry?

Edited to add: When I posted this, I hadn't gotten to this passage yet, which is just... there are no words:

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

The "reality-based community"!!!

Read More | The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, October 17 at 02:41 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (0)

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson