Thursday, July 08, 2004Whither Dubya?
There is a debate going on among liberals that has been in progress since approximately January of 2001. The question: Is George W. Bush an evil fuckhead or merely an incompetent ass? Where you stand on this issue, while not something that threatens to divide the team, has a direct influence on your assumptions and anxieties regarding the administration. Those on the "evil fuckhead" side of the discussion tend to be angry and somewhat paranoid, while the "incompetent ass" folks are more inclined towards melancholia and existential angst. The question, really, is one of motive and intent... does Dubya intend to destroy America, or is he just doing it because he doesn't know any better?
Anyway, I read something today that I think fits in fairly well with my own opinions:
I am beginning to think that behind all the bluster, George W. Bush is a frightened, confused individual, totally unable to understand the magnitude of the decisions he got talked into making, and dealing with it by becoming paralyzed, letting the individuals who represent power centers within his administration, such as Rove, Powell, Wolfowitz, Cheney and Rice run off entirelly on their own. Those who are able to manage the president's message, such as Cheney, are at a bureacratic advntage. But politically, this White House is a sitting duck, and as a matter of psychology, I think the Final Days of this crowd will make for amazing reading.
The Decembrist, via Pandagon
Although I have spent some time flirting with the position that Bush is a figure of pure malevolence, over time I have gradually been swayed to the argument that really he's just a rather pathetic figure who has been handed the reins of a beast that's far too powerful for him. Painting Bush as an evil genius has some dramatic appeal, but it strikes me as just too tidy for something as messy as real life. I think there is malevolence in the form of profound self-interest inside the administration, and believe it or not, I also believe there is a potent streak of badly misguided idealism at work as well. Staggeringly, I actually think a lot of these folks are doing what they genuinely think is best for the country, and I think that Dubya is among them. His rigidity and sense of entitlement and self-righteousness mean that he has swerved from an arguable position to a wildly, even obscenely unrealistic one, but I'm quite convinced that his particular path to hell is paved with good intentions.
Those in the "evil fuckhead" camp might argue that I'm naive, and that my willingness to give Dubya the benefit of the doubt (on intent, at least) is a dangerous thing that prevents me from fully recognizing the enemy. Maybe they're right. And I absolutely don't mean to imply that just because in his twisted little way Bush means well absolves him of responsibility... there are people in the administration (like Dick "Go Fuck Yourself" Cheney) who I think absolutely qualify as evil fuckheads, and as their purported leader, Bush bears responsibility not only for his own actions but for the actions of those who work under him. That makes it all the more tragic, in some ways... looked at in a certain light, Bush becomes an almost Shakespearean figure, the blundering fool who is brought down by his few potentially admirable qualities, trust and loyalty.
Anyway, to paraphrase my current personal saviour Bill Hicks, why are we arguing whether George W. Bush is an evil fuckhead or an incompetant ass? Can't we all just get along? He's an evil fucking incompetent asshead! |