Andrew Sullivan: Conservatives should recognize Bush as a “messianic maniac.”

It is time (past time, in fact) to recognize that the president and vice president are not playing with a full deck. They are not possessed of the mental and emotional faculties necessary to lead this country. We get a full dose of the delusional Bush in David Brooks’ piece in the NY Times:

on Friday I went to the Roosevelt Room in the White House to hear President Bush answer questions on [Iraq]. It was like entering a different universe.

Many people have never encountered a crazy person, and think that “crazy” means someone who is unkempt, wildeyed, and babbling. Not so. In fact, Brooks description of Bush is quite typical of a delusional person:

Bush said he will get General Petraeus’s views unfiltered by the Pentagon establishment. He feels no need to compromise to head off opposition from Capitol Hill and is confident that he can rebuild popular support. “I have the tools,” he said.

I left the 110-minute session thinking that far from being worn down by the past few years, Bush seems empowered. His self-confidence is the most remarkable feature of his presidency.

Brooks thinks that Bush cannot be delusional because he visits the wounded and speaks to families of dead soldiers. Brooks is wrong. Dead wrong. In fact, that is the clincher. Bush’s emotional affect and his thinking processes are clearly disturbed. A rational person would not act like Bush acts. Brooks fails to grasp this, because he has never encountered an actual crazy person in his life, let alone seen one in the White House.

Leading conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan takes off on David Brooks, and recognizes Bush for what he is, in the plainest of conservative terms:

After four years of mounting, centrifugal chaos in a country he invaded on false pretenses, with no plan for victory, Bush is still “empowered” by a sense of religious mission and the aphrodisiac of the appearance of power. If you need any more convincing that Bush isn’t merely not a conservative, but a tragi-comic version of what conservatism has long opposed, then read David’s column (alas, it’s TimesDelete). Here’s a direct quote from the Decider himself:

“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.”

As a very abstract theological principle, it’s hard for a fellow Christian to disagree. But, of course, as a political or historical principle, this is dangerous, delusional hogwash. There is a distinction between theology and politics, a distinction between theory and practice: a distinction at the core of the very meaning of conservatism. The notion that free will or even human freedom is destined to be humanity’s future, and that this destiny can be achieved by a Supreme Leader, is a function not of conservatism in any sense, but of a messianic, eschatological ideology. It’s the most naive form of Whiggery on half-baked evangelical steroids. It is all the more disturbing to be allied with what can only be called Bush’s attachment to the Fuhrerprinzip – the fascistic notion that all human affairs can be commanded and determined by a Great Decider. Our dumb luck, alas, is that our supreme leader is a trust-fund kid with a chip on his shoulder and zero understanding of history or war.

…conservatives have always argued that such delusions are far, far more dangerous than they are irrelevant. This was Burke’s deepest point. Such delusions actually destroy lives, liberties, societies, civilizations. And what has this messianic maniac in the White House done? He has set loose a fantastically murderous war in Iraq, he has sacrificed thousands of young Americans with the result not of restraining but empowering our enemies, he has done incalculable long-term damage to the country’s fiscal standing, he has indirectly caused the massacre of tens of thousands of innocents, he has come close to wrecking the military of the United States, and he has robbed the United States of its long and hard-won record of humane and decent warfare.

This is not the work of a conservative statesman; it’s the mark of a delusional fanatic. If you define liberalism broadly as the belief that human society is perfectible, that heaven can be created on earth by force of will, then Bush is one of the most recklesss enemies of conservatism who has ever held high office in America. It is a conservative duty to expose and restrain him from any more mischief in his final months. He has refused every olive branch toward sanity. He has balked at every face-saver. So he must be stopped. Above all else, he cannot be allowed to determine the future of this country’s foreign policy in the Middle East. He has done enough damage already.

Bush and Cheney are megalomaniacs; they are not rational, they are delusional. Cheney is some sort of paranoid. They harm this country every single day they are in office.

At present, there seems to be at least a 50 per cent chance that Bush/Cheney are going to do some new and very dramatic harm to the US ( order an attack on Iran). Bush and Cheney must be impeached before they can accomplish this.


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Filed under Bill Kristol: is he smarter than you?, Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iran, Iraq

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