Monday, October 18, 2004

Inmates In Charge Of The Asylum

Here's some follow-up on Fixer's post on the faith-based presidency. In our ongoing effort to spare no expense and bear any hardship to bring you news of things we consider relevant, I actually read the entire article by Ron Susskind in Sunday's NYTimes. You should too.

''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.''

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.''

And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?'' I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final ''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.

Reality-based community? So everybody between Fixer and me is in the un-reality-based community? The arrogance of these bastards!

Bush shouldn't be in charge of the United States. He should be in charge of some wacko neo-Christian-Nazi compound in Idaho where they can wear cammies and carry big no-balls-compensating weapons and just carry on to their little hearts' content about how the rest of us "just don't get it." Somewhere, not too close to a town, where they can anoint themselves with Crisco and worship their little chimp-like idol. Somewhere where they can't hurt the rest of us and we can keep an eye on them. Behind gray stone walls would be better.

Besides being the devil's spawn, they're all fucking crazy, clinically insane, and we are the worse for it.

I hope God doesn't tell them to unleash our weapons of mass destruction just before they are escorted out of the White House in January. In irons, I hope.

Print the article. Keep it next to the shitter and read a little every day. There's a lot more in it besides these excerpts.

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