He sees a certain continuity in U.S. foreign policy over the last fifty years. "The management, then and now, truly believes the United States is the master of the Earth and anyone who defies us will be napalmed or blockaded or covertly overthrown," he says. "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense."
Q: In 2002, long before Bush's current travails, you wrote, "Mark my words, he will leave office the most unpopular President in history." How did you know that then?
Gore Vidal: I know these people. I don't say that as though I know them personally. I know the types. I was brought up in Washington. When you are brought up in a zoo, you know what's going on in the monkey house. You see a couple of monkeys loose and one is President and one is Vice President, you know it's trouble. Monkeys make trouble.
Q: Bush's ratings have been at personal lows. Cheney has had an 18 percent approval rating.
Vidal: Well, he deserves it.
Q: Yet the wars go on. It's almost as if the people don't matter.
Vidal: The people don't matter to this gang. They pay no attention. They think in totalitarian terms. They've got the troops. They've got the army. They've got Congress. They've got the judiciary. Why should they worry? Let the chattering classes chatter. Bush is a thug. I think there is something really wrong with him.
Much, much more. Enjoy.