In the recent maneuvering toward the "new strategy" in Iraq, we have witnessed a great pretense of normal decision-making. But the president clearly made up his mind almost as soon as the "surge" alternative appeared, and apparently moved to cow others, including his new secretary of defense Robert Gates (his father's man) in the process. "Success" is the only alternative for him. "Failure" and disintegration of Iraq is unthinkable because it would be synonymous with his own internal disintegration.
As his decisions go awry, he exudes a troubling, uncanny aura of certitude (though some find it reassuring). He seems to expect to feel despised and alone (and probably has always felt that), as he has always secretly expected to fail. That expectation of failure leads to sloppy, risky, incompetent decisions, which in turn compel him to swerve from his fears of incompetence.
At this point, the president seems to have entered a place in his psyche where he is discounting all external criticism and unpopularity, and fixing stubbornly on his illusion of vindication, because he's still "The Decider," who can just keep deciding until he gets to success. It's hard not to feel something heroic in this position - but it's a recipe for bad, if not catastrophic, decisions.
Psychologically, President Bush has received support for so long because many have thought of him as "one of us." Most of us feel inadequate in some way, and watching him we can feel his inadequacies and sense his uncertainties, so we admire him for "pulling it off." His model tells us, "If you act like you're confident and competent, then you are." We are the culture that values the power of positive thinking and seeks assertiveness training. We believe that the right attitude can sometimes be more important than brains or hard work. He's bullied us, too. We don't dare to really confront the scale of his incompetent behavior, because then we would have to face what it means to have such an incompetent and psychologically disabled decision-maker as our president. It raises everyone's uncertainty. And that is, in fact, happening now.
Better late than never, I suppose. I've known about this pathetic little wimp since he ran in 2000 thanks to Molly Ivins and others, but I guess folks can't be bothered with substance, just style, when it's just a minor matter like deciding who's going to be the most powerful man in the world.
Damn near enough voters had him nailed down to keep him out, but he had a set of enablers that got him in anyway. He also had an opponent that was his own worst enemy when it came to campaigning.
If it hadn't been for 9/11, he might have gotten away with the charade long enough to get through his one term without doing irreversible damage to the nation, but such was not to be.
I don't much care that Bush is unhinged. A lot of us are, no big deal. Point is, his condition has gotten bad enough that he's a clear and present danger to us all.
He is good at setting himself up to fail. He's had a lifetime of practice. Things aren't going his way, as they shouldn't, and he's bound and determined to see the United States of America go down with him rather than admit colossal mistakes.
I don't care if the sonofabitch is in denial. I don't care if he sees what he's doing plainly and is forging on regardless, which is probably worse than denial. This is not about his self-esteem. It's about the future of the WORLD and he's blowing it big time.
Head first or feet first, straitjacket or handcuffs, Bush has to go.