Friday, January 11, 2008

What Is He Capable Of? The Presidential Psychology at the End of Days

I know we've all read psychological evaluations of the Chimp. Here's a good, and long, one from a coupla shrinks writing for Truthout. The quotes I'll use won't even come close to what these guys are saying. Go read this one. Fuckin' scary that this crazy fucker was ever allowed to get the power he has.

So, torture by his administration is justified - in fact is not even torture - because it is used by Good Americans in a war against Satanic forces.

Former President Jimmy Carter's faith, like that of many evangelicals, involves a powerful commitment to love and tolerance. We do not detect a similar commitment in Bush. Spiritual issues and political motives appear secondary to Bush's subconscious use of his faith as a psychological defense. That defense "resolves" and protects him from the pain of a core inner conflict. The drinking and alleged drug taking of his younger years once resolved that same conflict. The supposed spiritual awakening Bush underwent in the mid-1980s allowed him to trade one defense for another. (Author Craig Unger has shown Bush's famous "mustard seed" moment with the Rev. Billy Graham - widely celebrated by the president - never happened; at the same time, Bush carefully avoids mentioning the faith awakening moment he probably really did have with radical evangelical preacher Arthur Blessitt.) In one sense, a half-hidden Manichean Christianity was more effective than alcohol in masking Bush's inner conflict. It made it possible for him to be president.

Because he unconsciously expects to be seen by the world as a failure, Bush feels a strange comfort and familiarity in failing and then in denying that he is failing. He can never learn from mistakes. Worse, his psychodynamics ensure that his efforts to avoid his failures inevitably produce more failures.

I woulda wrote that a little differently - he is seen by the world as a failure, and we would love to feel a strange comfort in seeing him unconscious so he could not produce more failures.

Here's the money paragraph:

After previous articles about Bush's psychology, we received a number of emails from clinicians agreeing with our description of Bush's basic psychodynamic, and offering their diagnoses. These varied from one another, sometimes substantially, as might be expected, since no one we know of has had access to a first-hand psychiatric evaluation of Mr. Bush. What can we say about his psychopathology? We find no evidence in the public record that the president hears voices or is mentally ill in a way that would require hospitalization or medication, though some psychiatrists or psychopharmacologists might prescribe medication if he came in for treatment of his own accord. We think Bush's psychological dysfunctions are profound, but they are of the sort that would probably not arouse notice if he were, say, the owner of the Texas Rangers, a job he apparently enjoyed. (Draper 42) (Of course, being a baseball team owner replayed his central theme: his father had the baseball talent and he lacked it.) That said, we believe the effect of the presidency on Bush's psychodynamics and the effect of Bush's psychodynamics on the presidency have created a situation where his personality is as genuinely dangerous to the nation as if he were delusional.

So he's not clinically delusional. He sure as hell is giving a good "I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night" reasonable facsimile of it.

We believe the great foreseeable peril of Bush's remaining year in office is the intersection of his Christian defense with Iran. In recent months, when Bush warned that Iran sought to launch World War III, he seems to have unconsciously told us it is he who wants war. The neo-conservative agenda to capture the Middle East for its oil, only reinforces Bush's own psychological reasons for attacking Iran: 1) to certify his biblical mission, and 2) to avoid facing the colossal incompetence of the Iraq war by bequeathing a widened and inextricable conflict to his successor. We believe Bush is aware that the long-term chaos that might result from an attack on Iran could confound the historical image of his administration enough to make his own failures harder to see. In 50 or 100 years - after he is dead, anyway - historians might even see his worldview in a favorable light. After all, they're still debating George Washington. That's what he thinks. The presidency has become for Bush like the popular "global domination" board game he played with fellow undergrads at Yale. There, he was known as the player willing to take the most risks.

Bush and Cheney were stymied by the NIE, but the best we can hope for is that they just plain run out of time before they can figure out a way to plunge us into a wider failed war. And then...

Some have imagined a worse scenario. In 2007, a statement to a small group of constituents by Democratic representative John Olver of Amherst, Mass., made the rounds on the Internet. Olver worried that Bush would attack Iran, declare a national emergency and suspend the 2008 elections. A clarifying email from Olver's press secretary to us said the congressman had no evidence that any of this would happen but that he had worried about a "thought crime" on the part of the president.

Is Bush psychologically capable of acting out such a "thought crime," maneuvering to remain in power? Would Bush ever actually move to suspend the Constitution? Unfortunately, he's done just that already, in significant ways. How committed is he really to the idea of democracy he talks about incessantly? Psychologically these are interesting questions. Given his tendency to polarize and split his ambivalence, we'd have to say that his constant pieties about democracy suggest the opposite is significantly at work in his consciousness. He's even joked about it: "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Of course, he would vehemently deny that he is dictator even if he became one.

Shorter: We got a self-knowingly inadequate sociopathic dry-drunk misguided Jesus freak as president who will do anything - even if it involves the destruction of this country and the planet - to avoid being found out until it is too late for us even though he's already been found out and dares not admit it to himself even though he actually has. He has plenty of enablers and way too much power for a guy that ought to be in a rubber room.

Please, God, let the next year go by without him doing the penultimate act of idiocy that he is capable of, whatever it may be. Better yet, call him Home. Let us get out from under this stupid and insane man's rule short of complete destruction.

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