Friday, May 04, 2007

The Pathological Presidency

This nation has endured a variety of grievous setbacks as a direct result of the policies and performance of our current President, George W. Bush. There were significant indications when he was originally running for the Presidency that he was completely unequipped to take on the awesome responsibilities that are an integral part of the office. He demonstrated, during the Presidential debates, that he was incapable of addressing issues coherently, especially when either the question posed or answer rendered was not anticipated or scripted. This provided strong suggestive evidence that he lacked the breadth and depth of intelligence that the job requires. In addition, he often took great pride in the fact that as Governor of the state of Texas, he resided over an administration that was responsible for the greatest number of executions of individuals on death row in the State’s history. This mean-spirited attitude was in marked contrast to the image he attempted to portray of himself as a “compassionate conservative.”

The remarkable string of terribly flawed decisions he has made as the self-proclaimed, “decider” was a direct result of severe errors of judgment, grievous miscalculations and an arrogance and seeming self-confidence that had little relation with his real capabilities. The underlying root cause of these misguided decisions is, in my judgment, a pathology of mind and personality. I would like to cite a number of very dramatic examples to support this argument.

There are many occasions, too numerous to mention, in which Mr. Bush lied without hesitation or apparent remorse when later caught at his perfidious behavior. One particularly startling example comes to mind when he claimed that the wiretapping of individuals suspected of terrorist activities was only being done after the court approval that the law mandated. This was later shown to be a completely erroneous statement designed to sidestep controversy. There, of course, are many others. An integral part of this devious mindset is the fact that he is apparently incapable of admitting mistakes of any kind. He has demonstrated in a consistent manner that he is a true believer whose world view is one in which there is either good or evil and no other explanation is acceptable. In addition, he has no difficulty seeing himself as quite capable of proclaiming who resides within the evil camp, provided, of course, that everyone understands that he stands solidly on the side of good regardless of how much suffering his policies unleash upon the world.

Following the fall of Baghdad, Bush seemed to be so infatuated with what he construed to be a vindication of his will to go to war that he staged an exceedingly childish moment when he steeped out of the cockpit of a fighter jet that just landed on an aircraft carrier wearing the garb of an aviator warrior. He seemed utterly pleased with himself, especially when he was immediately surrounded by service men who obviously had little choice but to pay him homage as their Commander-in-Chief. He later went on to state quite categorically that, “All combat operations have ended.” In my mind, this charade displayed a remarkable lack of maturity for a person of his chronological age. It was part of the elaborate game of self-deceit he plays to avoid considering the real depth of his incompetence. Another aspect of this elaborate shadow play is the use of nicknames for those who work closely with him. He uses this device to constantly remind those around him that they are always subject to his whims; that he is their superior and that they are beneath him.

Lastly, the one inescapable failure of his Presidency that is the most telling of the man is his behavior leading to and following the disaster of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He demonstrated a monumental lack of the simplest human compassion and understanding of the depth of the tragedy for those individuals that suffered through it. This behavior is not simply a character trait; it stems from a severe mental deficiency, pathological in origin.

He now stands among the abysmal ruins of his crazed policy of aggression against what was once the sovereign state of Iraq and refuses to budge from his obstinate stupidity even in the face of opposition by a majority of the American people. He should never have been given the reigns of such enormous power. He is, after all, a tragic figure reminiscent of many of the characters in Shakespeare’s plays. All these aspects of the man and his distorted and perverse sense of reality represent, in my judgment, sufficient grounds for his impeachment. He will most probably avoid this fate; although, in terms of international justice he deserves a far worse outcome, i.e. imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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