On Wednesdayâ€™s COUNTDOWN, Olbermann spoke as if he imagined that Bushâ€™s purpose was the rational, if immoral one, of kicking the can further down the roadâ€“ in other words, delaying the day of reckoning so that Bush can obscure the reality of his failure until someone else takes office and can thus leave to the next American president the task of packing up and bringing home the troops from a failed mission.
THE UNYIELDING â€œMEâ€
It could be. But I am inclined to see it not as a rational move, but as a manifestation of the darkest aspect of this presidency: A PERVASIVE INSISTENCE ON SERVING THE DESIRES OF THE EGO AND A CORRESPONDING UNWILLINGNESS TO BOW TO ANYTHING WHATEVER.
This is a presidency in which the common good seems never to have outweighed the lust for political advantage.
This is a presidency which has refused to allow the Constitution to limit its exercise of power, even its sadistic exercise.
This is a presidency that has run rough-shod over laws â€“both domestic and internationalâ€“ that would have restrained its quest for domination.
This is a presidency that has been wholly unwilling to restrain the drive toward short-term enrichment for themselves and their cronies in behalf of earthâ€™s stressed and imperiled biosphere.
Common among all these is a posture toward the world, which might be stated: I COME FIRST, AND THERE IS NOTHING BEFORE WHICH I WILL YIELD.
Thereâ€™s one other part of this pattern of unyielding. Itâ€™s been evident now for several years that the Bushites have also REFUSED TO BOW BEFORE REALITY, REFUSED TO YIELD TO THE TRUTH.
The Bushites have consistently â€œfixed the intelligenceâ€ about every matter at hand to suit their purposes. They have believed what they wanted to believe; they have ignored the experts; they have distorted the science; they have sneered at the â€œreality-based,â€ evidently believing in their own ability to â€œcreateâ€ reality. (See my article, â€œConnecting the Dots, or, The Spirit of Falsehood,â€ written almost two years, which can be found at www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?page_id=18.)
MORE THAN DENIAL, MORE THAN A DEFENSE
Some might suggest that this refusal is an instance of the famous psychological defense mechanism, DENIAL. Indeed, over recent months many have described this president as being â€œin denial.â€
But, when I consider this refusal in the context of the larger pattern of Bushite evil, the notion of â€œdenialâ€ does not seem to capture the essence of the psychological/moral processes. Denial, after all, is a â€œdefenseâ€ mechanism. And, while at some level there is here an element of such defensiveness, the Bushite pattern of dealing with the world is not purely defensive. It is aggressive, defiant, unyielding.
â€œDenialâ€ does not capture the essence of the Bushite refusal to honor their oath to protect the United States Constitution, nor their persistent dishonoring of the truth, nor their indifference to creating environmental disaster. And so perhaps with Bushâ€™s apparent decision to persist in digging the hole that he is in, it is again not sufficient to call it denial.
The aggressive defiance of the move is a supportive clue. He is thumbing his nose at the American people, just as in making the invasion in the first place he thumbed his nose at world opinion and at international law. And let us not forget the SUBSTANCE of the decision: which is to ESCALATE HIS WAR and to demand SACRIFICE of his countrymen.
This is not policy. It is a form of pathology. And it is not purely a psychological pathology, not just a hypertrophic employment of a defense mechanism. It is a moral pathology as well.
Here is a man who is at war with the world in an effort to make himself the BIG MAN, the guy with the right to strut and swagger, the guy who can humiliate and annihilate his enemies, the guy who gets to DECIDE, the guy who is above all the one who NEVER HAS TO YIELD.
His major act of aggression has failed. But this is a fact to which HE WILL NOT YIELD.
His need to prop up and dramatize his narcissistic ego is, according to this hypothesis, simply too big. There is not room in his world for both that ego and this reality. One of them has to give. Bush has now made his choice which it will be.
Will America see the madness in this? Will it see the evil?