Sunday, January 18, 2009

One More 'One Last Time'

Maybe this will be my last post on GWBush. I hope so. I thought I'd sworn off chewing on him, but then I read Maureen Dowd this morning:

When W. admits the convoluted nature of his relationship with his father, diminishing a knowledgeable former president to the status of a blankie, you realize that, despite all the cocky swagger we’ve seen, this is not a confident man.

Like my most recent post on Bush, she's involved in the question we all take away from his presidency: How could one man get so many things so spectacularly wrong? She has her take, I have mine, and other amateur psychoanalysts around the world have theirs. I've put forward the religious nut theory, but that doesn't exactly say what I mean. I think of him as clinging to his faith like, well, an alcoholic in recovery, and Jesus is the last line of defense between him and a five-day bender.

But the Oedipal relationship thing carries a lot of explanatory weight as well. When he first chose optional war in Iraq, my take was that it was all about the rights of the ruling class, and that he took us to war because Saddam Hussein embarrassed his father. I don't see same insane sense of privilege in those around him, who saw oil fields and a pretext to create the new Cold War in Iraq - the dictator who stood up to your daddy and lived to tell was just the button they pushed to get the idea from thought to Baghdad.

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