Our Mad Mad World: Is Bush Cracking Up?    
 Is Bush Cracking Up?13 comments
picture9 Jun 2004 @ 13:23, by Paul Quintanilla

Is there any truth in this? What this author says doesn't seem inconceivable to me. Now this is not intended to be a jab at the president, George Bush. Nor do I gloat in putting this article up. It is because this man is so powerful that if he hiccups tectonic plates shake. That his state of mind is too important to the world for us to merely pity him if the pressure, which he himself created, is causing him to crack up. If what this author says is true then this is serious stuff.

From Capitol Hill Blue

Bush Leagues
Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Jun 4, 2004, 06:15

President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.

“This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says. “We lost focus. The President got hung up on the weapons of mass destruction and an unproven link to al Qaeda. We could have found other justifiable reasons for the war but the President insisted the focus stay on those two, tenuous items.”

Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.

The President's abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.

"Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn't hear of it," says an aide. "That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying 'that's it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now."

Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."

God may also be the reason Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration’s lightning rod because of his questionable actions that critics argue threatens freedoms granted by the Constitution, remains part of the power elite. West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft “the Blues Brothers” because “they’re on a mission from God.”

“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”

But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

© Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue

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9 Jun 2004 @ 13:43 by martha : Worried
"the President who says he rules at the behest of God"- Isn't this the same thinking that the Islamic extremist have - doing the will of Allah?
Interesting article quity...thanks.  

9 Jun 2004 @ 15:03 by shawa : That is...

9 Jun 2004 @ 15:07 by vibrani : I take it under consideration
While I can understand an aide not wanting to be identified, it's that they aren't identified that makes me wonder if it's all true. Know what I mean? I have seen Bush talk about his religious views, he makes no secret of those. And like Martha, I haven't seen much difference between his fanatical rants versus those from extremist Muslims. If Bush is doing all that is said here, why isn't Congress speaking out about this?  

9 Jun 2004 @ 17:19 by vaxen : Congress is...
speaking out. Just a little more subtly. Anyone see Ashcroft being questioned? Anyone hear the Enron tapes yet? It will all come out in the wash but so what? For the past 21/2 hours the 'local' news channels have been broadcasting 'Reagans' funeral or whatever the hell they are doing...parading the casket around Washington. HaHaHa If that is'nt the a sign that there is more than just the president that is insane in this country then I do'nt know what is. Bush is right 'someone' is out to 'get him!' But to blame him for everything is just typical 'scapegoating.' Who is pulling his strings? heh heh heh  

9 Jun 2004 @ 17:35 by istvan : The Great Puppeteer Wax
That darn puppeteer.  

9 Jun 2004 @ 17:49 by martha : Yes I heard
some of the Enron tapes last week on the news....LOL...I hope they get what they deserve...what arrogance.  

9 Jun 2004 @ 18:24 by Quinty @ : I share your doubts, but
let's look at the Bush team: convicted felons, ideologues who won't allow reality to intrude on their fantastic projects, politicians who were thrown out of office by the electorate, such as Ashcroft, to me a truly scary character, who is so emotionally wobbly that he felt obliged to cover up the breasts of the statue of the Goddess of Justice in the Justice building. Has anyone ever seen Bush express himself honestly? Has anyone ever heard him even alter his tone of voice? Whether he's discussing Texas barbecue or WMD? Always the puppet, with a wink and a reassuring smile. How can anyone sustain this kind of constant unreality without eventually paying the psychological consequences? The problem is, that what this reporter tells us may only be all too true. (Yes, I saw Ashcroft's performance at the Judiciary Committee.... and how Hatch dropped the contempt citation.)  

9 Jun 2004 @ 18:29 by martha : Ashcroft
"to cover up the breasts of the statue of the Goddess of Justice in the Justice building"- He could have just put one of Madonna's bras on the Goddess!  

9 Jun 2004 @ 18:32 by Qunty @ : If he did
that would really twist Aschcroft. And I doubt any business could be done in the Justice Department.  

9 Jun 2004 @ 20:30 by b : I think this is exageration
Quinty I love your art. Painting above is fab u los. Guapa.
The article you paste is rumor: he said, she said with no names. Just the kind of back stabbing leaks that are really just made up for sensationalism or personal self aggrandizement by the author with no sources. That kind of stuff stirs negative opinion when negative. Not a source that is informed.  

10 Jun 2004 @ 03:50 by jazzolog : Rumor
When I first read the article, sent by personal email, I sent out a reply-all to ask about it and the site itself. No one answered however. Bush has a history of bailout, so we might just wait and see. The LA Times is reporting this morning a poll showing Kerry with a solid lead.  

13 Jun 2004 @ 17:02 by Quinty @ : Bush and Religion by a prof at Tufts
Bush, the Religious Scholar

by Gary Leupp
published by CounterPunch

According to an article published in Capitol Hill Blue that is receiving a lot of attention, President Bush's "erratic behavior" is worrying White House aides. According to its author Doug Thompson, "In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as 'enemies of the state.'"

The implication is that there is contradiction here, although I find none, necessarily, between religiosity and obscene language. (Martin Luther, for example, was prone to scatological expression.) But contradiction there surely is aplenty in the commander in chief's recent comments concerning his global war. Those statements do suggest instability and delusions of messianic grandeur, and should worry not just his aides but the entire world.

Last week, during an interview with French journalists, Bush was asked whether he really considered all the Iraqis fighting the US occupation to be "terrorists." In an apparent moment of clarity he said no. "The suicide bombers are," he declared, "but the other fighters aren't. They just don't want to be occupied. Not even me, nobody, would want to be. That's why we're giving them their sovereignty. We are guaranteeing them complete sovereignty from June 30." (But wait; hadn't he proclaimed Maqtada al-Sadr a terrorist, depicted the resistance in general as the work of foreign and domestic terrorists, and dubbed the war in Iraq the "central battlefield in the War on Terrorism"? Whence this new empathy those who "just don't want to be occupied"?)

Maybe it was just a slip of the tongue, occasioned by the atmosphere of moral disapproval that must hang about the president in Old Europe. But others in the administration also seem to be backing away from the simplistic division of the world into friends and "terrorists." Thus Donald Rumsfeld, after boasting to the graduating class of the U.S. Military Academy that the U.S. has "overthrown two vicious regimes and liberated 50 million people, disrupted terrorist cells across the globe and thwarted many terrorist attacks," added that. "despite our successes, we are closer to the beginning of this struggle with global insurgency than to its end." (Note: global insurgency, rather than "terrorism." Rebellion all over the planet but rebellion against whom? Against the U.S., of course---or against "U.S. interests," however the Bushies might wish to define them.)

For insight on the evolving definition of the global problem, check out Bush's comments to religious editors and writers published in Christianity Today (May 28). He mentions "a clash of ideologies," and while his presentation is characteristically garbled, it's clear he's pitting "our belief in freedom" against "an enemy" who must be prevented "from attacking us again. Which I believe they want to do" (note the switch between singular and plural). Who is this "they"? Why, people whom Bush knows "want to do it because I know they want to sow discord, distrust, and fear at home so that we begin to withdraw from parts of the world where they would like to have enormous influence to spread their Taliban-like vision-the corruption of religion-to suit their purposes." (So the global insurgents are "Taliban-like" extremist Muslims hell-bent on attacking "freedoms" as represented in Ashcroft's America and elsewhere in the pro-American world.)

"I think that they want to drive us out of parts of the world," continues Bush, "so they're better able to have a base from which to operate. I think it's very much more like an 'ism' than a group with territorial ambition."
"More like a what?" asks a Christian interviewer, politely. "An 'ism' like Communism," replies the president, warming to his topic in such receptive company, "that knows no boundaries, as opposed to a power that takes land for gold or land for oil or whatever it might be. I don't see their ambition as territorial. I see their ambition as seeking safe haven. And I know they want to create power vacuums into which they are able to flow."

(Comment: many have argued the obvious---that "terrorism" is not an ideology but a tactic, difficult to define, but however defined, used by all kinds of people, including U.S. forces. But here Bush comes close to honing in on "Taliban-like" Islamism, comparing it to Communism in its transnational appeal.)

"To what final end?" asks an interviewer. "The expansion of Islam?"

"No," replies Bush, "I think the expansion of their view of Islam, which would be I guess a fanatical version that-you know, you're trying to lure me down a road [where] I'm incapable of winning the debate. But I'm smart enough to understand when I'm about to get nuanced out."

(This is so telling. Are the Christianity Today editors really trying to trip the president up? Surely not. In fact the interview is conducted with all sickening deference. What lurking road does the president fear? What "debate" occurs here, other than one perhaps in his own mind, occasioning his hesitation? "I'm about to get nuanced out." By whom? Where? Who's trying to nuance this president who told Mahmoud Abbas last year that "God told me to smite [Saddam Hussein]. And I smote him"? I suspect the president fears that, should he "go down a road" of trying to speak intelligently about Islam, of which he knows and cares so little, he may get into some trouble. Best to stick with what God has told him specifically.

"No, I think they [the enemies] have a perverted view of what religion should be, and it is not based upon peace and love and compassion-quite the opposite. These are people that will kill at the drop of a hat, and they will kill anybody, which means there are no rules. And that is not, at least, my view of religion. And I don't think it's the view of any other scholar's view of religion either."

(Other scholar's view? Bush is now a religious scholar? And is he clueless about the drop-of-the-hat killings which daily occur, courtesy trigger-happy U.S. troops in Iraq?)

Much of the Christianity Today interview deals with Bush's "faith-based initiative" and his opposition to abortion and gay marriage. "At home," he explains in his best religious-scholar mode, "the job of a president is to help cultures change." But plainly he perceives this as his job abroad as well. Muslim culture in particular must be helped to change. What if such "help" is neither solicited nor desired, nor the insistent offer accepted as sincere? Enter that realm of debate and the president gets nuanced out. There's nothing to do but fall back on simplest, least confusing concepts.

"My job is to speak clearly and when you say something, mean it. And when you're trying to lead the world in a war that I view as really between the forces of good and the forces of evil, you got to speak clearly. There can't be any doubt. And when you say you're going to do something, you've got to do it. Otherwise, particularly given the position of the United States in the world today, there will be confusion."

In fact, the world obtains increasing clarity concerning the nature of the Bush administration, recognizing that the administration is both hopelessly confused (in among other respects, its religious fundamentalism) and a force of evil as great as any in recent memory. The "global insurgency" Rumsfeld posits as the enemy is really the global population, complex in ideology and religious affiliation, ridden by numerous divisions but never more inclined to rebel against Washington's global agenda.

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900.

For the original http://www.progressivetrail.org/articles/040611Leupp.shtml  

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