Thursday, July 14, 2005

We deserve George W. Bush

Ben Tripp has a blistering commentary on George W. Bush's qualities in CounterPunch:

With regrets for all the chaos and death and destruction, it was necessary that George W. Bush should ascend to power and retain it for two terms of office. He is a singularly giftless man, but he brings one gift to everyone: disaster. ...

Say what you will about the accomplices secretly running the show: Bush himself is the president. He is no dupe. A slobbering cretin nearly incapable of forming a coherent thought, or of operating a bicycle on a hill without running over a policeman; a feckless, soulless meta-bureaucrat with the attention span of a hydroencephalitic flea preoccupied with revenge, machismo, booze, and proving to his father he's not a latent homosexual: these things he indubitably is. But he's not a puppet merely. It is his magical ability to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory that will end America's unsuitable world domination. Then we can get on with averting the next ice age. Far too late to save what's left of the world as we know it, but that's the cosmic joke our species seems never to get, no matter how often the punch line is repeated. ...

We deserve such an idiot as president because we're too stupid and lazy to care anymore:
Here's the problem. Empire is the sole purpose and certain downfall of political power. We got our post-European empire sure enough, paddling around in various bits of Asia before settling on oil-rich climes at the buckle between Eurasian shirt and African trousers. We got fat and complacent and began to believe our own press about the goodness and greatness and rightness of America....

One might argue that most empires were founded and maintained without the popular weal being considered at all, but this is simplistic. Empires rely on a mutual parasitism between leaders and people: you send us to war, we get cheap resources (or Poland). That sort of thing. Eventually, the rulers start running the show entirely for their own benefit, putting increasing downward pressure on the populace until society breaks down like my Fiat Cinquecento. Bingo! The spoils of a sprawling, resource-grabbing common enterprise have been diverted to a self-selecting few.

2 Comments:

At 7/15/2005 02:16:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Lewis Lapham had a similarly inspired screed (not a bad thing, a screed) in Harper's this month.

 
At 7/15/2005 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

I'll check that out. It's sitting on my coffee table yet unread...time, where to get more of it?

 

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