Saturday, January 10, 2009

Batshit Crazy

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Since 1980, US public life has been defined and dominated by three psychopathic personalities: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. It is no coincidence that the United States is poised upon the edge of an economic and moral abyss. Joining forces with the likes of the GOP is a Faustian bargain. It's midnight in America.
“A new CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll found that only 27 percent of Americans approve of Bush’s job performance. [. . .]”

“The anti-Bush group argues that most of his major policies have failed, that people trusted him but he let them down, especially in the Iraq war, and that has been too arbitrary and inflexible. [. . .]”

“On the anti-Bush side, Angusr of CA wrote, ‘Of course he is changing his colors. He does not want to be indicted for war crimes.’ . . . [‘]It is no surprise to me that President Bush destroyed the nation’s resolve, economy, and status throughout the world.’ And a reader in Ohio wrote, ‘Bush is still an idiot.’”

--He's [Bush] Still Divisive
There is a measure of Schadefreude to be found in Bush's ignominious retreat from the absolute dictatorship that he had asserted with various stupid statements not the least of which remains: "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper". Even so, it must be asked: why do the American people continue to 'elect' or facilitate election theft by the likes of a 'party' that is more accurately compared to crime syndicates and kooky, perverted cults.

One joining the GOP literally sells his soul. I can speak authoritatively on this point. I was offered lots of money to run for public office in my state, possibly State Rep or State Senate. I have never regretted saying no thanks! I might have ended up compromised and evil like Tom DeLay or George W. Bush. DeLay began his dubious career as a State Rep, gerrymandered the state, built up his 'machine'. At that point, he set his sites upon the US Congress. Kafka's character awakened as an insect but it cannot be said that he had planned to do so. DeLay, by contrast, was a roach killer who became a roach by choice. If as you follow someone you hear crunching noises you are obviously following a Republican who is molting.

Many folk who wind up in the GOP are just plain evil to begin with. These people, short sighted and utterly devoid of empathy, are attracted to a party of like-minded psychopaths who care nothing for anyone or anything but their own self-interests and greed which, they are taught, are 'good'. Recall the movie "Wall Street". The aptly named Gecko said: "GREED IS GOOD!"

GOP-types are in fact very fearful and insecure. They fear loss of property and status and will do anything to protect both. They are threatened by other 'classes' and resent improvements made by others in education or housing. The ascent of Ronald Reagan owed much to the many fears and insecurities of the GOP very rank and conformist file. About Reagan, a gopper opined: "he made us feel good about ourselves!" Upon hearing that, I suppressed the urge to puke. The remark was made from the floor of the GOP National Convention held in Houston in 1992.

GOP fears and insecurities manifest themselves as 'night terrors' and 'nightmares' which, as a study at Stanford University revealed are statistically high among the GOP. Those fears likewise manifest themselves in policies that are clearly of psychopathic origin, policies like aggressive war, imperialism and, most odious of all, state sanctioned murder and torture.
"Republicans have scarier and more frequent nightmares than Democrats concludes one prominent dream researcher. "Republicans are nearly three times as likely as Democrats to experience nightmares when they dream," Kelly Bulkeley, who teaches at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., claims in findings to be released Wednesday at the 18th Annual International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams in Santa Cruz.

"Half of the dreams of Republicans in my study were classified as nightmares, compared to only about 18 percent of the dreams of Democrats," Bulkeley reports. While Republicans and Democrats may agree with the survey's results, they are divided on the causes of the GOP's troubled sleep. Both parties, however, blame the man at the top."

The presidency of Ronald Reagan benefited by the fact that the 'loyal opposition' was entirely too cooperative, entirely too willing to give Herr Reagan the benefit of doubt. It was widely believed, even among Democrats, that Reagan, though wrong, would, at least, govern in 'good faith'. In other words, Reagan, it was believed, would not tell a lie KNOWING that it was a lie. Reagan, it was believed, may have been wrong but sincere.

He wasn't! Reagan was like every other Republican, that is, a cultist, a psychopath, a liar. He differed from Bush only because he got away with it for longer. He was, after all, an actor. The 'Presidency' was his biggest role. Reagan could fake sincerity better than any other gopper, setting a standard that, with any luck, the GOP may never again match.

I submit that we embrace an earlier attitude, that is, there should be consequences for being wrong and greater consequences for being wrong knowingly but persisting in spite of it. While Reagan was never held to this austere standard of responsibility, George W. Bush has, at least, accomplished what the smooth talking gran'pa figure could never have done. Bush has demonstrated just how idiotic was the 'pass' given the GOP. Bush has proven conclusively that the GOP is the party of bad intentions and equally bad outcomes.

I would hope that in the world apres Bush, the American people will refuse to be fooled by propaganda and linguistic tricks like 'support the troops', a cynical focus group approved phrase designed to divide the nation into war hawks on the one hand and traitors of everyone else. The fact of the matter is this: you CANNOT support troops who are actively involved in the commission of war crimes. This is especially true of an all volunteer military. Did I support the troops in Iraq? Absolutely not! I was no more supportive of US troops perpetrating war crimes in Fallujah and elsewhere than I might have been of Nazis razing Lidice. Get real, folks! You don't have the luxury of having it both ways!

It may be helpful at this point to review the characteristics of sociopathic 'spellbinders' as they are sometimes called. Dean Lawrence R. Velvel has described Bush's many symptoms:
  1. rigid judgmentalism;
  2. irritability;
  3. impatience;
  4. grandiosity;
  5. obsessive thought patterns;
  6. incoherent speech;
  7. immense anger;
  8. exploitativeness;
  9. arrogance;
  10. utter lack of empathy;
  11. difficulties arising from relationships with his father (George H.W. Bush);
  12. not caring about the suffering of others;
  13. sociopathic behaviours;
  14. serial failures;
  15. lack of competence;
  16. alcohol problems;
  17. narcissistic personality;
  18. doing anything to protect his psyche from the destruction of being shown wrong;
  19. inability to feel guilt; etc.
You've read my take on Bush. Here's another 'indictment' that is even more damning.
George Bush’s presidency is the culmination of a lifelong history of sadistic practices that he must deny in order to maintain his fragile psychological equilibrium. Since childhood, Bush was labeled a bad child, a troublemaker, and a delinquent. He stuck firecrackers into frogs and exploded them; he shot and wounded his little brothers with a b-b gun; he branded fraternity pledges at Yale with red-hot coat hangers; he mocked others and was a verbal bully, irreverent about anything serious.

What do bad boys do when they grow up? They stop; they change. But Bush never stopped being a bad boy; he only did it in more subtle, arguably socially acceptable ways.

Now, as this bad-boy president prepares to leave office, many of his critics are pinning his failures on bumbling incompetence. The conventional wisdom holds that Bush is either a good hearted guy who got in way over his head—or the puppet of Dick Cheney. But if he were simply good-hearted he wouldn’t have mocked his own reasons for committing our young men and women to war; if he were a puppet, he was a puppet who chose his puppeteers. In my psychoanalytic exploration, the trail of destruction wrought by Bush over the last eight years is the direct consequence of handing a man with a destructive personality profile tremendous power.

What do bad boys do when they grow up? They change. But Bush never stopped.

Bush is leaving office immensely satisfied with his presidential accomplishments: Not merely wreaking havoc worldwide – actively destroying Iraq, and passively turning his back on New Orleans – he became feared both abroad and at home, where Congress and the press have yet to muster the courage to confront him. Now, the financial devastation of his policies seems to be hurtling the globe ever faster towards an economic Judgment Day.

The secret sadist in Bush greets all this as wonderful news, made even better by the possibility that he won’t get caught or punished, and that others will at least have to clean up his mess if they can. He may look and sound uncharacteristically sheepish of late, but his sense of self as president remains unchanged at its core. His primary concern remains self-regard, not history’s.

Evading responsibility has always been a central element of the pleasure he takes in the suffering of others. His evasion has taken many forms, from colluding with questioners to let him off the hook, asking “Ken who?” when asked about Enron’s Ken Lay, to making light of his cruel deeds, casually dismissing the fraternity branding as nothing worse than a “cigarette burn,” or insisting that the United States does not torture when confronted by reporters about Abu Ghraib.

Sadism serves purposes besides giving the sadist pleasure at the pain he inflicts on others. For Bush, the roots of his bad-boy sadism run deep. As a young boy, he identified with his harsh and often cruel mother, whose inability to provide necessary maternal early nurturing culminated in her withdrawal after George’s young sister’s illness and untimely death. He was a ruthlessly-teased, learning-disabled little boy who was criticized by teachers for not being able to keep up in class. And he was left behind by an emotionally distant father who reinforced the message from his mother that it was pathetic for a seven-year-old to show grief about his sister’s death. All of these factors contributed to an unrelenting self-hatred that made him feel weak and ashamed, things he tried to deny by posing as superior, exploiting weakness in others and becoming a bully. This process of externalizing his damaged sense of self, which he then attacked, became so strong later in life that it could only be partly managed by daily exercise and prayer.

...

--Justin Frank, Why Bush Loves Violence
Perhaps I am unfair to expect the vast majority of Americans to have seen through George W. Bush as I did. To be fair, the millions living outside the state of Texas could not have known or witnessed the wars waged by Bush upon the environment, education, the poor, the accused, in fact, anyone not living in River Oaks, Tom DeLay's Sugarland or some other Republican cultist ghetto. It's a jungle out there. I might be wrong to hold the American people responsible for not sizing Bush up. I could be wrong. But I don't think so.
The American people now know that George W. Bush can never be trusted. The United Nations is not stupid: Bush could not just “change his colors” and fool the United Nations into thinking that Bush had not committed war crimes. Bush is definitely an idiot.

--George W. Bush is the Worst President in US History
I had to read that twice. In other words, the American people --presumably among the best fed and best educated in the world (well, at least, the best fed) --required eight years of overt criminality, mass murder, torture, war crimes, incompetence, stupid public behavior and sheer idiocy before it learned that George W. Bush is an idiot??? If that is the case, then WHO is the idiot?


Additional resources


Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, Global Issues, Updated: January 02, 2009

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