The Faith-Based Presidency

By now it’s probably old news. The “big boy” bloggers—Kos, Atrios, and the like—have probably already told you about it. But on the outside chance they haven’t, or you haven’t visited them, check out the New York Times Magazine profile of George W. Bush.

It is, to say the least, revelatory. I kept trying to find a passage to quote, but there were so many that stood out to me. But here’s the one that I ended up reading aloud to the hubby to give him an idea of what it had to say.

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Who besides guys like me are part of the reality-based community? Many of the other elected officials in Washington, it would seem. A group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress were called in to discuss Iraq sometime before the October 2002 vote authorizing Bush to move forward. A Republican senator recently told Time Magazine that the president walked in and said: ”Look, I want your vote. I’m not going to debate it with you.” When one of the senators began to ask a question, Bush snapped, ”Look, I’m not going to debate it with you.”

One thing occured to me as I was reading it, and that was the number of people who would only speak “off the record.” Why is it still forbidden to say just how little clothing the emperor (after all “we’re an empire now”) is wearing? How do we get out of the mess we’re in if nobody points out that we’re in it.

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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4 Responses to The Faith-Based Presidency

  1. Del Hardesty says:

    This is very scary. It is reminiscent of when the Communists in Russia would rewrite history and erase people from pictures of government officials. And the neocons have the gall to call Liberals Communists!!
    Thank you for reporting this. It makes many things that the neocons are trying to do much more understandable.

  2. Katharine says:

    This is just chilling. Thank you for linking it, Terrance. I reposted the link in my LJ with a different excerpt from the article, and credited you as the source.

    There is hope, however, and it comes from, of all places, Georgia. Have a look at this bit of encouraging news:

    Terror Fears Don’t Trump Court Rules

  3. Joanne says:

    Scary times.

  4. Pingback: The Republic of T. » Blog Archive » Ready for the Next War?

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