THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Some Scary Shit - Part 1

Monday, January 01, 2007

On Some Scary Shit - Part 1

"Where people often get lost is on this very point,'' he said after a moment of thought. "Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want."

And what is that?

"Easy certainty."

That's a line attributed to a man named Jim Wallis in a startling Ron Suskind article published in the New York Times that was written a couple of weeks before the 2004 presidential election.

I found a link to it in this article called Retreat From Empiricism which I read tonight.

I'd been thinking about this sort of thing in preparing for my next article about the Iraq War where I'm planning to present links to articles written by the same folks I mentioned below, letting you folks know what those guys are saying and recommending today.

Of course all that time and energy to be spent by me in putting it all together and by you in reading through the articles if you choose to do so is all seeming enormously irrelevant after I just finished reading those two articles linked above here.

The gist of it -- and I would definitely encourage both of you to read those articles -- is this:

  • President Bush does not engage in deep, thoughtful analysis before making decisions about complex issues. Not even close. President Bush relies on instinct. And on what God tells him to do.

I consider that some scary shit.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good grief.

This Suskind guy needs to take a deep breath. Anything from the NYT even tangentially related to politics needs to be read very critically, and with a grain of salt.

"The president has demanded unquestioning faith from his followers, his staff, his senior aides and his kindred in the Republican Party. Once he makes a decision -- often swiftly, based on a creed or moral position -- he expects complete faith in its rightness."

I though GWB was so inept that he let the administration run policy for him? Which is it?

The nation's founders, smarting still from the punitive pieties of Europe's state religions, were adamant about erecting a wall between organized religion and political authority. But suddenly, that seems like a long time ago. George W. Bush -- both captive and creator of this moment -- has steadily, inexorably, changed the office itself. He has created the faith-based presidency.

This is just awful, and nothing more than an attempt to rewrite history to make a point (common among liberals). The founding fathers did no such thing. How about this gem from Federalist Paper #2:

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion(emphasis mine), attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence."

More importantly, why is it such a bad thing if our President has a strong religious faith? What about his individual faith changes the office itself beyond the decisions that are made? I fail to see the connection between GWB's decision-making compass and how the constituion defines the powers of the President.

Just awful.

1:16 PM, January 02, 2007  
Blogger garrett said...

Good stuff!

I certainly won't argue with you about the New York Times. I shuddered to even link the article from those guys.

I am far less concerned about the conclusions Suskind developed during the course of his article than the comments he attributes to people close to or formerly close to President Bush.

Those ideas alarm me.

I've certainly worked with people where you knew they didn't want to know what you were thinking, they just wanted you to tell them what they wanted to hear. And I thought the attitudes of those sorts of people were alarming, reckless, and dangerous.

And those weren't guys with control over the most powerful armed forces in the history of the world.

I'm just saying that that is a terrible attitude for a President to have. And if that is really the attitude of President Bush, God help us all.

1:36 PM, January 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that's all bad though, either.

The President is faced with several decisions each day with significant impact. Having that level of responsibility would necessitate a certain measure of decisiveness, or else you'd be paralyzed by second-guessing.

To me, this article reads like someone trying to find another reason to hate GWB. The liberal media tells us that Bush has been steamrolled by Cheney/Rumsfeld, now we hear that Bush has been hell-bent on doing it his own way. Which is it?

As with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in between. GWB is certainly stubborn and a single-minded on his decisions. That having been said, I imagine that he relies a great deal the opinions of those whom he values.

2:08 PM, January 02, 2007  

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