Essentially, understanding BushCo (Busheviks), and understanding the broad misunderstanding of him by the so-called "reality-based community" boils down to this. The reality-based community, wherein we present logical, rational, reasonable arguments challenging Bush's thinking and politics, is completely wrong in its approach. Calling Bush irrational, a lunatic, a madman, ignoramus, and so on miss the point entirely. Bush, in his own world, is entirely consistent, predictable, and even has more than a modicum of integrity. In his own world. Bush is a fundamentalist Christian theocrat, and within that context he is completely understandable. There is no surprise whatsoever about his wanting to put United Arab Emirates with known ties to terrorism and 9/11 in charge of US ports. There is just a little surprise that Republican linchpins such as Hastert and Frist step up to put up some token resistance. That part is surprising only because it defies belief that either or both of them hadn't a clue as to who and what Bush is prior to Bush insisting opening US doors and ports to known terrorist associates.
You see, Bush is looking for Armageddon.
With that one single postulate, all that he's doing and has done makes sense. He's not looking to save or even protect America. He's looking for the end of the world, Armageddon, the great shoot-out in the OK corral with Satan, after which -- and only after which -- Jesus Christ can return and deliver Earth to faithful believers. Not to rational people, but to faithful people, as in blind faith that defies all reason. He believes he is doing God's work, that God is on his side, that God is guiding him with Divine guidance as a Christian believer and special operative. Calling him irrational, insane, paranoid schizophrenic, or anything else is pointless. Those are, in his mind, characterizations by evil-doers who are doomed anyway because they don't believe The Prophecy of the Word of God as he sees it. His convictions despite all rational, normal, traditional intellectualism from the Enlightenment forward have an anti-rational appeal to the faithful masses who share his faith and beliefs. The religious right, seemingly nutty to many people, are absolutely sincere and completely coherent in their fundamentalist interpretation and grasp of the Holy Bible. Never mind that the Armageddon part -- the Book of Revelations -- seems to many of us to be indecipherable gibberish. The whole schemata is anti-rational, where rational thought has no more effect and meaning than water off a duck's back.
Time and again, on dKos and other blogs, in news, media commentaries, and on and on, the Bush enigma is taken on with deeply habituated rational thought that is second nature in Western culture. That's understandable, but it's the wrong take. Nor is the right take to simply dismiss it as irrational. It's a different realm, anti-rational or non-rational, but entirely consistent within a world-view based on faith and faith alone. That is not to diminish or belittle faith, but is only to contrast reason and faith. Bush operates without reason, on faith, so there is no point in challenging his thinking and actions on reasonable grounds. Whatever he does is in his own mind justified by his faith and allegiance to Holy Scripture, no different in effect than barbaric acts by Muslim extremists that he arbitrarily refers to as evil-doers, the enemy, insurgents, and so on. To him, he is of God and all who disagree or resist are, very simply, not. Therefore, those people need only be somewhat tolerated and appeased if absolutely necessary, but otherwise dismissed and ignored. They're doomed anyway, so why bother?
The only way to set the world straight is for Jesus Christ to return, and that has to be proceeded by Armageddon. That's all there is to it for Christian fundamentalists. If you know any intimately, you know what I'm talking about. Bush is their Amen Corner, and God bless him for doing the right things to get on to the Big Show, the Second Coming.
Bush's calling in life, in his mind, is to deliver Armageddon.
In that light, everything he does makes perfect sense -- including his controversial injection into the White House to start with. That alone was confirmation of Divine Intervention, Manifest Destiny Bush-style.
Those of you who are quick to dismiss evangelicals, charismatics, and the religious right in the US perhaps don't really know many of them personally, on a close or even familial basis. Ask them, get just beneath the surface, and you'll see this Armageddon dream keen in their minds, the belief that these are the End Times and they, and their champion George, will by God make sure of it. Self-fulfilling prophecy, or not, it's what drives them, and it's what drives Bush. He really believes it, and he has access to the resources, policies and fire-power to make it happen. The only real surprise in his US ports policy is that people like Hastert and Frist, and much of the GOP, are only now beginning to begin to start to come to grips and understand who and what they've been dealing with. They don't matter to Bush and his thinking any more than far-left liberal mudslingers. If they disagree, they disagree, and Bush intends to have his way, legal or not, approved or not, because that's Divine Will in his mind and the minds of a goodly portion of US citizens.
From Miller's interview:
There is a powerful apocalyptic streak in Bush's government, which wants to "bring it on"--to use up all the earth's resources, to let the super-hurricanes and AIDS kill off as many evil-doers as possible, to touch off World War III at Armageddon. That suicidal impetus is not a pretense, nor, clearly, does it serve the interests of Capital. It is an even greater threat to world peace, US national security and planetary welfare than the whole Islamist movement, which only wants a global caliphate, whereas the Christianists would like to see the world go up in flames, because then Jesus will return, to give them permanent dominion and deep-fry their enemies.
So this is not a movement that the rational can ever shame into surrendering by merely demonstrating its illogic to its followers. The movement can't be shamed, because it's shameless; and it can't be cowed by clear analyses of its unreasonable views, because it's proudly wedded to unreason.
What we must do is recognize this movement as the latest resurgence of that atavistic paranoia that has, throughout our history as a species, always posed the gravest danger to democracy. Republics and democracy have always foundered on the rocks of paranoia: thus it was in Athens, and in Rome, and wherever else a rational community has given way to the demand for war and empire. Democracy depends on reason, on a reasonable sense of mutuality and common enterprise, and therefore on the possibility of trusting others not to trash the rules or otherwise subvert the general good. Paranoia, on the other hand, is based on fear, and therefore on a kind of "logic" that's impervious to evidence and quite incapable of learning from experience.
Unless we face the fact that this is what we're up against, we'll be no more successful at defeating it than Bush will ever be at trying to wipe out Islamism.
Paranoia cannot be wiped out, any more than "terrorism" could be ended through a greater use of terror. Paranoia is an atavism, deep within us all, and so the only way to end it would be to annihilate the human race. Paranoia can, however, be contained; and a functional democracy is one in which the paranoid component is suppressed, restricted to the woodwork, by the workings of a governmental system maintained by the rational majority.
And finally this, from William Rivers Pitt's recent article The Enemy
We hear a great deal about enemies, both real and contrived. Let us ponder, for a moment, the existence of another enemy so insidious that it operates fully in daylight but beyond control. This enemy seeks to destroy the rule of constitutional law in the United States. This enemy seeks to destroy the seed-corn defense against tyranny in this nation, the separation of powers. This enemy gathers more and more power to itself to achieve these goals, and uses fear and division to do so. This enemy will lie with impunity, stonewall endlessly and ruin anyone who might disrupt its plans.
This enemy stood by and did nothing while a major American city was devoured by the ocean. When New Orleans was drowned, many voices were raised in panicked unison that the White House must do something, and do something now. A conference call was held between key members of the Department of Homeland Security and other administration officials on August 29th, the day the catastrophe began for real. Investigators are seeking the transcript of this call, but administration officials claim the transcript has somehow disappeared. There are many transcripts of calls before and after this one, but the five-hour call on August 29th, the specific call investigators want to see, simply cannot be found.
This enemy deliberately reached out and destroyed the career of a deep-cover CIA agent named Valerie Plame, because her husband dared to criticize the White House about its "uranium from Niger" lie regarding Iraq. Plame, among other things, worked clandestinely to track any person, group or nation that would give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists; in other words, Plame worked to track the individuals this White House never fails to label as the enemy. Her work was derailed and her network destroyed because this White House did not want any discussion of the fact that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, despite miles of claims that the stuff was there.
We hear a great deal about enemies these days, and many of them are quite real and quite perilous. It is difficult to imagine a more perilous enemy, however, than the one operating out of Washington today. This enemy would set itself on high, beyond control or censure, and create of itself that permanent faction James Madison so earnestly warned us of. This enemy deletes or hides evidence of its calumny, or simply alters existing laws that would otherwise derail its plans. This enemy destroys lives out of hand, lives by the tens of thousands, and reaps a pretty profit in the process.
The difference between the enemies we hear about and the one in Washington is simple and deadly: only the enemy in Washington can annihilate the constitutional government we have enjoyed for more than two centuries. The idea that is America cannot be terminated by terrorists or rogue states. Were the nation entire to be somehow obliterated, the idea that is America would endure. Only its keepers can kill it completely. They are well on their way.
"As nightfall does not come at once," wrote Justice William O. Douglas, "neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness."
Twilight is upon us, and nightfall is reasonably at hand. I rest my case. Thank you for your time.