Sunday, January 04, 2004

Wishful thinking and whistling in the dark,

GW Bush is not the anti-Christ. At least, nobody has told me of it. As far as conspiracy theories go, the one's surrounding Bush are fairly tame and usually involve something on the level of malignant neglicence or corporate cronyism. Perhaps it is the self-confessed born-again Christianity-on-one's-sleeve stchick that he indulges in. Even his most ardent foes consider that part of his persona fairly authentic, in that in some twisted fashion he truly does think he is doing good and being only reasonable in his decisions. This sort of oblivious good-naturedness married to an imperviousness to any sort of depth of reflection is refreshing to some people. Whatever is actually going on, it seems clear that the man means well.

This bluff straightforward utter lack of anything resembling complication was appealing to many Americans, especially as a backlash to the "nuance" and moral equivocation of the Clinton years. "I did not inhale," was worse than an admission of guilt in many ways. In my ears it rung of a man ashamed to own up to what he had done, and so consumed with looking over his own shoulders that he might actually have hedged in the moment of indulging in a minor social taboo. It wasn't that I thought he might have inhaled, it was the repugnance of a personality that might have actually pretended to puff and therefore couldn't even commit to the commission of a transgression. It was a prophetic utterance, reprised in a fashion that should have not surprised anyone he later said what should have been utterly clear: "I did not have sex with that woman." As it turned out, such a perfectly simple statement was rendered a deception by a personal and private redefinition of the word "sex" to narrowly mean only vaginal intercourse.


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