As President Bush enters his last year in office, much attention has been given to his legacy. Will he bring peace to Palestine; will he carpet bomb Iran? Will he find the other Jesus that he missed when he swore his allegiance to that God after giving up the wayward spirits of his youth.
Professor John Smelling, Professor of Political Science, Roedown University in Leeds, England has written and spoken extensively about the institution of the American Presidency and expresses a certain "wonderment that the man is still in office.
"I covered the Clinton impeachment and thought the proceedings were absolutely over-the-top and fed by right wingers who could no abide the man. Obviously, Clinton made a big mistake but it never reached a level of high crimes and misdemeanors. On the other hand, Bush under cover of 9/11 has for all practical purposes set aside the Constitution. He thoroughly politicized the Justice Department. He cooked the books about Irag intelligence so the invasion was de fact illegal and unconsitutional. He has continued to bang the drum against Iran and might only be deterred by the recent intelligence report stating that he has essentially been lying about Iran too. The question I hear from my students: How many lies does an American President have to tell before he is impeached?
"Perhaps the lies, untruths and half-truths should be the least of America's concern. I am no psychologist but I worry about the way Bush jokes about psychology and his insistence on his personal truth when all the evidence points to the opposite. If I remember correctly, the condition is known as a complex, as "he is caught in a complex," a kind of feeling-toned condition during which his truth and his truth alone can exist.
"If I thought this was his usual political double-talk I wouldn't worry so much but I'm not sure. There is absolutely no indication that he thinks Iraq was a mistake, that violating the law is a problem, denying due process is an issue and that the Constitution is anything more than parchment.
"On the contrary he has never admitted a mistake; never apologized to the country for the Iraq war; and never admitted culpability on any matter, even when supported by irrefutable evidence.
"He is certainly living in denial, worshipping his own truth and appears oblivious to the damage his reign is causing his country. It is a question for psychologists to determine when this behavior should be considered pathological and grounds for removal.
"I would recommend on his next trip to Water Reed hospital he gets a once-over by a depth psychologist, preferably by a Jungian who knows something about these dark internal waters. I would recommend an ink blot and word association test, keeping it rather simple. Perhaps a short immersion in alchemy which is sufficiently medieval for his temperament. Maybe he should take the Congress with him because they, if not in denial, have at least enabled his actions. Group therapy might help and, given the U.S. position on waterboarding perhaps that method or shocktreatment--anything short of torture to bring the government back to health--would be within the law.
"On second thought, given the kind of treatment Iraq veterans have received at Walter Reed, maybe the government should find another doctor who can pass the laugh test and does not administer Koolaide.Posted by Chuck at December 5, 2007 11:34 AM | TrackBack