Frank Rich: Has He Started Talking to the Walls?

Rich dares to ask the question many of us are wondering about but would rather brush aside, as its implications are too grim: Is President Bush in his right mind? (Word doc.) The parallels with the crazed Richard Nixon in 1974 are valid. A brief snippet (because I am such a big Paul Fussell fan):

In his classic study, The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell wrote of how World War I shattered and remade literature, for only a new language of irony could convey the trauma and waste. Under the auspices of Mr. Bush, the Iraq war is having a comparable, if different, linguistic impact: the more he loses his hold on reality, the more language is severed from its meaning altogether.

When the president persists in talking about staying until ‘the mission is complete’ even though there is no definable military mission, let alone one that can be completed, he is indulging in pure absurdity. The same goes for his talk of ‘victory,’ another concept robbed of any definition when the prime minister we are trying to prop up is allied with Mr. Sadr, a man who wants Americans dead and has many scalps to prove it. The newest hollowed-out Bush word to mask the endgame in Iraq is ‘phase,’ as if the increasing violence were as transitional as the growing pains of a surly teenager. ‘Phase’ is meant to drown out all the unsettling debate about two words the president doesn’t want to hear, ‘civil war.’

What an odd spectacle, to watch as America is ruled by a man who admits no mistakes, accepts no blame and whose sole mantra is “stay the course,” even though no one knows what that course is and why we are dying for it. History will judge this harshly. There is simply no precedent I know of since Hitler told his generals in a Berlin bunker in 1945 that WWII could be won if they just showed greater “willpower.” (And no, that is not an example of Godwin’s Law, perhaps the most annoying, most abused and misunderstood “law” to grace the Internet. In any case, it is usurped by an older and far more reliable law: If the shoe fits, wear it.)

The Discussion: 4 Comments

About that idiotic “Godwin’s Law”, here’s a great article explaining why we should trash “Godwin’s Law” and start talking more seriously about how the Bush administration really DO resemble the Nazis:

Coincidentally, recently I started reading a biography of Nixon, titled, “The Arrogance of Power” by Anthony Summers, and good God, there’s some REALLLLY spooky stories there, about how Nixon was bat-shit crazy and drunk half the time, while he had his finger on the nuclear football.

December 4, 2006 @ 8:54 am | Comment

That’s a great article, Ivan – thanks for the link.

There’s this maddening trend now on “the Internets” to call Godwin’s Law anytime a reference to Hitler is made, which is a.) a misreading of what Godwin’s law is about, and b.) often very stupid. There is a reason why the Nazi analogy is made so often, especially in regard to our Codpiece in Chief. Bottom line: despite it’s grave problems, Germany was a fully functioning democracy before Hitler was made chancellor. It was seen as one of the world’s most cultured, most successful and most free nations. And one man rapidly reversed that. No, Bush is not a Nazi and America is not Nazi Germany. But there’s no question that Bush has adopted policies that can fairly be compared with the Nazi’s, such as taking the law into their own hands, employing symbols for advanced propaganda, and lying their asses off. I said they “can be compared” – I didn’t say they were identical. Anyone who needs clarification must go now and read the article ivan linked to.

December 4, 2006 @ 11:35 am | Comment

Those who make Bush-Hitler, Republican-Nazi comparisons (without a medical excuse) forfeit the right to be taken seriously FOR LIFE, I’d say. I could never trust the judgement of anyone that immature and poorly informed.

December 5, 2006 @ 6:47 am | Comment

I agre with that, Slim. But it is fair to compare methodlologies, as long as you can back it up with fact (like the use of symbols in propaganda).

December 5, 2006 @ 7:59 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.