17 October 2006

Why Bush and Rove seem confident

I think it's important to remember how very little information about states of mind that we are able to get via news stories and television. If we watched Bush and Rove deliver their bluffs in person, I bet we could tell within 30 seconds how much substance their claims had. Given what we do know about their personalities, my hunch is that they would both come off as liars, bluffers, and bullies, because that's what they are, after all.

Both men have built their careers on acting the way they're now acting, and both are habitual liars; each has a personal ethos to lie at the slightest provocation. Everything they both say is 100% unbelievable. The only reason we give their little tantrums any credence at all is because we don't see them regularly in person, and because we're not habitual liars, we find it difficult to bear in mind that other people may very well be. We all tend to project our own spiritual strengths and weaknesses onto others. The fact is that Bush and Rove are, as a matter of habit (which is to say, ethically), liars, bluffers, bullies, and we should interpret everything they say and do through that lens.
Pants on Fire
I would never join any club whose members ritualistically burn their underwear—while wearing it.

Bush is a self-deceiver. He can't admit, even to himself, who he really is and what he really thinks. Reality for him is only ever a dim reflection of his own desires and anguishes. Emotionally, he's 13 years old. He acts as though he can get what he wants simply by wanting it badly enough. Whatever good qualities he may have been born with have been spoiled. He's spiritually crippled. He bluffs and bullies because he actually thinks that's how leaders act.

Rove, on the other hand, is so habitually cynical that he wouldn't tell the truth even if it was wonderful. He'd still embellish it. He has a twisted, stunted heart, and so it's nearly impossible for him to imagine a world in which he doesn't have to lie and cheat in order to get what he wants. He bluffs and bullies because he literally cannot think of anything else to do.

As to stealing the election, I don't doubt that they'll try; nor do I doubt that they'll both fail and succeed to certain extent. The real question is whether the American people--who have thus far given these losers a pass on cheating--will continue to put up with their shenanigans. I somehow think that the carte blanche of 9/11 has expired. Candidates get away with stealing elections only when people let them. I frankly hope they really try to steal it, because I have a feeling convenient GOP victories will provoke a good deal more outrage now than they did in the past 6 years. Times have changed, but Bush and Rove have only become more like themselves.

(Cross-posted at TPMCafe.)