Tuesday, April 13, 2004

At the risk of making this Blog a bit self-reflexive. . . Why Not?

I need to comment about something Richard commented about last night. Of course his comments often inspire me, yadda, yadda, but in this case Richard's words have been running through my head all morning, even while class.
This is exactly what I don't understand. Monkey boy's admin has had multiple opportunities to do mea culpa's -- yet chooses to invoke an aura of righteousness and invicibility. For cripes sake, if we've learned nothing as Americans, it's that we have a capacity to forgive and move on. Ergo, Bill Clinton's success.

I've had many, many years in organizational management and found a relatively easy solution to problems of my own making (even when I didn't really cause the problem). A simple "I'm sorry, I fucked up, I'll learn from it, and try to make ammends" would probably win the election for George W. Bush.

But it will never happen. And you have to ask, "why not?".
Richard Cranium
Well, the "monkeyboy" phrase might be over the top, but the point Richard makes here is strong. The Bush Administration simply will not take blame or even fault unto itself. They profess family values, and one of those values involves instilling conscience in children, and ownership of their actions. They profess religious values, and we're only a couple days past the Passion of the Christ season where being accountable for sin is stressed. So why does the Bush Administration use the strategy of either either denying responsibility or outright attacks on others, as was the case with how they handled Richard Clarke's critique?

In class while trying with my students to understand what the King Arthur myths meant to people struggling through the dark ages it occurs to me that the entire fall of Camelot came about because of hubris and a lack of recognition of what it was to be human, to sin. The Bush Administration, while it never will be seen as so legendary, takes part in a similar sort of collective hubris in not even recognizing its own failures. The DPB to them really isn't a warning, really is just historical information, because recognition that they make mistakes really does tear apart that illusion of "righteousness and invisibility" Richard correctly points us to.

We little guys have a hand in it all now. We don't have to wait for the Holy Grail, because we electors are it! BushCorp may in fact think they are chosen by God, though I have yet to see someone invoke the Divine Right of Presidents.

As a final word, it was Thomas Hobbes who most vociferously defended the Divine Right of Kings in Leviathan, and Thomas Friedman rightly uses Hobbes' catchphrase "nasty, brutish and short" as the title of yesterday's New York Times Column. Friedman discusses several actions Mr. Bush will have to take to escape the quagmire of Iraq, and probably his historical place as a bumbler. Unfortunately, Mr. Bush is both unable and unwilling to do anything that could be construed as pointing to a mistake he made. I have little faith BushCorp will listen.