War Based on Lies (2006)
I've never trusted the gut of George W. Bush. And I'm not alone.
From CounterPunch -- "Going on His Fabled Gut" by Rich Proctor:
As Governor, Bush's gut told him that rapacious corporations would "self-regulate" themselves into responsible civic institutions. That's how Houston became America's smoggiest city in the calamity that became known as "Smokestack Texas." His gut told him he didn't need to apply for Federal funds to feed hungry schoolchildren, so Texas slid from 29th to 48th place in the list of "Best Places In America To Raise Kids." His gut told him he had too many living citizens, so George barbecued 131 death row inmates (publicly chuckling about their deaths), despite documented tales of underpaid, incompetent defense attorneys sleeping through trials. His gut told him to cut taxes without cutting spending, and now Texas is as good as bankrupt.
As President, Bush's fabled gut told him to ignore the warnings of the outgoing Clinton Administration to pay attention to this dangerous dude named Osama bin Laden. Nope, the Golden Gut of G.W. Bush told him that his Administration would ignore the rest of the world. Blow off the Kyoto Accords? Why not? They were ginned up by a lot of strange-talkin' furriners. Let the Middle East Peace Process take care of itself. No foreign "adventures," no "nation-building," no pokin' our nose where it doesn't belong.
Bush's gut told him the way to stimulate the economy was a colossal tax cut/giveaway to our wealthiest citizens. This threw a prosperous economy into recession, spooked the financial markets and turned a colossal surplus into a crushing deficit. What does Bush's now-legendary gut tell him needs to be done? More tax cuts for his wealthy compatriots, of course, without any restraints on Republican (and Democratic) pork barrel spending. Doesn't make any sense, does it? But that's the thing about ignoring logic and "trusting your gut." Logic doesn't matter.
You bet. The dog of logic won't hunt around Dubya. He prides himself on drifting by in a semi-retired state of illiteracy. No readin' or thinkin' allowed. He'll either
grope massage world leaders or tell 'em to "stop that shit." He'll tune in to his Pentecostal Pepto-free gut that's picking up CB squelch from the Higher Father that's tellin' him to invade hither and yon. And consequences? Like the collateral damage dead -- whether in Iraq or New Orleans? That's reality-based brain territory. He don't never go there.
I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the No Fact Zone.
--Stephen Colbert, from remarks made at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, April 29, 2006.
[Panel from today's Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau. See it complete at uclick.]
This is what is especially scary about George Bush: he lacks the fund of experience and knowledge that enhances the value of the "gut feeling." Bush doesn't read, he doesn't tolerate dissenting views much less critical analysis of his instincts, he has no curiosity whatever about alternative theories or avenues of investigation. His "wisdom of experience" is meager, having failed in all his business ventures, and having served in the weakest governor's chair in the nation.
Such an individual is capable of blundering into catastrophic errors -- witness Iraq and the federal deficit. Still worse, such an individual, when caught in a morass of error and ignorance, is incapable of reassessment, redirection or, if necessary, strategic retreat. Instead, he "stays the course," and insists that his stubbornness is a virtue -- "strength of leadership" and "resolution."
And so George Bush, whose "gut" is his final, infallible oracle, will never admit to a mistake. Instead, anything that goes wrong is the fault of someone else.
I know what my gut is tellin' me. Bullshit. Pass the Maalox.
Today's image, throttled out of Fractal Zplot and particle-beamed through Photoshop Etc., reminds you that the Downing Street Documents still make some tasty brain food -- although your gut may not enjoy digesting such a steady diet of lies.
Bush’s supporters have insisted for the last six years that liberal derision of the president’s intelligence amounts to nothing more than cultural snobbery. We don’t like his pickup truck and his accent, the accusation goes, so we hide our blue-state prejudices behind a mask of intellectual condescension.
But the more we learn about how Bush operates, the more we can see we were right from the beginning. It matters that the president values his gut reaction and disdains book learnin’. It’s not just a question of cultural style. The president’s narrow intellectual horizons have real consequences, sometimes cataclysmic ones.
It’s true that presidents can succeed without being intellectuals themselves. The trouble is that Bush isn’t just a nonintellectual, he viscerally disdains intellectuals. “What angered me was the way such people at Yale felt so intellectually superior and so righteous,” he told a Texas Monthly reporter in 1994.
Yeah? I get angry, too. What angers me is that people die when liars lie.