Yesterday I was listening to NPR on the way home from work. I was awe-struck by the hubris and boorishness of George Bush once again, as I heard that he repeatedly describes his trip to Africa as a personal “Mission of Mercy.” That is one of the most condescending, patronizing things I have ever heard. Bad enough to say it once, but to say it repeatedly … well … it’s got me sputtering.
I hardly know where to begin … the view from inside George Bush’s head is just so foreign to anything I value or believe or aspire to. Closest I can some to describing it is to imagine the worldview of a 10-year-old boy who’s pretending to be a man. Maybe even walking around in his father’s shoes, say.
Could be that’s about where young George stopped, development-wise. It’s certainly about where his vocabulary stopped. Or maybe his vocabulary continued to evolve (poor word choice … sorry Christian Right) into his teenage years – far enough to get him a legacy-boosted admission to Yale. Then subsequent alcohol and drug-induced brain damage has led to steadily diminishing capacity. At any rate, whatever explanation works for you, isn’t it embarrassing to have such a simpleton traveling around the world, spouting platitudes, mouthing the obvious, and all the while, getting a big hard on because he is who he is?
A “Mission of Mercy,” indeed. This, from the guy whose first instinct was just to fly over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “Mission of Mercy” is an expression that young George probably heard back in Sunday school. It stuck with him to the degree that he is now able to repeat it to reporters in more or less appropriate contexts. Or maybe it’s a formulation that his handlers have handed him and he’s practiced in front of a mirror a few times to make sure he doesn’t stumble over that pesky alliteration. He’s practiced it enough that it comes to mind when he hears a question. He can use it to fill the yawning, empty silence that is his actual response. It’s a phrase he can parrot – along with words like freedom and democracy and terror and such – to fill the void.
That’s the extent of his understanding. That’s the measure of the depth of the man. He doesn’t get it that for him to use a word like mercy is nothing if not hypocritical, condescending, and jarring. It doesn’t occur to him to think beyond the surface … the platitude. Just like it is beyond his reach to use a multi-syllable word or a complex sentence. Whatever place it rises from in him, mercy is not connected to any actual response to the realities of this world but rather to his need to buttress his own bloated, distorted, and ultimately quite empty and fragile self-image.
Seeing him as merely stupid and cut off from reality is too kind by half. Most likely scenerio: Dubya isn’t as dumb as he seems and he’s coldly touting as “mercy” an AIDS initiative that is not at all what he’s trumped it up to be. It’s all about money and oil and him and his legacy, in the end. Mercy, indeed. Mercy for the man!
The only part of this that I take some pleasure in, as he preens and postures in Africa, is my suspicion that he is being tolerated there, taken for some bucks, and properly ridiculed as soon as his back is turned. If he is truly liked, respected and revered, as the mainstream media and the pollsters would seem to indicate, then I am truly confounded by the ways of the world.
Finally .. here’s another blog (The Impolitic) that I stumbled upon (in a manner of speaking) while noodling around on Simply Left Behind. Together with Boltgirl … and of course the inimitable Princess Sparklepony … I am in heaven! Sadly, only Boltgirl seems to have the women’s soccer scene on her radar … but then she’s a little light on the necessary daily details about Condi and her hair. The blog collection as a whole, though, is shaping up to have things nicely covered!