The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

See ya at the Little Big Horn

I was going to write a post about how strange it was that today's top story was about Bush's plan to increase the size of the military. If you're like me (and I know I am), the first thing that came to mind was the many stories about missed recruiting goals in the military. Then the many stories about our current military lacking equipment and vehicles. Then the cost of the war to date. It all begs two questions we've been asking ourselves for years: 1) why does the press treat this sort of thing like it's normal, and 2) is the president really that divorced from reality?

Fortunately, Sidney Blumenthal has written an article that does me one better. It even touches on one of my morbid fascinations with our worst president-- his nutty insistence on comparing himself to good presidents. Not to mention the whole pitiable 'obstinate equals virtuous' thing.

A week later, on Dec. 11, Bush met at the White House with Jack Keane, from the latest neocon Team B, and four other critics of the ISG. But even before, on Dec. 8, in a meeting with senators, he compared himself to an embattled Harry Truman, unpopular as he forged the early policies of the Cold War. When Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., offered that Truman had created the NATO alliance, worked through the U.N. and conducted diplomacy with enemies, and that Bush could follow his example by endorsing the recommendations of the ISG, Bush rejected Durbin's fine-tuning of the historical analogy and replied that he was "the commander in chief."

The opening section of the ISG report is a lengthy analysis of the dire situation in Iraq. But Bush has frantically brushed that analysis away just as he has rejected every objective assessment that had reached him before. He has assimilated no analysis whatsoever of what's gone wrong. (. . .)

Every day his defiance proves his superiority over lesser mortals. Even the Joint Chiefs have betrayed the martial virtues that he presumes to embody. He views those lacking his will with rising disdain. The more he stands up against those who tell him to change, the more virtuous he becomes. His ability to realize those qualities surpasses anyone else's and passes the character test.