Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Politics of “Misunderestimation”

[[S T R A T E G I E S]] * I’ve often remarked that George W. Bush and his fellow Republicans think that Americans are stupid, which is why they believe they can get away with so many frauds and failures. Now comes an article from, written by journalist Robert Parry, that supports my position and points out that critics who believe the prez is really the idiot, may only be fooling themselves:

Bush is the one who explains the “facts” about current events as if he’s speaking to people with the mental capacity of a five-year-old. He also assumes--with some justification--that his listeners don’t mind being misled and lied to, as long as he gives them some bromides that make them feel good.

Regarding the Iraq War and the War on Terror, Bush has mastered a few talking points that sound pleasing but are essentially nonsense--and he then repeats them endlessly to appreciative audiences as he did on Jan. 11 in Louisville, Kentucky.

For instance, Bush served up the old canard about how before Sept. 11, 2001, Americans felt they were protected by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but afterwards they realized they faced a unique danger that required sacrifice of civil liberties at home and “preemptive” wars against potential enemies abroad. ...

The premise to this argument, however, is completely false. No Baby Boomer, who grew up with drills for hiding under desks in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack, felt safe because of the two oceans. Americans of all ages knew that intercontinental ballistic missiles could snuff out their lives in minutes. ...

Bush must know this reality, too, but his lie about the two oceans lets him suggest that the Sept. 11 attacks represented a completely new kind of danger, which, in turn, justified setting aside centuries of American traditions and giving Bush vast powers as the nation’s “
unitary executive.”
Parry goes on to address Dubya’s dubious equalizing of democracy with peace, his insistence that the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans is “a ‘limited’ program that targets only people who are talking to al-Qaeda operatives,” and his much-repeated (but still untrue) contention that “he reluctantly went to war in Iraq only after Saddam Hussein had refused to let United Nations weapons inspectors in to search for weapons of mass destruction”--all delivered by the prez in a carefully stylized manner that makes people think he’s just looking out for their best interests. Parry concludes:

So, the question for the American people remains--is Bush so ill-informed that his war policy is guided by a false historical analysis and so forgetful that he can’t remember important events in which he played a leading role?

Or does Bush think that the American people are so gullible that they will buy whatever he sells them--as long as he does it with a folksy charm?
(Hat tip to State of the Day.)

1 comment:

creature said...

Thanks for the hat tip.