Friday, January 14, 2005

Only in Bush's America: "That's just the way it is."

It started out as a good day for Bush. Earlier, it was being reported that he admitted to making a mistake when he used the phrase "bring it on!" in response to the Iraqi insurgency. No dice.

Pharyngula has a link to some really disturbing quotes from George W. Bush from the conservative newspaper The Washington Times :

"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.

"On the other hand, I think more and more people understand the importance of faith in their life," he said. "America is a remarkable place when it comes to religion and faith. We had people come to our rallies who were there specifically to say, 'I'm here to pray for you, let you know I'm praying for you.' And I was very grateful about that."

No wait, there's more:
"I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Mr. Bush said. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit.
"On the other hand, I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," he said.

Both statements have a certain bimodal pattern. 1) "On the one hand, blah blah blah secularism." --> 2) "On the other hand, you need the Lord." In other words, despite the imperative for secularism, you can't deny the final authority of My Religious Beliefs.

The first statement ("That's just the way it is...") seems like it might be misstatement -- a Bushism, if you will. Whether it comes from a loose tongue or just a moment of total logical lapse (I hope it's the former), I can't say. Perhaps it is a riddle?

(Bush is a little like Ghalib, in his moments of "impossible simplicity." Will people recite Bushisms 200 years from now they way they now recite Ghalib, savoring the gnomic, discordant quality of his poetry? A century after religious intolerance produces World War III, will subsequent generations of tortured young aesthetes look back on this with a certain melancholy pleasure?)


chutry said...

Amardeep, I think the first statement may be a Bushism, especially given the vague referent for the word "it" in "that's just the way it is." In a generous reading, he's referring to the state of people being fearful (or something to that effect). It's a little difficult to accept that reading simply because the "it" that's closest is the belief that secular people aren't patriotic. I'm inclined to share Mark Crispin Miller's reading of Bushisms, and I think these comments are cause for concern....

10:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

Bush is a god fearing man & a true leader who can guide america on the right path. To run a country u also need god`s blessing & authority. America will alwyas prosper as the people always trust in god


5:31 PM  

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