Tuesday, September 28, 2004

W stands for "Wishful"

Mark A. R. Kleiman has a good approach to Bush's mindset.
Wishful thinking isn't seen as a horrible moral defect, like cowardice of meanness or dishonesty. It's just a human foible, perfectly consistent with being a decent and likeable person. (No, you don't think Mr. Bush is either decent or likeable, but you aren't the audience for this message.)

And yet everyone knows that wishful thinking is the road to disaster; everyone with children has warned them of its dangers. In a military commander, in particular, wishful thinking is horribly dangerous, as it was when Mr. Bush ignored the National Intelligence Estimate that largely predicted the current disaster in Iraq.
This may be a more plausible tack than "Don't confuse him with the facts." [see below] But perhaps the can occasionally be blended, especially to ridicule bush in a very mild way.

"That's a wonderful wish, President Bush. Unfortunately, the facts are that 95% of Iraqis hate us, and Islamic fundamentalism is growing faster than your wishes."

Or something like that.

One other thing that Klieman's formulation allows is a great offense against something I hate from the Bushies. When Kerry says things (the economy, the war) are going poorly, we often hear the Bushies saying "Kerry is a pessimist." Of course, what's really happening is Kerry is being realistic and the Republicans are engaging in wishful thinking.

There's a difference between seeing the world as it is in hopes of making it better, and merely wishing that things were the beautiful world that Bush wishes it were. That's the difference between leadership in the real world and selling a pipe dream.

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