Tuesday, November 23, 2004


President Bush and his magic word-box

Meteor Blades on Daily Kos has it exactly right:
Many Americans love their tough-talking president. Makes them think, I suppose, that he’s actually doing something while he’s spouting Eastwoodisms and Schwarzeneggerisms. However, as is so often the case in so many arenas, the Bush Administration has, as Graham Allison points out, no coherent policy for dealing with the threat of loose nukes, even though the president says his “highest priority is to keep terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction."
As with everything else, George W. Bush acts as if merely announcing something is exactly the same as doing it.

I know someone who constantly screws up, after which he invariably apologizes. His attitude at that point is, apologizing essentially means whatever he did, he didn't do, so you should stop being angry at him for what he did because he didn't do it. Once he apologizes, if you're still angry, it's your fault, not his. Of course, he doesn't stop doing whatever it was that he did/didn't do that made you angry.

In the same way, once George W. Bush says he's going to do something, that means, to him (and, apparently, his supporters) that he has done it. AIDS funding, No Child Left Behind, whatever - the word is the deed. (Magic, as an anthropologist would describe it, meaning a belief that manipulation of symbols can alter physical reality.) To insist that Bush then actually do what he said he was going to do is, therefore, not only churlish but irrelevant.
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