Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oedipus Wrecks

Marty Kaplan: From The Huffington Post:
I wonder what Bush thinks of us.

I don't mean us as in, left blogistan; I mean us as in, America. Day after day, the president sees polls saying that at least 70% of the country consistently believes that he's, oh, put the country on the wrong course, mired us in a hopeless quagmire, politicized the justice system, handed over the regulatory reins to the corporate sector, transferred massive wealth from the middle to the robber barons, obliterated civil liberties, and so on.

Along with our view of what he's done to the country, we 70-percenters also have our pet theories of his character and psychology, of why he's done it. When pollsters ask Americans what words come to mind to describe the president, terms like 'delusional,' 'ideologue,' 'stubborn' and 'idiot' top the charts, suggesting the kind of explanations that Americans use to account for his behavior, to motivate his disastrous persistence.

But surely, when the president looks at his approval numbers, he, too, must have his own pet theories about why we Americans put him in the cellar. How might he explain our overwhelming rejection of him?...

No doubt the president has additional explanations for Americans' failure to give him 70% support. But looking at this list, I'm struck by how similar it must have been to the theories his own parents developed to explain their son's behavior through the years. How could such a privileged child, born to such an illustrious clan, gone on to be such a disappointment, such a wastrel? He's fallen in with bad friends... he believes what people tell him... those Yale professors have caved to the hippies... he plays cards all day... he's lazy... he doesn't go to church... God knows what drugs he takes... he won't grow up... they say blue blood runs thin...

Marty Kaplan was a college classmate who's done well fo himself. I've been enjoying his columns in the HuffPo, and sharing some excerpts with readers here.

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