Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Me & Stephen: We's just friends

Me:
Post-Enlightenment folks tend to think of knowledge as an empirical thing: knowledge is the product of evidence that comports with a theory or world view. As such, we seek data, and when the data are inconclusive or inconsistent with expectation, we admit that we don’t know.

That, I submit, is not what George Bush means when he says he knows something. He knew Karl Rove was innocent in the same way he knew that there were WMDs in Iraq, and that Osama got birthday cards from Saddam. More to the point, he knew it the way he knew God wanted him to be president.

In other words, he knows Rove is blameless in the way he knows his religious beliefs are true—based not upon a survey of facts, evidence and expertise, but upon an inventory of only the desolate, monochromatic landscape of his own interior.

Bush knows Rove is innocent because that is what Bush’s heart tells him; his brain is incapable of grasping the resulting circularity. This kind of knowledge, so widely and deeply embraced by his supporters, was the basis for Bush’s elevation to the White House. It explains his intransigent stance on Social Security, on John Bolton, and virtually everything else he has wrought since; the light of reason is not allowed to reach the dark place where Bush holds his beliefs.


Stephen Colbert, on the debut of the Colbert Report:
I don't trust books. They're all fact and no heart. And that's exactly what's pulling our country apart today. Because face it, folks, we are a divided nation... We are divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

Consider Harriett Miers. If you think about Harriett Miers, of course her nomination's absurd! But the President didn't say he thought about this selection, he said this:

President Bush: "I know her heart."

Notice that he didn't say anything about her brain? He didn't have to. He feels the truth about Harriett Miers. And what about Iraq? If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing...right here in the gut? Because that's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlemen...the gut.


Karl Marx
:
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

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