The psychopathology of the infantile conservative is on full display when Andrew Sullivan looks at Bush's latest iteration of The Iraq Fantasy. Sully's frontal lobe notes at the outset that "Bush's assurances on Iraq have to be taken with a hefty dose of skepticism." And in another telling sentence, he admits that "Even Instapundit has been forced to stop linking to Iraq's bloggers, whose first-hand testimony of terror and rampant insecurity would sadly hurt morale." Sullivan's post speaks volumes in its silence as to whose morale, exactly, he is so concerned about.
But of course the frontal lobe isn't driving Sully's short bus. Sully's id wants what it wants, reality be damned. Sully wants to believe that he will be proven right in the end -- that Daddy Bush will make him feel good about himself. In the magical world of his immature fantasies, hope is all the plan he needs. And so Bush's latest speech, merely the Nth iteration of the same tired nonsense on toast, becomes the new silver lining in the dark clouds his disappointing Daddy keeps sending his way:
I'm grateful for the president's detailed account of his side of the story. Here's the president's empirical, sober, and un-Cheney-like account of why there's still hope in Iraq.
I have tremendous sympathy for most abused children, but not this one. When influential adults thank their serial abusers, my pity comes up short.
I heard most of Shrub's speech. I didn't hear a whole lot of sobriety (interesting choice of words there, Sully) or un-Cheney-ness. I heard cherry-picked stats that (even if true) are not, as your cerebral cortex just admitted, reflective of the larger reality. But for Sully, there is the unquenchable hope that this time Daddy will keep his word. This time, Daddy will bring home the pony he has been promising for three years. And so an admission that Bush is not credible somehow morphs into gratitude and wishful thinking yet again. Your all-important "morale" is restored by a fresh dose of fantasy.
If mental contortions were as visual as their physical equivalent, there would be a spot for Sullivan in Cirque du Soleil.
Update: want an example of Bush's "empirical, sober" approach? Yesterday he blamed an unnamed newspaper (the LA Times, as it turns out) for blabbling about our IED countermeasures. Via The Prospect:
And guess what: It turns out that Bush left out a small detail about the offending article in question. Turns out it was about the fact that some military officials were angry that this potentially life saving technology still hasn't been shipped to Iraq, ten months after Pentagon officials recommended investing in research and sending prototypes to Iraq for testing. Says the piece:Yup -- Sure sounds empirical and sober to me.10 months later -- and after a prototype destroyed about 90% of the IEDs laid in its path during a battery of tests -- not a single JIN has been shipped to Iraq.
To many in the military, the delay in deploying the vehicles, which resemble souped-up, armor-plated golf carts, is a case study in the Pentagon's inability to bypass cumbersome peacetime procedures to meet the urgent demands of troops in the field. More than half of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq have been caused by roadside bombs, and the number of such attacks nearly doubled last year compared with 2004.
As for Bush's charge that the LA Times tipped off terrorists, a quick Google search shows that extensive information about the technology was all over the Internet well before the piece was published -- including at least one news report six months earlier that provided many of the same technological details the Times did. What's more, in its story today about Bush's broadside, the LA Times said:The Times spoke to several Defense Department officials before the article appeared. None expressed concern that publication could endanger U.S. troops...Before Bush mentioned the report Monday, no U.S. officials had contacted The Times to raise those concerns.
Update: visual aid.