Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Raw Story has this picture up on their front page:

The caption reads: "Bush 'playfully' slaps Rep. Al Green at NAACP convention."

I can't find the picture anywhere else. But if this shot is what Raw says it is, then stupidity is no longer Boy Blunder's biggest problem.

Think about the last week's events: talking to Tony Blair as if the Prime Minister was a lowly underling. Manhandling Andrea Merkel. And now slapping a black Congressman, who looks every bit as happy to be touched as Merkel was. It seems the pathology that has been covered with duct tape and baling wire for the last six years is all finally bursting out into the open, all at once. The dismal polls, the cognitive dissonance between Bush's bravado and the constellation of disasters that make up his unsalvageable legacy, the loss of power are all finally shattering the false front that has protected our dry-drunk-in-chief from himself.

Long ago, I saw what may well have been a psychotic break in progress. At first it seemed funny. Then the realization that a human being was actually falling apart before my eyes triggered a mix of fear and horror and (only later, I must admit) sympathy. The guy I saw go off the rails was just a student I didn't know in a class I barely remember. I don't know what happened to him -- I don't think I ever saw him again. At worst, he might have been a danger to himself, or to a handful of people around him.

But if the guy manifesting "a collapse of the "ego integrity", a state of mind where the person is unsure of who they are, where they are, what they are doing and how they should be behaving" is the President of the United States -- and not just any president, but a president who has cultivated a support system that encourages blind faith in his infallibility -- there is nothing remotely funny about it. It is an incipient nightmare of unimaginable magnitude.

Please help hunt this story down and do with it what we did with the Merkel grope. The world needs to confront this danger now.

Update: Less egregious, but supportive of the diagnosis: on his World Tour 2006: Unhinged, there was also this:

Merkel greeted Bush wearing faded blue jeans as the U.S. president and his wife, Laura, arrived in the tiny Baltic town north of Berlin aboard the Marine One helicopter.

They walked past a red-coated band playing a medley of songs like "Hooray for the Red, White and Blue," and Bush plucked the conductor's wand from his hand and led the band for a few notes.

Then he and Merkel posed for pictures with the band as its members played on, Bush startling a woman playing a flute by poking her on the shoulder.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 3 am today I had the ABC overnight news on. I wasn't actually watching, just trying to go back to sleep. Twice I heard the male anchor make apologies for the Presidents' behavior. Once for the Gernan Chancellor incident and also for something else I can't recall (I was half asleep). But I know I heard two poo-pooings of Bushs' behavior. The female anchor didn't really join in but certainly didn't disagree. I realize ABC's overnight news is suppose to take a more 'light' 'friendlier' tone than the so-called 'serious' news they do during the evening. I also know the overnight position is suppose to be a training ground for future Aaron Brown, for instance. But, the idea anyone thinks its okay to editorialize about the President's bizarre behavior and come right and say , "O, it wasn't that bad" isn't ready for sub primetime.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Dr. Bloor said...

Oh, it's not just the not-ready-for-sub-primetime crowd. On Talk of the Nation the other day, Neal Conan responded to a caller's dismay about the grope by saying that he thought Merkel was smiling in response, and Ken Rudin was similarly quick to poo-poo the whole thing as a nonissue.

Psychosis, probably not. But the actions speak to increasing disinhibition--behaviorally, and probably cognitively--that would be no less dangerous than psychosis in a POTUS. Chronic/acute effects of renewed substance use, medication side effects, mood disorder with a cyclothymic component, exacerbation of a personality disorder under stress--any could be at issue. And in Bush's case, you needn't feel compelled to choose just one of the options.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered about that caption, too. I think it's more likely that Bush is stroking the beard, checking it out the way he does bald heads.

8:59 AM  
Blogger vermontraccoon said...

Mr. Blue Meme:
HFS! I've been climbing in the Tetons and just rejoined "civilization" and it looks to me like Cimpy's cheese has slid off his cracker. (Doc Bloor's diagnosis in sunburned climber lingo). He now gives me the Heebies AND the Jeebies.
Oh. My. God. Indeed.

11:52 PM  

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