Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Do you think I'm just anyone? Do you?

George Bush made a much reported comment after his fly-by trip to Baghdad a couple of weeks ago:

"...look, it's a security concern because I'm a high-value target for some. And Iraq is a dangerous place. The American people have got to know that I will take precautions when I travel somewhere. I'm not going to put our government at risk to achieve a very important trip."

Most of the focus on Bush's comment was on the "high-value" comment but the second part of his formulation; that he "wasn't going to put our government at risk" seemed to say a lot more about his frame of mind.

"Our government" didn't make a risky surprise visit to Iraq. The head of the Executive Branch made that trip. As far as I know the supreme court justices, the whole of the congress and the senate as well as the Vice President and most of the cabinet stayed safely at home.

As it's become clear over the last few years George W. Bush and his core supporters continue to view him in a capacity more monarchial than presidential. Glenn Greenwald hits on this today in a post slamming the recent wailing about journalistic treason by conservatives.

None of this has to do with anger over "helping the terrorists." The articles in question so plainly do nothing of the sort. The anger that is unleashed by the media doing its job is the by-product of a belief that the Bush administration should be able to act in complete secrecy, with no checks or oversight of any kind. And it is equally grounded in the twisted view that American interests are synonymous with the political interests of the Bush administration, such that harming the latter is, by definition, to harm the former. In this view -- which has predominated over the last five years -- to oppose the Bush administration's "national security" policies is, by definition, to act against the United States and aid and abet The Terrorists.

The media is guilty of publishing stories which might harm the political interests of the President, not which could harm the national security of the United States. But Bush supporters recognize no such distinction. Harming the "Commander-in-Chief in a time of war" is, to them, synonymous with treason. Hence, we have calls for the imprisonment of our national media for reporting stories which tell terrorists nothing of significance which they did not already know, but which instead, merely provoke long-overdue democratic debates about whether we want to be a country in which we place blind trust in the administration to act in total secrecy.

Of course this sentiment leaves those of us who actually passed our high school civics class scratching our heads and asking "Why does George Bush hate America?"

Or for that matter why do his supporters hate America?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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