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Bush on the Couch

Analyzing the president.

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Photo-illustration by Michael Elins  

The Man With No Shadow
By Robert Stone, author of Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties

I think Bush has come to believe he’s on a lonely, noble mission—doing the right thing in spite of the ravings and denunciation by pygmies—and that to some degree he thinks people outside the Oval Office have to be lied to. But he is very mysterious—he doesn’t reveal much in the way of personal qualities. There’s an actor quality to what he does; he’s not very good at it. It’s as though somebody gave him a “nice young man” lesson.

I think he’s probably become suspicious of Cheney and Rove. They’re certainly isolating him as much as they can in order to protect him. He does seem less confident and steady. He must feel that he’s being abandoned.

He’s trying for a do-over. It’s the last throw of the dice. He’s casually ruthless enough to sacrifice that many lives. Maybe this is brutal, but I think some of those tears over dead soldiers are really self-pitying. It may be just a superficial sentimentality, which is better than sarcasm.

Bush is unimaginative, to a slightly pathological degree. He doesn’t cast a shadow; he’s just this paper construction.


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