The real flip-flopper

Discussion in 'Politics' started by nycflasher, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    The list of Bush's major policy U-turns is as audacious as it is long.

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    By Arianna Huffington
    from salon.com


    July 15, 2004 | Presidential or pathological? That is the highly provocative question being asked in "Bush on the Couch," a new book in which psychoanalyst and George Washington University professor Justin Frank uses the president's public pronouncements and behavior, along with biographical data, to craft a comprehensive psychological profile of Bush 43.

    It's not a pretty picture, but it goes a long way in explaining how exactly our country got itself into the mess we are in: an intractable war, the loss of allies and international goodwill, a half-trillion-dollar deficit.

    Poking around in the presidential psyche, Frank uncovers a man suffering from megalomania, paranoia, a false sense of omnipotence, an inability to manage his emotions, a lifelong need to defy authority, an unresolved love-hate relationship with his father, and the repercussions of a history of untreated alcohol abuse.

    Other than that, George Bush is the picture of psychological health.

    One of the more compelling sections of the book is Frank's dissection of what he calls Bush's "almost pathological aversion to owning up to his infractions" -- a mind-set common to individuals Freud termed "the Exceptions," those who feel "entitled to live outside the limitations that apply to ordinary people."

    Limitations like, for instance, not driving while drunk. Or the limitation of having to report for required Air National Guard duty. Or the limitation of having to adhere to international law.

    And it doesn't help one outgrow this sense of entitlement when Daddy and his pals are always there to rescue you when you get in trouble -- whether it's keeping you out of Vietnam by bumping you to the top of the National Guard waiting list or bailing you out of lousy business deals with cushy seats on corporate boards or making sure the votes in Florida (just another limitation) aren't properly counted.

    But you don't make it as far as W. has without some psychological defenses of your own -- especially when it comes to insulating yourself against your own fears and insecurities.

    Raised in a family steeped in privilege and secrecy, and prone to the intense aversion to introspection and denial of responsibility that are the hallmarks of a so-called dry drunk -- one who has kicked the bottle without dealing with the root causes of the addiction -- Bush has become a master of the psychological jiujitsu known as Freudian Projection.

    For those of you who bailed on Psych 101, Freudian Projection is, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a defense mechanism in which "the individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressors by falsely attributing to another his or her own unacceptable feelings, impulses or thoughts."

    In layman's terms, it's the soot-stained pot calling the kettle black.

    On the 2004 campaign trail, it's the pathologically inconsistent Bush attempting to portray John Kerry as a two-faced flip-flopper.

    It's become the Bush-Cheney campaign mantra. GOP talking points 1 through 100. The president's go-to laugh and applause line:

    "Sen. Kerry has been in Washington long enough to take both sides on just about every issue," chided Bush at a spring fundraiser. "My opponent clearly has strong beliefs, they just don't last very long." Ba-da-boom! (Incidentally, how is this consistent with Bush's other contention, that Kerry is a rock-ribbed liberal?)

    Or as Dick "Not Peaches and Cream" Cheney ominously put it at a Republican fundraiser: "These are not times for leaders who shift with the political winds, saying one thing one day and another the next."

    I couldn't f---ing agree more, Mr. Cheney. But it's your man George W. who can't seem to pick a position and stick to it. He's reversed course more times than Capt. Kirk battling Khan in the midst of the Mutara Nebula. Gone back on his word more times than Tony Blundetto. Flip-flopped more frequently than a blind gymnast with an inner-ear infection.

    The list of Bush's major policy U-turns is as audacious as it is long. Among the whiplash-inducing lowlights:

    In September 2001, Bush said capturing bin Laden was "our No. 1 priority." By March 2002, he was claiming, "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important."

    In October 2001, he was dead set against the need for a Department of Homeland Security. Seven months later, he thought it was a great idea.

    In May 2002, he opposed the creation of the 9/11 commission. Four months later, he supported it.

    During the 2000 campaign, he said that gay marriage was a states' rights issue: "The states can do what they want to do." During the 2004 campaign, he called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

    Dizzy yet? No? OK:

    Bush supported CO2 caps, then opposed them. He opposed trade tariffs, then he didn't. Then he did again. He was against nation building, then he was OK with it. We'd found WMD, then we hadn't. Saddam was linked to Osama, then he wasn't. Then he was ... sorta. Chalabi was in, then he was out. Way out.

    In fact, Bush's entire Iraq misadventure has been one big, costly, deadly flip-flop:

    We didn't need more troops, then we did. We didn't need more money, then we did. Preemption was a great idea -- on to Syria, Iran and North Korea! Then it wasn't -- hello, diplomacy! Baathists were the bad guys, then Baathists were our buds. We didn't need the U.N., then we did.

    And all this from a man who, once upon a time, made "credibility" a key to his appeal. (Well, in his defense, he's never lied about oral sex.)

    Now, God knows, I have no problem with changing your mind -- so long as you admit that you have and can explain why. But Bush steadfastly -- almost comically -- refuses to admit that there's been a change, even when the entire world can plainly see otherwise. He's got his story and he's sticking to it. But that darn Kerry, he keeps shifting his positions!

    At the end of his analysis, Frank offers the following prescription: "Having seen the depth and range of President Bush's psychological flaws ... our sole treatment option -- for his benefit and for ours -- is to remove President Bush from office."

    You don't need to be a psychiatrist to heartily second that opinion.
     
  2. rtwngAvngr
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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    This article is utter partisan trash.
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Irresponsible drivel and pitiful "science". Guess the Dems are done reading Clintons comic book so the found the MM of the literary world to produce something for them.
     
  4. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Doubtful, the article was published two days ago.

    Searching... :funnyface
     
  5. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    This particular article may have been posted two days ago, but the contents have been on the copy and paste cycle for quite some time.

    I've seen the quote about Bin Laden literally hundreds of times, and literally hundreds of times nobody has provided the question or the topic of discussion. I vaguely remember the news conference when Bush said, "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important."

    No, I don't remember the question or the exact topic they were on, but I do remember not being shocked when he said it and apparently neither was anybody else at the time. Fast forward two years+, take it out of context, suddenly it's scandalous.

    Something a lot of people don't seem to understand is there is a difference between flip flopping and changing your stance on a position due to circumstances and events. If someone wants to consider it a flip flop when, for instance, Bush said same sex marriage is a state issue, then four years later wants a constitutional amendment banning it, that's fine. I suppose, technically, it is though he has always been opposed to same sex marriage. That still doesn't compare to Kerry's drastic changes in opinion and stance on just about every issue that has crossed the table.

    When speaking to an Arab-American group, Kerry called the wall Israel is building "counterproductive to peace". Four days later, when speaking to a Jewish group, Kerry said the wall was "a legitimate act of self defense".

    With Bush, you have months and sometimes years of circumstance, events, and debate to take into consideration. With Kerry, you're talking about days, hours...hell, sometimes within the same speech!

    As for the rest of the article, the word rubbish comes to mind.
     
  6. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    That should have given it away right there, lol.
     
  7. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    Exactly. What Kerry does doesn't even compare to what Bush does in this regard. His supporters will never admit that.
     
  8. duke
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    duke Rookie

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    Does Kerry own a SUV? I forget sometimes,I remember him saying he did but then on Earth day he said he didn't!!!! I'm confused,I hope he's not this confused when he's NOT elected in november!
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    :cool: :beer:



     
  10. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    Yep, salon is at least as bad as moveon. Their hero is Molly Ivins, who makes me positively nauseous, and I have an iron stomach.

    Any liberal worth their salt reads & quotes salon religiously.
     

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