The Boy Ain’t Right

Bush Administration

There’s a disagreement between Glenn Greenwald and the BooMan about whether President Bush’s famous religiousness is the real thing or an affectation. Let me weigh in.

It’s pointless, IMO, to argue about whether Bush is “sincere” in his religious beliefs. The man is seriously miswired. At the very least he has narcissistic personality disorder. He may be a malignant narcissist or some kind of sociopath for all we know. He isn’t capable of “sincerity” as most of us might understand the word.

However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see himself as being genuinely religious. The boy’s a legend in his own mind, remember. I think it’s probable he really does believe he has some special rapport with God, although he’s mistaking his own ego for God. This is not an uncommon phenomenon.

As this old Observer article by Paul Harris reminds us, Bush seems to believe he is on a special mission from God. He even told people back in the 1990s that God wanted him to be President. A touch of megalomania often goes along with narcissistic personality disorder, I understand.

This is, IMO, why the deaths of Iraqi civilians don’t disturb his sleep, yet he calls research on surplus frozen blastocysts “unethical.” Most of us find this a tad inconsistent. I doubt that he does. Nor does he have any idea what a charade his presidency actually is. He thinks his policies are right and that history will vindicate him.

Normal human emotions and motivations don’t apply to Dubya, in other words.

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  1. khughes1963  •  Jun 22, 2007 @10:56 pm


    Excellent observation about Dubya. My therapist and I discussed this issue at our last session (he and I have both supported Democrats for a long time) and my therapist took out the DSM-IV and reviewed the signs of narcissistic personality disorder. We agreed Dubya fit them to a T, but in 2004, the press and public were more fixated on which candidate was the more “likeable” candidate. It’s all about Dubya, and maintaining that “base.” Would that we were lucky enough to have someone concerned about the country and not merely himself.

  2. Donna  •  Jun 23, 2007 @1:18 am

    Whatever his diagnosis, I believe he has regressed to the point of pre-verbal, the stage where everything outside is still seen as extensions of one’s baby self.

  3. Donnah  •  Jun 23, 2007 @7:50 am

    Maha, I agree completely. I am also disturbed by the fact that because he has surrounded himself with an entourage of Yes men, he’ll never be able so see himself as others do: a petulant, stubborn, narcissist. Granted, I’ve not met him in person so I can’t speak to his charm or good ole boy aura, but when I read his comments (made away from his badly delivered speeches), I think he sounds like a moron. If I met him in a party and didn’t know he was the President, I would take great pains to avoid him.

  4. QrazyQat  •  Jun 23, 2007 @1:41 pm

    It’s a given (check history for examples) that “God” always tells people what they want to hear, and directs them to do what they want to do. Coincidence?

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 23, 2007 @2:09 pm

    Bush is like one of those transformational children’s toy’s. It’s a nice car one minute; an aggressive war machine, with a simple twist of the wrist.
    One minute he’s a Peace President – the next, a War President. He’s a compassionate Conservative – who watches the poor in city drown. He’s the Commander in Chief and Decider – who listens to his General’s.
    This is one seriously twisted mo-fo. Who’s planted twisted little mo-fo seedling’s in every aspect of our government.
    It’ll take several generations to undo the damage caused since Reagan. Hell, it’ll take a couple of them just to clean up the “toxic dump” George took on the Constitution.
    We’ll be fighting stupidity and evil for the rest of our lives, so be prepared.

  6. joanr16  •  Jun 23, 2007 @3:46 pm

    He’s pampered scion, conscience-less frat boy, malleable figurehead, angry anti-intellectual, and denial junkie in one twitchy package. Clearly the years of booze and cocaine took their toll. Likewise the HoJo evangelism, which replaced the booze and cocaine, followed by the ultimate power trip as Leader of the Free World, which supplanted them all.

    It used to be considered unreasonable to compare Bush to Hitler, but honestly, I see nothing unreasonable about it any longer. Both are completely off the charts of aberrant, destructive behavior, thanks to the opportunity each has had to wreak havoc on a global scale. It’s Fuhrer’s Disorder, or something. Poor old Narcissus and his reflection were never this dangerous.

  7. moonbat  •  Jun 23, 2007 @4:01 pm

    Digby came up with a deft summary some months that stuck in my mind: “a brand name empty suit, with an infantile personality and an oversized vanity”. I think she was being kind, and left out the magnitude of his sickness, well described in this post and by the commenters.

    She also went on to say he was the perfect fop for the behind-the-scenes megalonmanic greedheeds who are really calling the shots. Early in the Bush years, Tom Tomorrow depicted this in a great cartoon showing Bush as Charlie McCarthy and Cheney as his master, Edward Bergen. Worth a thouand words. Heaven help us all.

  8. Evan  •  Jun 23, 2007 @8:28 pm

    Charlie McCarthy? Shouldn’t that be Mortimer Snerd?