January 17, 2003
By Andrew Sarchus
Having convinced gullible Americans that President Bush gained
both gravitas and legitimacy following the terrorist
attacks in September 2001, the right-wing spin machine is
starting to portray him as the "anointed one" as well. David
Frum's propaganda piece, "The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency
of George W. Bush" is a first step towards canonization of
an intellectually-deficient, dishonest, mean-spirited man
elevated to high national office by five Supreme Court Justices
who shredded Constitutional principles in doing so.
Bush cited Jesus Christ as his favorite political philosopher
in the 2000 presidential campaign - in answer to a question
that may well have been planted by the Bush team. Bush's invoking
the name of Christ was ingenious, because the answer assured
a powerful voter turnout of right-wing Christian fundamentalists
that make up so much of the Republican Party's base. That
Candidate Bush was unable at the time to articulate a single
philosophical idea advanced by Jesus, other than saying, "He
changed my heart", was not discussed further in the campaign.
Now David Frum attempts to put some flesh on the dry bones
of George W's professed religiosity. Frum recounts that Bush
told him "there is only one reason I am in the Oval Office…I
found faith. I found God. I am here because of the power of
prayer." Frum does not mention whether this was said with
a straight face. It may be that Bush believes that all the
chicanery his subordinates pulled in Florida in November 2000
was indeed ordained by the Almighty. It may be that Bush thinks
the five Supreme Court Justices who violated nearly every
precept of jurisprudence in awarding him the Presidency were
sanctioned by God. It may be that Bush feels the 9/11 horrors
occurred solely because the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Or perhaps Bush is cynically and methodically exploiting the
faith of millions of Americans in order to continue the GOP's
march towards a "different" America under the heels of the
Religious Right and corrupt corporations.
Bush has displayed little recognizable Christian philosophy
in his administration's assaults on the environment, worldwide
population control, the Iraqi people, affirmative action,
and persons who are not among the top 10% of household incomes.
Bush and his spokespersons comfort the rich and show contempt
for the poor with absurd "supply-side" tax policy. They laud
those corporations who render nothing to "Caesar" in taxes
while widows and orphans are called "lucky duckies" by the
Wall Street Journal because they do not have enough
income to tax. They make mockery of humanity's stewardship
of the Earth by loosing snowmobiles in our National Parks
and offering meaningless "voluntary" measures to reduce pollution.
They scheme to deny faith, hope, and charity to those who
lack the social conservative's outlook on race relations or
gender identity. They pick at the specks in the eyes of liberal
Democrats while ignoring the plank of unreconstructed racism
in their party's "Southern Strategy" outlook for over 20 years.
In Frum's account, Bush is "confident" rather than "arrogant"
in his dealings with the opposition in Congress, interest
groups opposed to his policies, and world leaders reluctant
to sign on to his "Bomb Iraq at any cost" foreign policy.
Bush, says Frum, is "confident" because he (Bush) believes
the future is "held in stronger hands than his own." So as
God's chosen vessel, Bush is free to "confidently" alienate
half the Congress, two-thirds of Americans, and the rest of
the planet except Tony Blair. In the Bush world, love has
no greater expression than one's friends lay down their lives
for this man.
David Frum's portrayal of Bush as a man chosen by God will
ultimately become an embarrassment to Frum himself and the
deeply flawed human being it seeks to elevate. Through his
actions and policy, Bush exhibits the exact characteristic
that Jesus condemned in the Scribes and Pharisees: hypocrite!