The Power Of Wishful Thinking

5 comments March 5th, 2007at 05:32pm Posted by Eli

Grr… I had a much better version of this written and ready to go, but when I hit Publish my browser timed out. So just imagine that this was written by a much less angry, much more articulate iteration of myself.

Today The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin writes about the Bush administration’s total lack of a Plan B if Teh Surge™ doesn’t work. Not only is there not a Plan B, but the administration is reluctant to even address the possibility that Teh Surge™ might just maybe possibly not work. They simply insist that Teh Surge™ will work because it has to work, and because they’ll make it work, which I’m sure is very inspiring to the 25-30% of the population that still thinks the Bushies know what the hell they’re doing: “God-damn, that Bush feller sure knows what he wants, and he won’t let nothin’ stand in his way! Not the dirty commie hippies, not the Ay-rabs, not reality, nothin’! Yeeee-HA!!! USA! USA!”

Of course, to us out here in Realityworld, it looks a little, well, crazy. Since at least 9/11 and probably before, the Bush/Republican policy model has been, “If we do this crazy, stupid thing that we’ve always wanted to do, good things will happen, well, because they just have to. We can’t imagine it not working, and it would be disastrous if it didn’t work, therefore, it has to work.” No actual rigorous planning to ensure that good things happen, just a sort of hope or blind faith that they will. As most of you have noticed, the universe does not work that way. Hell, 99% of the time, stuff doesn’t work out the way you wanted even when you planned and prepared obsessively. So to think that if you invade Iraq, it’s going to make it just magically fall into pro-American secular democratic paradise all by itself is delusional madness.

I’m trying to figure out why it is that the Bushies think that the universe is obligated to provide them with best-case outcomes, and I can think of three possibilities:

1. The Green Lantern Theory. Matt Yglesias used this to describe the Bush Republicans’ approach to geopolitics, but I think it can be applied to all of their policies (cutting taxes will increase revenue!). The idea is that, like with the Green Lanterns, any problem can be solved with a sufficient application of willpower. Planning, strategy, resources, these are all unimportant. The only thing that truly matters is pure Will, which the dirty hippies are perpetually to sap, which is why all their policy failures are really the dirty hippies’ fault. I won’t even go into the creepy Nazi vibe that the whole Will fetish gives me…

2. You Can Petition The Lord With Prayer. America is a Christian nation, no matter what that stoopit ol’ First Amendment says, and George W. Bush is the most Christian and godly president in American history. Therefore God will always smile upon our endeavors and make sure everything works out okay (even 9/11 happened for a good reason!). Why anyone would still believe this, I have no idea. I’m pretty sure that if God hasn’t come to our aid by now, it just ain’t happenin’.

3. The Spoiled Brat Theory. Kind of similar to #2, except instead of Deus Ex Machina, Dubya grew up with Daddy Ex Machina. In other words, no matter how badly he screwed up, thanks to Daddy’s rich and powerful friends, everything always turned out for the best… for him, at least. No need for planning or strategery or any of that sissy stuff, Dubya has the magic touch! At least that’s what I think he believes: That all of his success in life was earned entirely on his own merits, through a combination of guts, instincts, and the Lord’s favor (a bit like a combination of my first two explanations, actually). So he’s taken that same tried-and-true approach to running the country, with very Arbusto-like results. So now he’s treading water, wondering why it’s taking so long for everything to work out great like it always does.

On the other hand, I’m sure Dubya will come out of the presidency better off than he was before, no matter how big a disaster he is, so maybe everything is going according to plan for him after all.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Iraq,Republicans,War


  • 1. HopeSpringsATurtle  |  March 5th, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Eli, I don’t know what the other version looked like but I like this one jus’ fine… I posted this a few days ago and believe this is why there is no ” plan B.” We never planned to leave. That simple. Gret pot, thanks.

  • 2. Eli  |  March 5th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Oh, I *know* we’re never going to leave, at least not while Bush is in office. I was just riffing on their idea that “because it has to” is a sufficient reason for something to work.

  • 3. charley  |  March 5th, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    now if they had just applied the Green Hornet plan everything would have turned out fine.

    i think hope turtle calls it. nonethelss, i imagine they thought it’d be smooth sailing. minor details. nuth’n to be worried about.

  • 4. elmo  |  March 5th, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    I like your angry side myself; furthermore, it’s needed in these times of peril, unfortunately. Hell, I’d be fine with a few more dashes of bitchslap as garnish.

    What I fear is that actually find Green Lantern’s, lantern. God helps us if that happens….

  • 5. Eli  |  March 5th, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    A plan to stay forever doesn’t really justify lack of a Plan B. if anything, just the opposite – if you’re planning to stay forever, then you need to make damn sure that everything works out and you’re not stuck in the middle of a neverending civil war or anti-American resistance. And right now we’ve pretty much got both.

    They’re as stupid as they are dishonest.

Contact Eli



Most Recent Posts




March 2007
« Feb   Apr »

Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter

View My Stats *