. . . Wednesday October 20, 2004

The Burning Bush Needs to Keep Better Company

If a guy tells you that god spoke to him and gave him an itemized preview of upcoming events, then maybe you don’t want him coming by to offer his advice on world affairs.

The big political news today is that Pat Robertson is out describing a meeting he had with President Bush prior to the Iraq war.

“And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, ‘Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.’”

The President responded:

“Oh, no, we’re not going to have any casualties.”

Robertson was surprised. Why? He explains:

“I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy. I warned him about casualties.”

Correct me if I’m wrong here. But by the global standards of the almighty, this hardly qualifies as a disaster. Is Robertson suggesting that god was off on his prediction? And wouldn’t god lead with messy and then build up to disaster? That’s the more effective messaging structure and no one can argue with the fact that god really knows how to build buzz.

Hey, I wonder if maybe god didn’t actually speak to Robertson? Nah.

The focal point of this story is the obvious fact that if the quotes from Bush (President, not the Burning) are accurate, then W is totally out of his mind. And there’s no reason to doubt the accuracy of the quotes because Robertson is a major Bush backer and seems to tell this story with some sense of pride in his man in Oval Office. There is also no reason to doubt this story because everything Bush told us about the Iraq war and nearly every move he made turned out to be wrong. He celebated victory years ahead of schedule and he predicted our allies would join in the fight once the major combat had ended.

There is a more important part of the story. It’s this. This is an administration that has made a habit of ignoring outside (and sometimes inside) expert opinions. They have celebrated this quality in themselves. And yet a quack like Robertson who quotes from his conversations with the almighty (and can share an anecdote like the one above without even realizing its horror) is invited to sit down for a chat. The fact that Robertson even has an audience with the president (even if W ignored him on this one) is as scary as any exchange that took place during their discussion.

Wake up, America.

There’s still time for John Kerry to release his winning slogan:

Concentration is important!