. . . Sunday October 17, 2004

Sunday in the Dark with George

In his piece, Without a Doubt, Ron Suskind describes a president who has an unquestioning certainty about world issues, based primarily in his religious faith. We see a president who is often sure of facts that are wildly wrong (he mistakes Sweden for Switzerland and defends his position until there are no more objectors).

This will be one of those pieces that some folks want to soil as being a liberal hit job. It will probably be controversial. But it shouldn’t be.

In fact, aside from the specific details, no one should be very surprised by anything in this article. Anyone who is paying any attention knows that this president is not an intellectually curious guy. And everyone knows that blind loyalty must appear above intellectual honesty on the resumes of those who work closely with him.

And the fact that Bush is driven primarily by religious faith is the least surprising aspect of all. He has displayed this repeatedly. And he has told us that this is the case. During the third debate, Bush told us that he believes he is doing the work of the Almighty. During the second debate, he made a reference to Dred Scott in order to send a message of unity to the evangelical right to lifers. When it came to the biggest decision of his presidency, he told us he sought no advice from his own father (the former president with the most expertise in building a coalition against the same foe) and instead looked to a higher father. He “accidentally” referred to our war against terror as a crusade.

No. There is nothing surprising in this article. What is surprising is that half of this country feels OK about all of this. Much more than OK. The other surprise is that so many people who find this troubling don’t really want to allow themselves to believe that we are entering an age where science, evolution and secularism will come under increasing attacks.

Concentration is important!