Nattering Nabobs of PositivismFormer Veep Spiro Agnew once referred to the press as "nattering nabobs of negativism". Little did Nixon's Vice Criminal-in-Chief know that many years later the country would see the mirror image of those infamous words come alive. With his cowboy-chic and cocksure manner, Dubya and his posse are the living embodiment of "nattering nabobs of positivism". To hear them tell it, they've never made a bad decision. When faced with facts to the contrary they simply change the subject or carry on with the charade by telling everyone how wonderfully aromatic the stinking pig du jour really is.
Dub and his Cabal of the Inept finagled the country into a war, then proceeded to muck it up worse than the French mucked up WWII. Before the wheels came off the bus, he spent three years giving a bucket full of excessively positive reports on turning corners, great leaps toward democracy, and a country well on it's way to becoming the shining beacon of democracy in a hotbed of islamofacist snakes who tried to kill Daddy. And when those pronouncements could be seen as nothing but abject failure, he decided another 21,500 troops would turn the tide and win him the victory he long ago lost.
How Very Optimistic
How very optimistic of him. He remains cheerfully optimistic that things are going just swell. He's equally optimistic about global warning, health care reform, and that the cook will whip up some asskickin' chili for dinner - "Pull mah finger Turdblossom". He says he sleeps well. He says he has no doubts that he will prevail in the War of Error. The man is a walking bundle of crackpot pollyanna and as optimistic as Dan Quayle at a spelling bee with a dictionary. I'm convinced he truly believes the Gulf Coast has become the southern nexus of prosperity he envisioned as he looked down from his leather seat on Air Force One during his flyby - probably thinks he can run for a third term too.
Don't get me wrong, positivism is a great asset. It's what gets formidable figures through the rough spots of history. Churchill had to believe Britain would win. The Comeback Kid had to believe he could come back before he could actually make the comeback. Kennedy rescued his PT boat crew after a Japanese destroyer cut his boat in half. Without that optimism, his crew would've drowned and none of us would have ever heard of Lee Harvey Oswald. To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, "I knew Kennedy. And Dub, you're no Kennedy. Hell, you're barely Warren G. Harding."
I'm never quite sure where his inexhaustible supply of pathologically sunshiny optimism comes from. Certainly there's a dash of hubris there. When you truly believe you're God's chosen one, it's easier to believe you can actually part the Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds. There's denial certainly, probably from a childhood where all the other rich kids looked down on him because Barb and George were only stinking rich instead of obscenely rich. After all, I wouldn't want to admit such a thing, would you? I'm sure his struggles for sobriety helped too. Pulling himself out of the bottle was a big undertaking. Without that dedication the twins wouldn't be the Hooters Girls they are today.
Diving in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool
But perhaps the biggest factor comes from his dip in the shallow end of the family gene pool. Daddy was an optimistic guy who found only the best intentions in this wicked, wicked world. That's why we have seen at least 27 of the thousand points of light he believed would catch the country afire. That's why he believed he could pass tax cuts by simply calling them "user fees". That's why Grandma-in-Chief Bar believes her mind is so beautiful she need not think of messy things like refugees living in a football stadium. Yup, self-delusion is a strong motivator in Clan Bush and it seems to have trickled down to the prodigal sun like a genetic supply-side tax cut for the rich.
While optimism may be a wonderful attribute, self-delusion isn't usually so helpful. It may make the owner of it feel better about himself, but it's a real buzzkill for the rest of us. So, we have two choices - pick up the delusional banner and march to the beat of a broken drum or hunker down to wait the delusional bastard out so we can rebuild the dysfunctional and delusion world the nattering nabob plunged us into.
There's only one thing I'm optimistic about these days - he'll soon be gone. Just don't call me a nattering nabob of positivism, I'm sure things will get much worse before they get any better.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, February 02, 2007