More than anything, recent Bush-bashing arguments made by Andrew Sullivan and Peggy Noonan, along with many other conservatives who are dumping Bush now that he’s unpopular, are just evidence of why we shouldn’t blindly trust the president. Not just this president, but any president. As I’ve said many times before, the best way to get someone to act honestly is to treat them as if they’ll be dishonest; and the best way to get screwed-over is to trust them. And these people are all testifying to that fact. Bush could only do these things because folks like Sully and Noonan trusted them. And remember, of course, that they saw us as disloyal because we didn’t trust Bush.
And in a way, they really screwed Bush over. By trusting in him, they gave him the rope that he could use to hang himself…and the rest of the country. Because all he saw was a free-lunch. He could say and do anything, and these dopes would go right along with it and serve as loyal attack dogs against anyone who disagreed. And that was the first screwing over, because he never learned to see that there were consequences to his actions. Sure, it’s most likely that that’s how his whole life was; but he might have learned a lesson against that, had these people not trusted him earlier. Had they demanded to know his specific plans for Iraq and acted skeptically about them, they would have realized that there were no real plans; only fantasies. And it’s unlikely that we would ever have gone to war; and Bush would have saved himself from the ruin he now faces.
And now they’re giving him the second part of that screwing, by abandoning him now that everything’s gone to shit. Their trust wasn’t nearly as infinite as they had led him to believe, and probably only lasted as long as Bush remained popular. Even a few dips in popularity could be dismissed. But now that it’s obvious that Bush is in downward spiral with no plan of getting out, they’re running away as quickly as they can, leaving him holding the bill that they helped ring-up.
But again, the main point of this isn’t that Bush betrayed them or their principles, as they’d like to believe. The main point is that their entire way of doing things was wrong. And the wrongest, was in trusting in Bush. But again, it’s not just him. It’s stupid to blindly trust anyone. As I recently criticized from Sully, they used the stupid “trust, but verify” idea, and it didn’t work. Because that’s no way of doing things. You can’t just wait until after you’ve been screwed over to verify whether you’ve been screwed over; because then, it’s too late. You’re already screwed!
Sure, sometimes trust is necessary. But in matters of Iraq, anti-terrorism, deficits, etc.; trust wasn’t necessary. Not if Bush was being honest. Trust was only required because he was lying and taking a gamble with our future. He didn’t tell us the truth because he couldn’t; not if he wanted to go ahead with his plans. And trust was the only way he could do it. But it’s not his fault, necessarily. If you trust your dog and leave a juicy steak on the counter, it’s not the dog’s fault for eating it; it’s yours. And these people proudly left all of our steaks on the counter while scolding us for not having more steaks to give.
And beyond that, they didn’t verify jackshit either. The evidence continued to mount that Bush couldn’t be trusted, but they kept doing so anyway. And that just kept telling Bush that he could do whatever he wanted with impunity. He could hire political hacks instead of competent administrators. He could run huge deficits and scoff at the worry-warts worrying about them. He could enact policies which went exactly against his rhetoric, and speechify about things he was planning to ignore. And all because these dopes trusted in him.
But again, this isn’t to vilify Bush, who needs no vilifying. Or even to denounce the idiot conservatives like Noonan and Sully who will blindly believe anything they want to; whether that it’s that they should trust Bush or blame Bush, it’s whatever they need it to be. Because they’ve constantly got their eye on the prize and only occasionally check to see if reality is corresponding with what they think they’re seeing. No, it’s pretty much hopeless with these people. But our only hope is that people start to see these people for the nonsense dummies that they really are; and stop taking them seriously. They cannot be trusted to reason properly and if anyone places their trust in these trusting dopes, they deserve everything they’ve got coming to them. Unfortunately, all of those things are lofted upon us too, including the blame.