There’s been quite a bit of mild in-fighting amongst Dems on whether the Bushies are very religious, or if the Bushies were merely using the religious for their own political advantage. And frankly, I don’t see why we have to go all or nothing with this.
Take Bush, please. I have no doubts that he probably believes in some sort of a god fashioned from pieces of Christianity, and thinks this god is on his side. He’s a fairly simple guy, and like most simple people, he probably has a fairly simple idea of how the whole god thing works. And really, with the blessed life Bush has been given so far, he probably does at least have some reason to suspect that he was granted it from some higher power who had deemed him a deserving person; and it’s likely that he’d be thanking the powers above, rather than the dude below.
But does that mean that he really is a hardcore believer? That he’s actually dedicated his presidency to doing God’s work? Of course not. Because there isn’t one damn thing that’s hardcore about Bush. He’s a soft man with soft beliefs, and he believes whatever is convenient for him at the moment. Plus, he’s the type who likes to play dirty and connive always, and most likely relishes the opportunity to use God’s name when he needs stuff done. It’s like the icing on the cake.
And sure, a real god is likely to be very upset at such shenanigans, but Bush doesn’t have the intellectual depth to even comprehend such a deity. He sees God as the ultimate cheat, and he likes that best of all. He thinks he’s got God on his side, and so that it doesn’t matter if he’s fooling the other believers, or if he’s corrupting religion with his politics. And like most people, he doesn’t have the intellectual honesty to really compare these contrasting beliefs, and understand the problem.
So while he probably does really believe in God on some level, he is also abusing God on another. But rather than this being some sort of weird hang-up for the guy, I suspect that this is fairly typical among most Christians, and probably other beliefs as well. That they believe in God when it suits them, but then go on their own the rest of the time. That God is merely a device people use to rationalize their actions and opinions. And I suspect that your typical preacher or priest would largely be in agreement with that idea.
Getting High From Their Own Supply
And overall, this is the standard MO of your typical Republican. They are both believers and cynics. And while they know that they’re fooling people at some level, they also have to fool themselves too. And so rather than seeing this as a “Rove is a Liar, Joe Sixpack is being fooled” division, there is always some level of self-delusion at work in all of them.
And the whole thing really is a con-game. Each one of them fooling each other for their own advantage, while continuing to serve Kool-Aid to themselves. And while there is certainly a hierarchy of fools, at no point is there a non-believer in the batch. Even Karl Rove can get suckered into the Republican mindset. I have no doubts that he’s not religious, but even he has a soft-spot for the Republican Party. Even he wants to believe that it’s something bigger than the sham he continues to perpetuate, and sees his actions as being of the greater good.
Because nobody can really see themselves as the bad guy. No one wants to remember that they’re a fraud. They all have some justification for what they’re doing, and they all rationalize that they’re really the victims of all this. Even Karl Rove and President Bush. And that explains why they’re such a mixed-up and confused bunch, whose greatest successes will always set-up their biggest blunders, and why they will never feel confident in victory. Even winning the Whitehouse and Congress is merely a set-up for their “real” victory, which will continue to elude them as they’re really only competing against their own fears and failures which will continue to haunt them. That’s what drives them.
And if they could ever be consistent with what they actually believe, they needn’t fear victory as they do; nor would they be Republicans. That’s not to say that the Dems don’t have their share of self-delusionals, but if you’re in the business of fooling everyone and yourself, you’re probably going to pick the team that gains the most from such self-destructive trickery and which has an eager audience demanding the same. So it’s not just that Bush is running the False God Kool-Aid stand; he’s also a client.