Straight-up, I’ll just tell you that this is a filler post because I think I need to write something today. But here it goes. I once read that Bush tried to convince his dad to not concede defeat to Clinton because he was somehow hoping that Sr. would magically pull out a win. I also read once that Bush used to force his opponents to continue playing tennis and basketball against him, until he’d finally pull out a win. Maybe it wasn’t both basketball and tennis or Clinton, I can’t remember and I’m fairly drunk and won’t bother looking it up; but the point remains clear. The guy just doesn’t like to admit defeat. In fact, he hates it. He hates it, hates it, hates it. That’s just the kind of guy he is.
And now he’s dragging our nation down further, hoping somehow to pull out some kind of win in Iraq. And even more importantly, somehow pulling out a win here politically; because that’s all he really cares about. If everyone here in America would forget about Iraq, he’d be perfectly happy. In fact, I’m sure he’d like nothing better than to be back in Crawford, eating some nice BBQ and talking about how great it was to be president. But as long as he’s in the Whitehouse and we keep talking about it, he’s stuck trying to find a way to win it.
Because he just can’t admit defeat. He hates it. It doesn’t matter if his admission won’t have any influence whatsoever on whether he’ll actually win, or if he might just make things worse for himself by continuing the charade. All that matters is that he continues things as long as possible, hoping, praying, dreaming that things might turn out better. That he might just somehow pull-out a win. But it’s not actually about turning the tide and making things work. It’s just about drawing out the admission of defeat for as long as possible, and he doesn’t matter how absurd it is or who gets hurt.
Having his dad hold-out on the concession of defeat would have done nothing to help him, and would have made him look bad. And every one of his opponents knew exactly what he was doing by not allowing them to end on a high note against Bush. But that wasn’t the point. It wasn’t about finding a win out of a loss or turning lemons to lemonade. It was about Bush preserving his self-image. Not necessarily as an eternal winner who never loses, but as a perseverer who never quits. He may lose, but he’ll be damned if he allows anyone to think he loses gracefully.
And so we stay in Iraq, and possibly get in war with Iran, and he’ll just keep doing it. He doesn’t care. It’s not about winning. It’s about ego. It’s about self-image. And he might hurt his reputation in the short and long-term, but he’ll preserve his self-image. He didn’t give-up. He didn’t go easy. He dragged it on until the end, and even then kept on pushing. He’d like to have quit a long time ago, but as long as people keep paying attention to his losses, he’s stuck fighting against them in vain. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the whole world watching or just the poor dope he’s playing tennis against; he can’t allow anyone to think he’s someone who loses on a regular basis. Instead, it’s very important that he show them how extraordinary it is that he’s losing. Because everyone loses. But only losers become accustomed to it.
So long after history has written-off Bush as a complete disaster, he’ll retain his own dignity as a guy that didn’t quit. As a guy who normally was successful. He may have done severe damage to America’s reputation for decades and seriously crippled our economic prospects, but he’ll know he kept things going strong until the end. And for a mental cripple like him, that’s all that really counts. It’s not about winning. It’s about never admitting defeat. And I can kind of relate. Not only did I used to be a sore loser as a child, but I myself have just turned a lame filler post into a somewhat respectable one on Bush psychology. I hadn’t meant to, but I just kept on typing until one came out. I think it was the booze talking. If only we had someone as bright as booze to talk for Bush.