Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, January 14, 2005

His Holiness the President

Its long been a matter of Roman Catholic dogma that the Pope (whoever it is) is infallible. But as we learned in the election our President also believes he's infallible himself. When asked to name a single mistake he'd made in a first term so plagued by screw ups that Congress did little else for a year than appoint commissions to "investigate" them all, he couldn't think of one mistake.

But now Bush is coming close to admitting that he might have been a little lacking in the compotence department. Alluding to the "Bring 'em on" comment and the "Wanted Dead or Alive" declaration re: Bin Laden, Bush said "I don't know if you'd call it a regret, but it certainly is a lesson that a president must be mindful of, that the words that you sometimes say. ... I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a confession, a regret, something." You can see the full story on CNN.com. Not exactly Mia Culpa but its about as close as we're going to get from a guy who decides to go to war after asking God but not his defense secretary.

On a side note related to recent debates....About 25% of the American voting population thinks George W. Bush is the paragon of morality and ethical behavior. To many Evangelicals, Bush is the living embodiment of one of Plato's Golden Guardians (of course they probably didn't read Plato but you know what I mean). They trust him implicitly in all matters of policy. Many of them believe his electoral successes were divinely mandated. And they believe that conforming to divine plans should be the ultimate measure of a just government, even if that means treading upon the sensativies (or rights) of less moral people like "terrorists" or "perverts" - sorry - "terrists" or "preverts".

5 comments:

Dr. Strangelove said...

Speaking of indirectly admitting incompetence... after a 2-year search, the Iraq Survey Group has finally closed up shop, having found no WMDs. In fact, the evidence strongly suggests that Iraq hadn't had any in over a decade. Without accepting any responsibility whatsoever, the Bush Administration is blaming it all on the intelligence officials--including, as John Stewart pointed out, the same George Tenet who Bush just awared the Medal of Freedom.

Despite this, I imagine that surveys will still show that most Republicans who voted for Bush still believe (isn't this stunning?) that Iraq had WMDs and that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks. The moral of the story: the "big lie" still works.

Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success.-Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Dr. Strangelove said...

George W. Bush's extremist pseudo-Christian views run in the family. I offer this choice quote from his father:

No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.- George H. W. Bush, August 27, 1987

...yet another reason why some people of good concience think that pernicious little phrase should be removed from Mammon's money.

Raised By Republicans said...

Amen!

The Law Talking Guy said...

For the record, papal infallibility is not a longstanding doctrine, nor a broad one. The doctrine was first announced at the First Vatican Council in 1870. The "Old Catholic Church", a.k.a. Utrecht Union, (German-speaking Catholics in parts of Central Europe, overseen by Archbishop of Utrecht for some reason) broke away from the Roman Catholic church over this doctrine at that time. It's a small sect today. They abolished priestly celibacy almost immediately, by the way.

The doctrine is that when the Pope speaks "ex cathedra" (from the bishop's chair) he is infallible. In practice, it means that he's infallible on the super-rare occasion that he says so. It has happened exactly twice. First, the definition of papal infallibility is, itself, considered infallible (nice work there). Second, in 1950, Pope Pius XII declared that Mary was taken up bodily into heaven, the "Assumption of Mary," as follows: "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things."

The fact Catholics are now required to believe, on pain of excommunication, that Mary was corporeally translated into some physical heaven (I dunno, near Titan?) is one of the many embarassments that Roman Catholicism is going to have to one day shed, or (like the fundamentalists who close their eyes and put their fingers in their ears when someone says 'dinosaur') they will find themselves consigned to history's loony bin.

It's rather nice that the only two actual instances of "Papal Infallibility" are respectively tautological and idiotic.

Raised By Republicans said...

"First, the definition of papal infallibility is, itself, considered infallible (nice work there)."

Or as in Australia..."Dispairaging the boot is a booting offense."

Again I point out the similarity between Papal logic and Bush logic. Two anti-modern conservative peas in a pod I suppose.