|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Tuesday, October 19th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|We have watched a President use the enormous power of his office to erode civil liberties, pollute the environment, encourage business corruption and fraud, weaken the barriers between church and state, diminish science, dilute education, derogate our allies, and destroy, by violating the fundamental principals of reason, honor, and decency on which the nation was founded, our good name in the world. And yet we can agree with this President on one important point. “It’s not complicated!” Mr. Bush keeps repeating, and he’s right.
The pundits parse every bloviation uttered by both campaigns, news accounts dutifully record every movement in the polls, the likely voting habits of voters across the nation are studied more carefully than bird watchers observing a rare species at nesting time, but Mr. Bush is correct: it isn’t complicated. Voters have a choice between re-electing the worst President in our history, or not. It doesn’t get any more elemental than this.
Because we are not merely contemplating another four years of misrule. The next President might have as many as four Supreme Court appointments in his gift. Mr. Bush has already made it clear that he views Justices Scalia and Thomas as pattern supremes, so we know in advance what he’ll do with his appointments. We know enough about Scalia and Thomas to anticipate the prospect of four of their clones joining them on the highest court. Six Justices committed to rolling back every gain we have made in social justice over the past half-century, as detailed in the People for the American Way report, Courting Disaster.* Six Justices whose appointments are for life. The present generation calls STDs the “gift that keeps on giving.” That would also be a fair description of a second Bush term.
The Afternoon Affront
In a superb New York Times Magazine piece about the Bushian point of view**, which divides the world between the “reality-based community” and the “faith-based community” Ron Suskind cites the business school case study method as contributing to Mr. Bush’s rigid cast of mind. Mr. Suskind is right to see B school cases as artificial constructs, rather like parables, designed to suggest the correct way by illuminating the false. But just as with parables, only a fool would interpret the lessons drawn from a case study as literal truths. The case method is supposed to teach analytical techniques and habits of thought that can be applied in a general way to many different kinds of problems. So, for non-zealots at least, do parables. If only fools read parables and case studies literally, and Mr. Bush does both, what does that make Mr. Bush?
©J.C. Nossiter, 2004
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