Readers React to Bush/Alpha Story
May 18, 2006
Editor's Note: The story Bush: Alpha Male on the Cruise Ship has prompted a number of interesting comments from readers. A sample is below:
"Unlike alpha males in the wild, Bush has managed
to mark out his
territory knowing that virtually nobody - not another head of state nor a
private citizen - is in any position to contest his supremacy."
This is entirely a bluff on his part. The issue remains that he has
accomplished so little in comparison to those around him that he must
poke fun at them, denigrating himself in the process. Earlier yesterday,
I responded to a piece put out by CBS, referencing George's being a lame
duck. While I went on about his having been essentially mollycoddled by
all and sundry, his appealing to everyone's liberal tendencies by which
they can spread around some of that Christian charity and sense of
selflessness, this is exactly what he expects having been born into
privilege and then proven that he may be among the worst of those
pretending to entitlement. And he knows this. He's his own best joke.
Most of those around him have either made their own ways in their chosen
careers or been suitably placed to draft off of those who remain loyal if
only because they have nowhere else to go. Rove, the "Brain," is one of
the latter, one who failed to complete his own education while being a
thug for those without the stomach to do their own dirty work. The end
result is having the corporeal Bush and the cerebral Rove containing all
kinds of resentment for those who have actually achieved something of
value in their lives. Of course, the two of them having been long well-
positioned became privy to all kinds of inside and private information
later used to scratch and crawl their ways to the top. We saw this in
South Carolina in the 2000 primary season against McCain.
George's remarks about Howard or anyone else depend upon his guests being the straight man to his goofiness, not much different than what one would expect from a Martin-Lewis routine. Or a Richard Pryor/vanilla audience pairing. Or any comical character in an otherwise polite setting. Pick a Stooge and a pie. His success has largely depended on his parental
support structure, coming to his aid whenever there's been a problem.
Delinquency is something that few of those around him should find
surprising, especially since many of them have been caretakers or nannies
during his supposed wilder dayze. Now, he has the Secret Service, the
top flight enablers. Those like Limbaugh or Rove or Hannity or any of
the other marginally academically-minded personalities will always come
to his rescue if only because they have only slightly less respect for an
educated person than George does.
George remains the Omega Male, thinking that because he's backwards at
the end of the line, he's the one who's leading from the front. There
have been too many instances of this being proven, what with the up side
down or inside out thinking that passes for leadership. Whether it's his
claim to being morally superior or his facility with his native tongue
(and does he mangle Spanish?) or serving his conservative Republican
base, the principles he ran on for the first selection have been inverted
and subverted. Opportunism is key to his survival, saying what needs to
be said at the time he says it, only to be flippity-floppity flippant
about it later on. The flash cube moment when he was looking for those
WMDs in the Oval Office attests to his not being serious about his
positions. The only thing that he has not done -- publicly -- is inspect
the coffins of the returned deceased GIs to verify that Saddam Hussein
didn't hide the banned devices therein. But. No one knows who goes into
the mortuary or what goes on. Or when.
Needless to say, his heedless sayings are indicative of a troubled soul,
ensuring others are put on the defensive before he becomes the butt of
one of their humourous remarks. This comes from his inability to
appreciate the seriousness of his position, further evidenced by his lack
of moderation and perspective when dealing with subordinates and his
reported use of inflammatory or profane language. He has perhaps not
realised that his existential lot is to be the Universal practical joke,
showing the super- or hyperpower what happens when power is absolutely
Of course, there is no shortage of puns, jokes, humourous remarks, or
jibes directed at George, regardless of the situation or circumstance in
which he is found. Even his recent address to the World concerning
immigration this week showed him almost dwarfed by the desk behind which
he sat. Rather than bringing the camera closer and framing him as a
larger presence on screen, he looked almost childlike, sitting at daddy's
desk, pretending to be filling his father's role, even to the point of
using the trademark Bush hand gestures. It appeared as though this was a
repeat of something he may have done in the 1980ies when he had earlier
access to the Oval Office.
Without belabouring the point, his comedicity is merely a bluff, masking
his too-well-known realisation that he is always the life of the party
and any jabs at guests are merely ice-breakers for everyone else to begin
the banter. Who knows? Perhaps Howard is privately self-conscious about
his lack of hair and making a ridiculing remark was intended to make him
less ill at ease, more conscious of his being embarrassed in front of the
World but less so about his naked scalp. Perhaps it was a signal that he
would be happy to not have been scalped. Somewhere in between? The
jokes are still funny if only because the teller gets the laughs, being
laughed at and not with.
Grand Forks, ND, US of A
George Bush---alpha male? Come on! You guys must
have never been in locker room! George Bush is a preppy boy whose ( say ) towel
snapping antics would have gotten him knocked on his ass in any self respecting
middle school is--not an alpha male.
Let's face it. We have become so screwed as a country that when (politically) right headed folks like yourselves view/see Geo Bush as an alpha male, we're fucked. Real alphas do not squander blood, ever. They are strong. fair, smart
leaders---check any wolf pack for references.
Having a president of the US like Bush says more about us than it does about him.
L. John Miller
I think it's finally time for us to face the facts about Bush and recognize that we are dealing with a psychopath having psychotic episodes with dissocial personality disorder:
Psychopathy is most commonly diagnosed using Robert D. Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Hare describes psychopaths as, "intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.
Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired. Persons experiencing a psychotic episode may experience hallucinations, hold delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), demonstrate personality changes and exhibit disorganized thinking (see thought disorder). This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of such behavior, difficulties with social interaction and impairments in carrying out the activities of daily living. A psychotic episode is often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality".
Dissocial Personality Disorder (F60.2), usually coming to attention because of a gross disparity between behavior and the prevailing social norms, and characterized by:
There may also be persistent irritability as an associated feature. Conduct disorder during childhood and adolescence, though not invariably present, may further support the diagnosis.
It took the German people and the world a long time to come to the conclusion that they were dealing with a "Psychotic God" named Adolph Hitler, and it's no different for us in America. But I think the writing is on the proverbial wall for all the world to see. But somebody's got to have the courage to tell the gawkers the emperor is naked.
I'd love to see you or somebody else line up the relevant episodes to support the claims and either paste in textbook definitions or interview with an insightful practitioner of the psychiatric arts and sciences. Will you please think it over? I think it would get wide circulation.
As a retired psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, I
disagree somewhat. I believe Bush' behavior, at least what has been
reported, is that of a supremely insecure individual who finds
superficial pleasure in putting others down in order to make himself
feel (only very temporarily) better. This nastiness is a hallmark of
the family, clearly the way his mother treated her children probably
while rationalizing it as a proper child-rearing technique. Bush lacks
empathy for the suffering of others, probably because he really lacks
empathy for his own suffering. He certainly was never afforded an
opportunity as a growing child to realize and articulate the
shortcomings of his parents, especially the marked sadism of his
mother. As a result, the things that have caused him pain such as
feelings of academic inferiority, the inability to speak clearly, his
apparent inability to read much, the lack of intellectual curiosity and
a consequent shallowness of understanding are dealt with by
arbitrariness, impulsiveness, secretiveness and the omnipresent
nastiness towards others. He truly appears to be a person who is
incapable of reflecting on the facts, whether they relate to his own
feelings about himself and others or about the affairs of the nation
and the world. He can't think, because to do so exposes him to the
realization that he really doesn't know much and would have to turn to
others to expand his knowledge. He can't do that because that makes
him feel inadequate, which I think he's struggled with his whole life.
The net result is that he must live in his own cocoon, surrounded only
by sycophants who repeat the mantras he needs to hear. He himself
pathetically repeats the same things endlessly no matter that they
become farther and farther removed from reality. E.g., his repeated
"reassurance" to the country that "as the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand
down." This in spite of mountains of evidence that at the present rate
of change, the U.S with these policies will have to remain in Iraq for
many years. You get the idea. The real interesting question is why so
many (30% of the electorate?) apparently needs to continue to maintain
a belief in presidential infallibility in the face of mountains of
evidence to the contrary. We just seem to need to believe in God.
Donald Broder, M.D.
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