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The Case for George W. Bush

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Tom Junod, the Esquire writer whose powerful piece The Falling Man was featured at LGF last September, has written a new essay that tries to come to grips with Bush Derangement Syndrome—from the viewpoint of a sufferer: The Case for George W. Bush. (Hat tip: Baldilocks.)

As easy as it is to say that we can’t abide the president because of the gulf between what he espouses and what he actually does, what haunts me is the possibility that we can’t abide him because of us—because of the gulf between his will and our willingness. What haunts me is the possibility that we have become so accustomed to ambiguity and inaction in the face of evil that we find his call for decisive action an insult to our sense of nuance and proportion.

The people who dislike George W. Bush have convinced themselves that opposition to his presidency is the most compelling moral issue of the day. Well, it’s not. The most compelling moral issue of the day is exactly what he says it is, when he’s not saying it’s gay marriage. The reason he will be difficult to unseat in November—no matter what his approval ratings are in the summer—is that his opponents operate out of the moral certainty that he is the bad guy and needs to be replaced, while he operates out of the moral certainty that terrorists are the bad guys and need to be defeated. The first will always sound merely convenient when compared with the second. Worse, the gulf between the two kinds of certainty lends credence to the conservative notion that liberals have settled for the conviction that Bush is distasteful as a substitute for conviction—because it’s easier than conviction.

Those are terrific insights. Read it all; Junod is very much in the grip of BDS, yet he seems to want to recover.

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