In their world, it’s all about making each other rich, and that’s the right thing to do. That’s why they’re in government. What was behind Bush’s pathetic attempt to privatize Social Security but a massive planned handout of play money to Wall Street? And hey, as long as Halliburton and Bechtel and Blackwater are making money out of the Iraq War, why the hell call it off? So a few thousand poor grunts die in the process, so what?
Dick Cheney’s recent conversational to-and-fro with a reporter bears repeating.
Reporter: “Two-thirds of the American people think the war in Iraq wasn’t worth fighting.”
Cheney (big smile): “So?”
Reporter (shocked): “So? You don’t care what the American people think?”
Cheney: “No. I think you can’t be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”
There you have it. That’s the responsible-to-nobody arrogance of the American CEO in a nutshell.
Bill Clinton had all the character of a dry cow dung patty, but Bush-Cheney went one further: they’re bad characters. One can characterize the Bush presidency as a timeline of little lies, medium lies and whoppers, starting with lying us into a war that even Bush doesn’t remember why he started. Also, we now know that Cheney, Rumsfeld, and fellow-travelers Condi Rice and Colin Powell actually sat around in meetings after 9/11 deciding what methods of torture should be used on any terrorists they caught. Nobody, it appears, for a moment said: “Hey, guys, what the hell are we doing? This is wrong. We’re Americans, not the Spanish Inquisition. We shouldn’t let the terrorists make us as bad as they are.” No. In fact, Cheney told the media we have to “work the dark side.” In other words, we have to do knowingly wrong.
An insight into Bush’s character is revealed in General Sanchez 'new book, where he remembers this outburst from Bush giving a confused pep talk to his top generals and national security people:
“Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to set us up for withdrawal. There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”