Monday, February 13, 2006
BushCo. Bunker Mentality and Defining Liberals as the "Other"
Now, in order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required -- a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a "liberal," regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based. And the more one criticizes him, by definition, the more "liberal" one is. Whether one is a "liberal" -- or, for that matter, a "conservative" -- is now no longer a function of one's actual political views, but is a function purely of one's personal loyalty to George Bush.While the example of Andrew Sullivan is quite apt, this is attitude of alienation seems to permeate the utterances of BushCo. Despite BushCo. having almost no meaningful reins on their political actions, they act oppressed and horrified by any criticism. That is, when any criticism can actually reach the ears of the inner circles.
One can see this principle at work most illustratively in how Bush followers talk about Andrew Sullivan. In the couple of years after 9/11, Bush followers revered Sullivan, as he stood loyally behind Bush, providing the rhetorical justifications for almost every Bush action. And even prior to the Bush Administration, Sullivan was a fully accepted member of the conservative circle. Nobody questioned the bona fides of his conservative credentials because he ascribed to the conservative view on almost every significant political issue.
Despite not having changed his views on very many, if any, of those issues, Sullivan is now frequently called a "liberal" (at best) when he is talked about by Bush followers. What has changed are not his political views or ideological orientation. Instead, he no longer instinctively and blindly praises George Bush, but periodically, even frequently, criticizes Bush. By definition, then, he is no longer a "conservative."
This attitude of antagonism for the least criticism explains the BushCo. tactic so dear to them: Only speaking to crowds of sycophants who have pledged slavish loyalty to any and all utterances from Glorious Leader Bush.