Bad Faith

With the Bush administration, we have a government that runs on a toxic combination of faith and greed. The first covers the amorality and corruption of the latter. Have you heard any the exchanges at Dubya’s prayer meetings – Oops, I mean intimate gathering with Christians – Oops I mean voters. “I want to thank you for stepping up,” the faithful declare, and our prez chuckles. Oh he is loved by his flock: “Thank you for taking on the immorality of the secularists, the gays, the scientists, Thank you!”

No wonder their policies are so incompentent, in such a staggering variety of ways. Faith greases a lot of human endeavor, not just the struggles of the spirit. It’s a grease for reason, argument, it motivates the drive to find common ground. Faith turns insight into policy, but it is, fundamentally, faith in reason. This administration has turned its back on that faith. “Harumph,” says Laura Bush, “Who knows whether this stem cell science will result in any useful treatments at all!” Yes, who knows – and if you don’t believe in science, not knowing the result of the experiment is sufficient reason to cancel it.

A corollary to this disdain for reason is the incredible arrogance of one administration official after another in hacking data in order to feed the base & accumulate power. A good example is from the disheartening current series in the WashPo, called “The Fine Print”, in which they introduce

the Data Quality Act, a little-known piece of legislation that, under President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget, has become a potent tool for companies seeking to beat back regulation.

Using perversion of technical standards to gut policies that are based on technical standards! Over and over at the heart of it all there’s just a staggering amount of bad faith: Government as charade. It’s as if they don’t think they live in a real world. Certainly the lack of planning for post-war Iraq showed an extraordinary disdain for the world outside their talking points. Condi and Dubya have their ‘chemistry’ – so how could it matter that neither knows a thing about the Middle-East. Pshaw on such quibbles. The Administration hired for the Occupation from a stack of resumes acquired by the Heritage Foundation, with no screening for any other qualification. Of course they dumped the State Department studies on the the post-war challenges, which were put together by many knowledgeable people.

The most potent mystery is how our country could have produced such a bunch of idiots and swallowed their lies for so long. Is it the corporate media? Suburban culture? 9-11 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?