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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Loyalität Über Alles

Loyalty over everything. That's our man Bushy. Just ask Medal of Freedom winners George "slam Dunk" Tenent, or Paul "where is that $8.8bn" Bremer. Bush loves his friends above all. His pals can do no wrong, people just don't understand them.

Is been clear for years that Bush's political judgement is based on belief and loyalty. Recently Palmeiro's positive steroid test gives us a good look inside Bushy's head and how belief and loyalty fits into his world.

"Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him," Bush said Monday. "He's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him. Still do."

William Douglas of Knight Ridder Newspapers writes: Bush's loyalty raises doubts about his political judgment

Bush's loyalty to his friends extends from the baseball diamond to the White House, where he's backed beleaguered Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who's mired in an investigation over who leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer, and to John Bolton, whom Bush appointed ambassador to the United Nations despite Senate reservations.

But the president's quick and unequivocal defense of Palmeiro - who's now the subject of a congressional investigation - has raised questions about whether Bush's loyalty undercuts his political judgment.

"It seems that President Bush is falling into the Nixon trap - his administration can do no wrong. His allies and people who support him can do no wrong," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. "Palmeiro is above suspicion, Rove is not to be questioned, John Bolton is a stand-up guy.

It's all about belief. Thinking about, never mind processing, the facts doesn't matter - what matters is loyalty and from that loyalty stems an unflinching belief. It's like religion or a cult - conflicting information is put aside, facts are ignored, and belief is paramount.

Mark Kleiman concurs
So when Bush said, of Palmeiro's denial that he had ever used steroids, "I believe him," he can't have meant what philosophers, scientists, engineers, and other members of the reality-based community mean by "belief": an opinion about the world-as-it-is, formed (at least in principle) after the weighing of evidence.

No, he meant more or less what adherents to religious creeds mean by "belief" or "faith." In this usage, belief isn't a cognitive function, it's an act of will. In Bush's mind, and the minds of his supporters, he wasn't, other than incidentally, making a claim about the real world. He was, rather, taking a position, and a position loyal to his friend.

As I said here - "They don't "think" they "believe" and fighting belief with facts is impossible".

It's all about loyalty to people and loyalty to belief. It pervades the whole Iraq mis-adventure. They really believed we would be greeted with flowers and candy. It flows from the top to rest of BushCo and it's become typical of the Repugnics as a whole. It's playground games - belief beats fact like rock beats scissors - not even seeing that scissors are magnificent tools, little connected swords if you will, and when used correctly they can easily beat rocks. Trying to crack through this belief shell is getting increasingly more difficult. Presenting more facts that fly in the face of the misguided beliefs seems to only tighten the grip on the belief. But that's typical of a fear based cult that uses belief to try and overcome ever-increasing insurmountable facts