The Madness Of King George
By Harley Sorensen
San Francisco Chronicle
Monday 7 July 2003
Folks, our God-fearing president, George W. Bush, who claims to start every morning on his knees praying, now says that he gets his orders from God Himself.
I kid you not.
I refer you to June 24 article by Arnon Regular in Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper. In the last paragraph of that article there's a Bush quote as related by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. Here, according to Abbas and Ha'aretz, is what Bush said:
God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you can help me I will act, andif not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.
That quote doesn't make clear whether God issues direct orders to Bush, or whether they discuss things first. but I'd guess discussions. It's hard to imagine God deciding anything of importance without without first getting input from Bush.
Over the years I've met a handful of people who regularly talk with God, but they usually do so only when they're off their medications.
Those who get instructions directly from the Almighty are twice blessed: They get their orders from the Highest Authority, and the orders are always to do what they would have done anyway.
Getting direct orders from God makes a president's life simpler. If God has spoken, the president doesn't have to observe the niceties with which presidents usually contend, things like getting congressional approval or United Nations agreement.
Bush's very own personal God connection explains a lot of things. Like Bush s disinterest in global warming.
Why should our duly elected president concern himself with global warming when God Himself has said, "Don't worry, be happy"?
Do you see how it works? With God in your corner, it matters not what you do, because God will protect you.
OK, I've been shilly-shallying around here, hesitant to come right out and say what I think, but I'm becoming convinced that our president, the man with his finger on the nuclear trigger, is a bona fide nutcase.
I really do. For him to say God told him to strike al-Qaida is just nutso. For him to say God told him to strike at Saddam, ditto. This guy is not dealing with a full deck.
To me, Bush's sanity has been suspect for a long time. He does so many things that defy logic, like his infamous tax cuts, approved by a thoroughly cowed Congress.
It doesn't make sense to reduce your income while increasing your spending and plunging into massive debt.
His blithe attitude toward the public debt he is creating indicates a failure to grasp reality.
His cavalier entry into two wars within two years, in total disregard of world opinion on the second one, indicates a man who just doesn't care what anyone thinks. Now that his ill-planned schemes in Afghanistan and Iraq are coming apart, I sense a bit of panic in the man.
Bush knew what everyone knew, that our armies could conquer. But he had no idea whether they, or anyone, could maintain a peace in nations as splintered as Afghanistan and Iraq. They can't. They're not trained for that. That's not their mission.
Bush is a good salesman, which is almost certainly why his father s friends chose him to be the front man for the Republican Party. He's a charmer, no doubt of that. Because of his sales ability, he was able to convince most Americans that war with Iraq was a necessity.
But America needs more than a slick salesman to lead the world. We need, at the very least, a man with mental stability. We don't have that with Bush. His rapid rise to power, without truly earning it as most presidents before him have done, has gone to his head.
So what we have in the White House today is a megalomaniac with a messianic complex, a man who believes that he and he alone can resolve the world s problems.
"I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East," he said. I, I,I, I, I! With Bush it's always "I." In a job that requires great humility, we have an egomaniac.
I don't expect many people to agree with my armchair psychoanalysis of a man I've never met. We don't like to admit that important people are crazy, or even that our relatives are crazy. Typically, we overlook their bizarre behavior until it gets so bizarre we can't ignore it anymore.
So, all I ask is that you pay attention. A man who claims to get orders from God, and who creates world-shaking events on the basis of those orders," needs watching.
Harley Sorensen is a longtime journalist and liberal iconoclast. His column appears Mondays. E-mail him at