[lbo-talk] Why Bush hasn't been impeached

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at jhu.edu
Tue May 22 07:15:55 PDT 2007

Why Bush hasn't been impeached Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves.

By Gary Kamiya



But there's a deeper reason why the popular impeachment movement has never taken off -- and it has to do not with Bush but with the American people. Bush's warmongering spoke to something deep in our national psyche. The emotional force behind America's support for the Iraq war, the molten core of an angry, resentful patriotism, is still too hot for Congress, the media and even many Americans who oppose the war, to confront directly. It's a national myth. It's John Wayne. To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness -- come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we're not ready to do that.

[WS:] That is a very insightful piece, indeed. However, this phenomenon is not limited to American warmongering. It is almost universal human reaction in face of vague threat and uncertainty, especially where there is not much a society can do to effectively deal with the danger. Lashing out is a ritualistic reaction against a perceived enemy that is outside the society reach - be it a foreign terrorist or a domestic criminal. It is an of the "domestication of evil" - creating an illusion that after all something can be done about it. It does not matter that such an illusion is completely false and groundless as long as it creates an appearance that "we have power, "we" are in control, "we" are in the driver's seat. That illusion gives us a peace of mind.

That is why fear-mongering has been and will be an effective political tool for keeping people in line. Any hope that people overcome that and stop supporting waging wars on crime, drugs, terrorism, communism and any other real or manufactured threat is itself an illusion - one cherished by the left that labors under the mistaken notion that it can engineer society to its vision.


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