Breaking through Bush’s wall of denial

by Ogi Overman

If I am going to have an idea stolen from me, there is no better thief on earth than Maureen Dowd. Last week the New York Times columnist picked up and ran with an idea I’d been rolling around in my head for months but couldn’t quite get the satirical bent just right. Maureen, as always, nailed it far better than I could’ve, even on my best days.

It was titled “Oval Office intervention” and featured a cast of characters – Poppy, Barbara, Laura, Baker, Kissinger, Gates, even his dogs Blair and Barney – trying to convince the Duh that it’s time to face reality, that insisting on victory at all cost in Iraq is not an option. Like all good satire, the underlying truth came through loud and clear, and like all good interventions, the person being intervened was still clinging to the notion that his actions were harmless, that the seriousness of the situation was overblown, that he could handle the problem on his own.

Although I had the pleasure of meeting Maureen when she spoke at UNCG a few months before the ’04 election, I know very little about her personal life. But I would venture a guess, based on the accuracy of her portrayal, that she has sat in on a real-life intervention at some point. Tongue in cheek though it was, her piece had such a stark ring of truth that it smacked of first-person knowledge.

I say that neither accusatorily nor patronizingly because it so happens that I have sat in on several true-life interventions over the years. The most recent was a couple of months ago, and the result was that one of my dearest friends in life is now in a long-term residential treatment facility overcoming an addiction to prescription painkillers. And while the classical intervention involves addiction or alcoholism, there are other reasons that necessitate confronting an individual in an effort to convince him that his behavior must change radically and immediately. Although it would be unprecedented, the time has come for Maureen’s satire to take on a life of its own. If Bush’s friends and family won’t do it, then the American people must collectively do it.

Yes, I am talking the I-word. It is time for the US House of Representatives to bring impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.

This is not satire, brothers and sisters. It has reached the point that it has become achingly obvious that the Duh is living in a world alone. We’ve known he was incompetent since’… well, since forever. We’ve had him nailed for dereliction of duty, malfeasance, abuse of power and any number of high crimes and misdemeanors, but since the landslide election and Baker-Hamilton report, the boy is seriously delusional. The grip he had on reality, tenuous at best, has now become unloosed. While everyone but him and a handful of right-wing nut jobs like OxyContin Limbaugh (speaking of interventions), O’Reilly and Coultergiest realize that it’s all over but the hollerin’ in Iraq, he petulantly insists that victory is assured if we simply trust him.

No one has yet been able to break through that wall of denial, so the American people are left with no choice but to perform the intervention in the form of impeachment.

There is genuine irony here because Bush is an untreated alcoholic himself, his disease held in abeyance solely through abstinence. In direct contradiction to the 12-step model, he takes credit for his “recovery” rather than giving the credit to a power greater than himself. He has no grasp of the concepts of humility, tolerance, gratitude, relieving the bondage of self, making amends, admitting shortcomings and taking moral inventory that the various 12-step programs encourage. His behavior reveals him to be a classic dry drunk.

It takes only a slight tweaking of the first three steps to provide Bush the solution for his war on Iraq:

First he must admit he is powerless over the insurgency and that his administration has become unmanageable. If you don’t acknowledge the problem you can’t fix the problem.

Then he must come to believe that a power greater than himself – in this case the will of the people – could restore him and his policies to sanity. Right now, staying the course, ignoring Baker-Hamilton and/or sending more troops into Baghdad is patently insane. Repeating the same behaviors over and over and expecting the results to be different each time fulfills the definition of insanity,

Next, he must make a decision to turn his will and his life over to the care of God as he understands him. Now, this is going to take a true quantum leap because W is convinced that God is on his side in Iraq. His policy is “self-will run riot.” He is trying to bend the will of God to conform to his own, when it should be the other way around. Sending the innocents to their slaughter in an unprovoked war with vague justification for a nebulous cause can hardly be God’s will.

I hate to think what happens when he gets to the part about making a list of all the persons he has harmed. That’s going to be a long, long, long list.

Ogi can be reached at