March 09, 2003

The State of Bush Competing

The State of Bush

Competing NYT and WaPo stories on how Bush is coping on a personal level as war looms ever closer. Dana Milbank's piece is the more impressive effort. Milbank examines to what degree, if any, religion is influencing Dubya's policymaking (an increasingly prevalent theme):

Key grafs: "Bush's religious devotion encourages such distinctions. Bush implies but does not directly assert that he is doing God's work. Still, those who share his religious beliefs say it is natural to assume that Bush believes he is divinely inspired.

"It seems as if he is on an agenda from God," said Jim Cody, a Tennessee Christian broadcaster who was at a convention of religious broadcasters Bush addressed last month. "The Scriptures say God is the one who appoints leaders. If he truly knows God, that would give him a special anointing."

Cody's friend, Steve Clark of the Faith Baptist Tabernacle in Jamestown, Tenn., concurred that "Divine Providence" has a role in Bush's actions. "At certain times, at certain hours in our country, God has had a certain man to hear His testimony," he said.

Those close to Bush say he takes comfort from prayer, but not policy. "It certainly gives him inner strength and conviction," said Brad Freeman, a friend. "It's his religion, but also it's just his makeup. He's always been a firm believer in making a decision, once he knows the facts, and sticking with it."

Contra the beginning of this quoted passage that evokes notions of divine inspiration, I think Dubya's intimates have it down better when they say he "take comfort from prayer, but not policy.' Remember folks, the reactionary religiosity is al-Qaeda and ilk's specialty--not Dubya's.

Posted by Gregory at March 9, 2003 11:14 PM
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