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Bush, bin Laden Headed for Melt-Down?

11.21.2005 07:07 | DISPATCHES

Melt-downs come in different shapes and sizes. There's the kind that can happen to plutonium in a nuclear reactor. Or to vast expanses of the planet should bin Laden sanction the detonation of nuclear suitcase bombs in the US and President Bush retaliates with mega-tonnage overkill.

Deriving its name from the nuclear, there's the psychic variety of meltdown, a term most often applied to children--and adults who disintegrate like children. No chance of that happening to bin Laden, who most likely sleeps the sleep of the innocent.

On the other hand, amidst all Bush's perceived assets to his backers and flaws to his opponents, neither side seems to have registered, aside from his brief experience as a jet pilot in the Air Force Reserve, exactly how untested he was. Now that he's under the gun, he's become famed for his mini-meltdowns. In fact, were he not medicated, Bush would surely have succumbed to the big one by now.

Meanwhile, the man who most astutely records Bush's state of mind seems to be undergoing a melt-down of his own. In a recent piece, "Burn in hell, Mr. President," Doug Thompson, founder and publisher of the essential, often privy to inside information, writes:

"As a journalist, Iím expected to be dispassionate about events and those who shape them. But I cannot be so when it comes to Bush. . .

"God may one day forgive you [Bush] for your sins but I can-not. . .

"On second thought, Iím not even sure God can forgive you for what you have done. . .

"If there is justice in the afterlife, you will stand and face that justice for your sins. And may you burn in hell for them."

Actually Thompson, more in touch with the rage which the workings of the administration should invoke than most of us, is the picture of mental health.

Speaking of sin, a week after the last presidential election, Father Andrew Greeley, in his Chicago Sun-Times column (not available on Web, except for a fee), wrote:

"I am merely saying that there is objective sin in the Iraq war, and our country as a country is guilty of sin. . . . Americans. . . should live in fear and trembling about punishment."

Introducing one's own theology into political analysis can be death to your realpolitik credentials. But, hiding behind those of Thompson and Father Greeley's, we'll risk going the religion route.

There are those of us who subscribe to a belief in reincarnation. Death then is but an interval between lives for the purpose of rest and rehabilitation before venturing back to life. But according to one school of thought, a soul which has spent a lifetime wreaking serious havoc isn't allowed to continue on its path through however many lives.

Its hell is not only that its journey is shut down, but the soul is dismantled. Then, tossed back into some cosmic cauldron of primordial matter, it's melted down. What better candidates for spiritual pig iron than Bush and bin Laden?


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