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Is George W. Bush Sane?

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The judgment of history may well be that the United States has been “taken into, and kept in, the Iraq War by a guy who is not quite right in his head,” a distinguished legal scholar says.

“It may take 25 or 50 years, but it is almost certain that one day this character will be exhibit number one for the danger of having a nut job in the oval office,” says Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

Writing in his “An Enemy of the People,”(Doukathsan Press) Velvel said, “In everyday life, someone who refuses to recognize the actual facts of the world around him, and who instead lives in a dream world in his head, is regarded as not being sane, as being, to use the blunt words, insane or crazy. Why is it different when it is a national leader who refuses to recognize facts in the world and instead lives in a dream world in his head?”

Velvel goes on to say, “Most interesting is the idea that Bush suffers from a condition called ‘dry drunk’. Essentially, this means that even if one eventually stops drinking, as Bush did, years of alcoholism cause irreversible damage to brain chemistry. Results of this damage include such Bushian traits as rigid judgmentalism, irritability, impatience, grandiosity, obsessive thought patterns, incoherent speech and other unlovely characteristics.”

“Bush also seems to have chacteristics,” Velvel continues, “that, whether or not they are characteristic of ‘dry drunks’ are symptomatic of people who don’t fully have a grip. These include immense anger, exploitativeness, arrogance, lack of empathy, and difficulties arising from relationships with one’s father.”

“With regard to the specific analyses of Bush, there seems to be wide agreement that Bush is a sociopath, defined, one gathers, as someone who feels no empathy with others, who cannot feel for others, who does not feel or care for their pain (to use Clintonian jargon,”) Velvel writes.

“That Bush is utterly devoid of empathy seems plainly true to me. Unlike Lincoln or even Lying Lyndon Johnson, who sent people to their deaths but agonized over it, Bush is thought by the shrinks, and appears to the lay eye, to give not one damn about how many Americans he kills, let alone Iraqis.”

Explaining why Bush can’t feel guilt, Velvel writes: “Given his defense mechanisms, one gathers, and his psychology of having to overcome obstacles, overcome his father, etc., one gathers that Bush is a sociopath (or another word for it, a psychopath). Using charm as a vehicle for aggrandizement, he can’t allow himself to feel guilt and so feels no empathy for all those he smashes up in his pursuit of is grandiosity and delusions.”

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Velvel professes amazement that a man of Bush’s character could rise to the White House: “One wondered how he could have been picked as the nominee and then elected. After all, it was clearly early-on that he not only had been a long-time drunk, but had failed at every business venture, so that time and again he had to be rescued by Daddy’s friends and wanna be friends.”

He adds, “Bush’s life refutes fundamental values we grew up with: hard work, competence, intelligence, modesty. His life, with its drunkenness, serial failures, lack of competence, repeated salvation via Daddy and Daddy’s friends, all followed by the presidency no less, and by disastrous ill-considered policies, makes a joke of the values we absorbed as youths and still try to live by.

Living in his Father’s shadow, Velvel writes, “his own lack of diligence and intelligence caused him to be mediocre or a failure everywhere for about 25 years; he was mediocre at Andover; he was mediocre at Yale; he was a drunk to the point where he could cure himself only by stopping cold turkey… conceivably he escaped a securities prosecution only because Daddy was president.”

Velvel writes, “One view is that Bush has a narcissistic personality. Due to insecurities, he has constructed a grandiose vision of himself and is thus immune to the criticisms or views of those who do not go along with his views. Because he is no intellect (to put it mildly), he dismisses intellect entirely, and utilized his strength, personal affability, to win over others. Narcissistically, he apparently will do anything to protect his psyche from the destruction of being shown wrong---including causing the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis in pursuit of a mere long shot opportunity to proceed.”

The author believes it is necessary for psychiatrists to investigate political personalities to find out what makes them different from the rest of us once in power.

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“It seems to me that people in today’s America who seek and reach office are different from you and me and other decent people in this society,” Velvel writes. “They are willing to say and do things that would make a lot of the decent people gag, maybe make all of the decent people gag. Psychiatry should investigate, should analyze, what kind of people these are who will say and do these things, and why they are like they are. Why investigate and analyze this? For the obvious reasons, so that we can know what we are faced with, and can start looking for and electing a better kind of person.”

Dean Velvel is cofounder of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, a law school purposefully dedicated to providing minorities, immigrants, and working-class students a quality, affordable legal education. (Sherwood Ross is a Media Consultant to Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. Contact him at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com )                                                 #          

 

Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 

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had analysed such people long ago and the set is c... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 9:17:00 AM
My personal view on Bush's sanity is that he i... by Sherwood Ross on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 9:54:57 AM
should work wonders on such people.  &nb... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 12:51:28 PM
But what does that say for all those people who vo... by Restore democracy on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 4:18:24 PM
Read Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again for th... by editnetwork on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 8:34:03 PM
As governor of Texas Bush seemed to enjoy rejectin... by ronheri on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:50:13 PM
I'm no genius. I have what I would call "... by PeterJ on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:49:10 PM
Thank you for the essay. The world has a lot of su... by Floyd Rudmin on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 10:36:37 AM
Bush was the moronic puppet of a cabal that engine... by dglow on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 11:05:38 AM
The primary problem is that no one elected Bush to... by AlexH on Thursday, Nov 6, 2008 at 12:26:33 PM
The bigger question :  Is McCain sane?... by jnaday on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 12:17:06 PM
Many of the same traits we see in Bush can be seen... by WML on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 1:23:44 PM
Nut job: The new scientific term for nutz-o.Next: ... by Sandy Sand on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 1:49:33 PM
Both the current Bush and the former Bush presiden... by Archie on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:15:51 PM
I don't think it's a question of sanity or... by Bill Cain on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:18:42 PM
mix God's gift and scrambled eggs like Russian... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 2:43:43 PM
I was stating a fact, as far as I can tell, from r... by Bill Cain on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 11:45:10 AM
I now have a new book to my 'must read list... by John Morgan on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 4:56:39 PM
I should warn you that the book "Politic... by Bill Cain on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 10:30:46 AM
The messages they emit is all that matters.He is a... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:26:21 PM
The term "dry drunk" has been used.... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:27:29 PM
he was self-appointed by the Supreme Monkey Court.... by Stanimal on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 3:39:40 PM
There is no question that Bush is a sociopath/psyc... by Bob Trowbridge on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 4:57:36 PM
There is one factor that overwhelms just about all... by TomK on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008 at 11:38:50 PM
Granted, Bush is a narcissistic sociopath, which i... by francine on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 6:50:53 AM
Prior to the 2004 election, the Bush administratio... by Barbara Bellows-TerraNova on Saturday, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:06:54 PM
President Bush is suffering under the sins of his ... by Jenny Miner on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:19:56 AM
Jenny, there are a lot of forces at work in this e... by ScottC 1676867503 on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 7:49:26 PM
The man was elected fraudulently, has never been i... by Pam Ladds on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 11:53:25 AM
An excellent essay.  Bush's mental and pe... by wch on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:17:00 PM
Karl Rove/Henry Higgins makes a bet with Poppy Bus... by Maxwell on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:22:11 PM
Of course not !... by Paul Kruger on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:27:45 PM
What I'd like to know is if the rumors are tru... by Julia Perry on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:36:28 PM
Brain washed, Brain damaged, or Demon... by Jay Farrington on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:56:41 PM
Brain washed, Brain damaged, or Demon... by Jay Farrington on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 12:58:01 PM
...no more than the Democrat-majority Senate ... by Rafe Pilgrim on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 1:30:10 PM
The 2004 election was stolen, by technology that i... by Pat Herrick on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 1:33:22 PM
I've thot this guy was a nut job from right af... by lou hearnesberger on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 2:07:56 PM
We bandy around the word insane, we call those who... by David Glenn Cox on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 2:17:48 PM
If you watch the documentary movie, The Corporatio... by BroadsideBalladeer on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 3:50:42 PM
George W. certainly has his own set of character f... by Phillip Michaels on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 4:19:04 PM
I wish someone besides George Armstrong Custer - I... by Lawless One on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 4:22:16 PM
Lawrence Velvel refers to President Bush as a &qu... by Leep on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 4:46:39 PM
Bush is an inspiration for millions of Americans w... by Gary Denson on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:02:30 PM
Polling shows approximately 20% of the electorate ... by Leep on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 5:24:42 PM
I have some doubts about the focus on sanity. ... by tanya on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 6:26:57 PM
Apaprantly you do not realize that the post you ha... by Leep on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 7:24:35 PM
 Sorry LEEP,Tanya makes a good point. Both of... by Sherry Gadberry Turner on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 8:33:45 PM
Some state polls show Obama ahead, McCain in other... by Leep on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 11:43:59 AM
Yes he is sane.He want to create a new war so he c... by Sylvain Pimpare on Wednesday, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:40:01 PM
One could substitute McCain throughout the analysi... by Roy Murtishaw on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:30:08 AM
Yes, one could put any person's name there and... by Leep on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 12:10:54 PM
It is we who are insane, for letting Bush gain off... by JonmarkP on Thursday, Oct 30, 2008 at 6:50:06 PM