May 17, 2007

Blumenthal: the ghost ship of state

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 8:06 am

The Ship of Fools by István Orosz

Sidney Blumenthal’s column in Salon today describes the Bush administration as a ghost ship of state:

Now Bush’s long downfall is descending into a series of revenge tragedies in which the characters are helpless against the furies of their misplaced loyalties and betrayals. The stage is being strewn with hacked corpses — on Monday, former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty; imminently, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz; tomorrow, whoever remains trapped on the ghost ship of state. As the individual tragedies unfold, Bush’s royal robes unravel.


The root of “loyal” is loi, or French for law. Under Bush, loyalty has become a law unto itself. Bush is loyal to those who break the rules but adhere to him. Avowing loyalty for the administration becomes a substitute for making difficult ethical and moral decisions. Yet the less Bush and his loyalists are willing to engage the harsh realities they have created, the more comfort they draw from loyalty. Once loyalty is no longer reciprocal, as in the McNulty case, the leader becomes more isolated as those beneath him become increasingly insecure and paranoid about their status. Demonstrations of loyalty cease being effective as displays of power and greatness. Instead, they are seen as stonewalling or sandbagging, more like the levees of New Orleans that will be inevitably breached. Loyalty to Bush has become loyalty to his self-image and, in the case of Gonzales, loyalty above the law, betraying the meaning of the word itself.



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: