Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions

John P. Briggs, MD, and J.P. Briggs II, PhD, in TruthOut:

George_bush_uniform_smResentment naturally contaminated Bush’s efforts to prove himself to his father and receive his father’s approval. The contradictory mix showed up in his compulsion to re-fight his father’s war against Iraq, but this time winning the duel some thought his father failed to win with Saddam. He could at once emulate his father, show his contempt for him, and redeem him. But beneath this son-father struggle lies a far more significant issue for Bush – a question about his own competence, adequacy and autonomy as a human being.

We have seen this inner question surface repeatedly, and we have largely conspired with him to deny it.

  • On September 11, 2001, we saw (and suppressed) the image of him sitting stunned for seven minutes in a crowd of school children after learning that the second plane had hit the Twin Towers, and then the lack of image of him when he vanished from public view for the rest of the day. Instead, we bought the cover-up image, three days after the attack, of the strong leader, grabbing the bullhorn in New York City and issuing bellicose statements.
  • In 2004, we saw and denied the insecurity displayed when the president refused to face the 9/11 Commission alone and needed Vice President Cheney to go with him.
  • In 2003, we saw and suppressed the dark side of the “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier landing, in which a man who had ducked out on his generation’s war and dribbled away his service in the Texas Air National Guard dressed up like Top Gun and pretended that he was a combat pilot like his father.

More here.  [Thanks to Pablo Policzer.]