Monday, July 02, 2007

Let The Historians Historify

The Washington Post has one of those inevitable profiles on how President Bush deals with the fact that he is a miserable failure, and everybody hates him. History is going to judge him! Some of his apologists are quite amusing.

At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers. One at a time or in small groups, he summons leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House to join him in the search.

Over sodas and sparkling water, he asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I'm facing? How will history judge what we've done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?

Can Jesus microwave a burrito that is so hot he can't eat it?

"His faith is very strong," said Novak, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "Faith is not enough by itself because there are a lot of people who have faith but weak hearts. But his faith is very strong. He seeks guidance, like every other president does, in prayer. And that means trying to be sure he's doing the right thing. And if you've got that set, all the criticism, it doesn't faze you very much. You're answering to God."

That was crazy neo-con Michael Novak, not crazy paleocon Robert Novak. We have been given a great reminder of why it's a bad idea for a leader to claim to have God on his side, yet Novakn just smells roses. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, it is not about having God on one's side, but trying to be on the side of God. This is nuance. Something Bush doesn't do too well.