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The spoiled brat in the White House

Shakes Sis has a great post up that makes a convincing argument that what we are seeing in the Chimperor’s behavior is that of a spoiled child, one that has no business running a company, let alone a nuclear power.

Mannion takes on Bush’s obvious behavior issues and suggests that our petulant president may have undiagnosed learning disabilities. One of his readers, Anne Laurie, suspects that ADD, along with alcoholism, runs in the Bush family. I certainly don’t intend to contradict any of the possibilities they have posited, although any analysis (amateur though it may be) of Bush’s childhood issues is surely incomplete without an acknowledgement of that which plagues many children, conceivably those from wealthy and/or powerful families more than most—being excessively, and damagingly, spoiled.

Spoiling a child in the extreme can, much like learning disabilities or chemical dependencies, have the effect of emotionally stunting the indulged child. Bush and his siblings may or may not have been spoiled with “things,” but clearly all of them were spoiled with reassurances about their future successes, spoiled with often undeserved opportunity, and, in W’s case, this immoderation clearly continued into his adulthood, as his mistakes (Air Force antics, DUI, etc.) were handled by others on his behalf, as much as they could be. Whether Bush suffers from depression, untreated learning disabilities, addiction, we can only speculate from the sidelines, but there is undeniable evidence that he has been irreparably spoiled.

…The young George Bush undoubtedly had an insular childhood, while his parents refused to sully their beautiful minds worrying about the troubles of others, and in his adulthood, he has recreated that insular world. The only construct he knows, and the only one in which he feels comfortable, is that in which he is the star—the good ol’ boy jokester, the fearless leader, the #1 muckity-muck whose wisdom cannot be questioned or denied.

In an article by Jeffrey St. Clair at Counterpunch: High Plains Grifter, the Life and Crimes of George W. Bush, it’s clear that this theory holds water.

[Justin] Frank, author of Bush on the Couch, zeroes in on the crucial first five years of W’s existence, where three factors loom over all others: an early trauma, an absent father and an abusive mother. It is a recipe for the making of a dissociated megalomaniac. Add in a learning disability (dyslexia) and a brain bruised by booze and coke and you have a pretty vivid portrait of the Bush psyche.

With this stern upbringing, is it really surprising that Bush evidenced early signs of sadism? As a teenager he jammed firecrackers in the orifices of frogs and snickered as he blew them to bits. A few years later, as president of the DKE frathouse at Yale, Bush instituted a branding on the ass-crack as an initiation ritual. Young pledges were seared with a red-hot wire clothes hanger. One victim complained to the New Haven police, who raided the frathouse. The story was covered-up for several decades until it surfaced in Bush’s first run for governor of Texas. He laughed at the allegations, writing the torture off as little more than “a cigarette burn.” From Andover to Abu Ghraib.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding