As anyone who watches television crime dramas will recognize, they often follow a distinct pattern in order to squeeze an entire story, with plot twists, into an hour format and still have time for commercials. It goes something like this:
A crime is discovered. The hero begins to gather evidence and characters are introduced. There is usually one character that is likable and earnest in his desire to help with the investigation. Other characters seem more ominous, and most casual viewers focus on them as the primary suspects. A clever and intuitive viewer might suspect the more affable character, but the script is written to discourage such thoughts, and most viewers will blindly follow the script.
As the story progresses, potential suspects are cleared and the audience eventually discovers something about the more helpful and likable character that suggests a darker side. This usually occurs right before the last commercial break.
During the final segment, the hero confronts the likable guy and viewers quickly find out that he is, in fact, hiding an obsession with power, jealousy, or a relentless thirst for revenge. The true villain is revealed and the episode ends, followed by scenes from the next week’s show.
At this point in the Bush presidency, most Americans have thought of him as a relatively likeable guy with a sincere desire to help rid the world of terrorism. He has made some mistakes and said things that turned out to be untrue, but most people have been willing to overlook these missteps because they could see several more obvious potential villains.
However, a couple of clues have been revealed in recent days that raise questions about Mr. Bush’s true character.
The first was the response of Scott McClellan after the President, who had insisted that he would not comment during ongoing investigations, chose to proclaim Tom DeLay innocent of the charges against him. McClellan’s response was that Bush broke his own rule because of “presidential perogative.”
The second was the revelation that Bush authorized the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens without prior FISA approval, a clear violation of law that Bush wants to claim does not apply to him.
Suddenly, the affable Bush doesn’t seem so well-intentioned. In fact, he seems a bit unstable and perhaps delusional about his presidential powers. Could it be that he is actually an evil sociopath with the ability to hide his true intentions behind a disarming and earnest charm?
Stay tuned after this commercial break!
Thanks to Left of Center for the graphic.