Rich comments on a DVD to be released October 5th. It tells the story of George Bush -- agent of God. Emphases mine.
... A towheaded child actor bathed in the golden light of an off-camera halo re-enacts the young George comforting his mom after the death of his sister; it's a parable anticipating the future president's miraculous ability to comfort us all after 9/11. As for the actual president, he is shown with a flag for a backdrop in a split-screen tableau with Jesus. The message isn't subtle: They were separated at birth.
... Anyone who stands in the way of Bush completing his godly battle, of course, is a heretic. Facts on the ground in Iraq don't matter. Rational arguments mustered in presidential debates don't matter. Logic of any kind is a nonstarter.
The president - who after 9/11 called the war on terrorism a "crusade," until protests forced the White House to backpedal - is divine. He may not hear "voices" instructing him on policy, testifies Stephen Mansfield, the author of one of the movie's source texts, "The Faith of George W. Bush," but he does act on "promptings" from God. "I think we went into Iraq not so much because there were weapons of mass destruction," Mansfield has explained elsewhere, "but because Bush had concluded that Saddam Hussein was an evildoer" in the battle "between good and evil." So why didn't we go into those other countries in the axis of evil, North Korea or Iran? Never mind. To ask such questions is to be against God and "with the terrorists."
Bush never admits to making a mistake; even his premature "Mission Accomplished" victory lap wasn't in error, as he recently told the con-servative talk-show host Bill O'Reilly. After all, if you believe "God wants me to be president" - a quote attributed to Bush by the Reverend Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention - it's a given that you are incapable of making mistakes.
The president didn't revive the word "crusade" idly in the autumn of 2001. His view of faith is as a Manichaean scheme of blacks and whites to be acted out in a perpetual war against evil. The majority of Christian Americans may not agree with this apocalyptic worldview, but there's a big market for it. A Newsweek poll shows that 17 percent of Americans expect the world to end in their lifetime. To Karl Rove and company, that 17 percent is otherwise known as "the base."
... "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House" must be seen because it shows how someone like Boykin can stay in his job even in failure and why Bush feels divinely entitled to keep his job even as we stand on the cusp of an abyss in Iraq. In this pious but not humble worldview, faith, or at least a certain brand of it, counts more than competence, and a biblical mission, or at least a simplistic, blunderbuss facsimile of one, counts more than the secular goal of waging an effective, focused battle against an enemy as elusive and cunning as terrorists. That no one in this documentary, including its hero, acknowledges any constitutional boundaries between church and state is hardly a surprise. To them, America is a "Christian nation," period.
Far more startling is the inability of a president or his acolytes to acknowledge any boundary that might separate Bush's flawed actions battling "against the forces of evil" from the righteous dictates of God. What that level of hubris might bring in a second term is left to the imagination, and "Faith in the White House" gives the imagination room to run riot about what a 21st-century crusade might look like in the flesh