Golden Boy

The unifying theme of the policies of the George III regime is childishness.

Small children smash their toys and demand new ones. George III’s henchmen, having grown bored with their pet projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, are making googly eyes at the brand new Iran in the shop window.

Small children throw tantrums when contradicted. Dr. Evil, also known as Dick “Fuck You” Cheney; the France-bashers in places high and low; and the character assassins called in on Richard Clarke, John DiIullio, Paul O’Neill, and other dissisdents stand as cases in point.

Small children have little concept of planning for the future. George III’s mammoth budget deficits, anti-earth environmental policies, and petrochemical-based energy plan offer a glorious banquet of corn syrup now and a massive stomachache later.

Small children don’t like to share. They don’t like to share their invasions with foreigners; they don’t like to share their conference committees with Democrats; they don’t like to share the economy with the poor.

The Republicans like to think of themselves as a party of grown-ups. Historically, they’ve had many of the virtues and vices of the old: patience, but also crankiness; foresight, but also closed-mindedness; sobriety, but also judgmentalism. But something has happened since the days of Eisenhower, and something has especially happened in the last four years. Why have the Republicans under George III come to stand for all that is immature, whiny, and selfish in government?

Because George III and inner circle may be childish, but not just any child. No, they’re Anthony Fremont. Anthony is the 10-year-old boy at the center of “It’s a Good Life,” a classic Twilight Zone episode. Anthony can hear people’s thoughts and can teleport people or break them with his psychic powers. His entire town lives in fear of him.

The grown-up Republicans have learned their lesson well. They saw Anthony turn Richard Clarke into a jack-in-the-box; they saw him crack Colin Powell’s will; they saw him destroy Paul O’Neill utterly. Some of them enjoy seeing Anthony turn his destructive powers on other nations and on Democrats; others have learned to think happy thoughts. Anthony doesn’t like unhappy thoughts; people who think unhappy thoughts, or worse, speak their minds, get sent to the cornfield.

Things can’t go on like this, Dan Hollis said, someone hit that kid over the head. But then Anthony called Dan “a very bad man” and did his thing, and everyone nodded in agreement and said that what Anthony had done was good. And it was good that Anthony was making it snow, and tomorrow was going to be a very good day. Even if, in the back of their heads, they knew the snow would ruin the crops, but shhhh, don’t get caught thinking negative thoughts.

This is what it means not to live inside the reality-based community: George III is reshaping reality with the pure force of his will. Only those oldthinkers who don’t understand Anthony’s true powers are concerned with mundane details of reality. The Republicans are gritting their teeth and thinking happy thoughts over and over until they have themselves convinced.

Grown-up Republicans have a choice to make. They can be Republicans, or they can be grown-ups. George III has made it impossible to be both.

Res publica reficienda est!