HuffPo genius on Bush: At least Hitler and Stalin meant well

And Bin Laden too by extension, of course. Tom Elia’s all over it. The author is Peter Mehlman, former co-executive producer and writer of “Seinfeld.” No doubt he’ll be reminding people of that fact shortly when he’s called on this and tries to play it off as a joke.

You could argue that even the world’s worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc. Only the Saudi royal family is driven by the same motives as Bush, but they were already entrenched. Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of “I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends’ good?”

How can anyone not see it? It’s not that their policies have been misguided or haven’t played out right. They. Don’t. Even. Mean. Well.

In other words, whereas Hitler at least intended to usher in a golden, if Jew-free, age, Bush has never aspired to anything grander than wrecking everything he touches. What you’re seeing here is the ne plus ultra of leftist argumentation, where every policy disagreement devolves inevitably into accusations of bad faith and suspicions of ulterior motive. That’s why they’ve always been a bit uneasy with the “Bush is incompetent” meme, true though it may be: incompetence doesn’t speak to motive. It’s perfectly consistent to believe that Bush wanted to build a liberal democracy in Iraq but cocked up the planning so badly as to make it impossible; it’s not consistent if you also believe, as a matter of faith, that conservatives must and can only be motivated by greed or malice. That’s why Sullivan, for instance, has to resort to gobsmackingly vile shinola about “the Likud strategy” to square the circle. Sure they’ve made a mess of things — intentionally, to justify genocide. Which, ironically, by Mehlman’s lights, would constitute “meaning well.”

He’s also got some kind things to say about Republican voters and the immigration bill, which of course he suspects is motivated in Bush’s case by some hideous financial plot but not in, say, Ted Kennedy’s case, since he’s just “doin’ it for the people” or whatever.

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