Yeah, it's "hard work," isn't it? Of course, there's the easy way out of all the pain and suffering - to resign. But there's also an easier way out - denial.
...MS. CURRY: I also asked Mrs. Bush about other challenges her husband is facing.
(To Mrs. Bush.) You know the American people are suffering watching --
MRS. BUSH: Oh, I know that very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way.
MS. CURRY: What do you think the American public need to know about your husband?
MRS. BUSH: Well, I hope they do know the burden, the worry that's on his shoulders every single day for our troops. And I think they do. I mean, I think if they don't, they're not seeing what the real responsibilities of our president are.
Much has been made about the president's denial of the far-reaching destructiveness of the war. No need to repeat that here again. But it occurs to me that this president has a gambling addiction. The war started as a radical gamble (without a clear idea of what was to be won). It cannot be seen as a mistake or the fault of poor intelligence, since many many people were quite vocal about the morality of such a war and the probable consequences. Both have turned out to be accurate.
It was, rather, a high-stakes gamble with American troops and Iraqi civilians as a good-sized pile of chips. The gamble was lost, and everyone knows it, but the president doesn't know enough to leave the table and cut his losses. He empties the bank account for more and more chips to lose at the deadly table. He still dreams of his own glory.
Of course, he's not emptying his own bank account. He's spending others' pain, suffering, good-name, and wealth. When Laura Bush tells us how much the Bushes are suffering over the war started by her husband, this personal "suffering" is more the kind that occurs when a wealthy kid blows his trust fund at the blackjack tables or high-risk stock investments. The big difference between the metaphor and the reality, of course, is the long trail of dead and maimed. That seems to me pretty obviously more genuine suffering as opposed to that caused by obstacles to the amoral, highly improbable self-glory sought by the gambling president.