WASHINGTON – We’ve had a rare glimpse of George W. Bush’s tormented soul over the past week.
During a speech at his presidential library in Dallas, Bush made the mother of all Freudian slips. He denounced “one man’s decision to launch an entirely unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.” He quickly corrected himself and clarified that he was talking about Vladimir Putin, saying, “I mean from Ukraine.” But added, shaking his head, “Iraq too.”
The Bushes used to tell me they didn’t like being “put on the couch.” But this time W. sat down on the couch. For the 75-year-old former president, it was a moment worthy of Dostoevsky’s self-incrimination — a show of conscience and a swerve to the truth at a time when truth seems lost in the mist.
Everywhere we look, we are inundated with deceit and big lies.
Putin has terrified the eyes of a nation by deceiving the Russians about the war in Ukraine in the same way he deceived himself. When a retired colonel blurted out the truth on Russian state television on Monday, saying, “The situation for us is clearly going to get worse,” it was another unusual moment of confession. The anchors near him looked uneasy as he spilled the tea and warned the Russians not to take “informational tranquilizers.”
“We are in total geopolitical isolation and the whole world is against us, even if we don’t want to admit it,” said Colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok, who is now a conservative columnist and TV analyst on military affairs.
A few days later, he came back on TV to change his tone and denounce Western weapons, even though the pitiful spectacle of obsolete and ineffective Russian weapons in Ukraine has given US military officials a hip new sales pitch to sell our weapons systems. .
In Tuesday’s GOP primaries, lies were rewarded. As Reid Epstein wrote in The Times, Republican voters in Pennsylvania have anointed right-wing governor candidate Doug Mastriano, “who helped lead the brazen effort to nullify the state’s 2020 election and chartered buses to the rally before the riots.” of the Capitol, and who has since promoted a constitutionally impossible attempt to negate President Biden’s victory in his state.”
Mastriano was spreading conspiracies about 2020 ghost ballots, hacked machines and dead voters. He boasted that he would be happy to steal the 2024 election, noting, “I get to appoint the Secretary of State who has been given the authority by me to make the election corrections, the voting logs and all. Through the Secretary of State, I was able to decertify every machine in the state with the stroke of a pen.”
He also appeared at a far-right Christian conference hosted by QAnon prophets that began with a video about “ritual child sacrifice” and a “global satanic blood cult”.
In another embarrassing spectacle, the truth is of no concern to Johnny Depp’s rabid fans. Depp fans resemble Trump fans in their blind allegiance and willingness to put aside ugly facts about their hero. Depp is locked in a grisly confrontation with ex-wife Amber Heard in a Washington suburban courtroom, a trial that an insider described to me as “PB over cocaine.”
Like Trump fans, Depp fans act like they’re in a cult. They call Heard’s claims about domestic violence a hoax and applaud Depp attorney Camille Vasquez, in a sort of online Roman coliseum, when she asks Heard a tricky question.
Heard added to the circus atmosphere when she fired her respected PR agency and hired a PR guru who herself was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior.
Heard and Depp have shared the most humiliating, sickening stories from a relationship where they clearly brought out the worst in each other. Whatever the jury decides, a man who was once the King of Cool now seems like a washed-up, abrasive shell of his former self.
He blamed Heard’s op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she said she was a victim of domestic violence without naming Depp, for harming his career as a pirate. But Disney honchos told me the Mouse House had already been shut down by an incident in 2015 when Heard forged documents to smuggle their Yorkshire terriers into Australia, where the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise was being filmed, and then When he was caught, he sent the puppies back to California on a private plane. Disney was also upset about the incident in which part of Depp’s finger was cut off during a marital spat and delayed filming.
Surrounded by sycophants, Depp fooled himself that his alcohol and drug use hadn’t turned his career, relationships and life upside down. Contrary to his carefree image, he was angry and jealous, testified those who knew him. His former business owner testified that the star was throwing money away, spending $300,000 a month on staff and thousands a month on prescription drugs.
Bruce Witkin, a former friend of Depp, described the veil of pretentiousness surrounding him. “The people on the payroll won’t say much,” he said. “They will try, but they don’t want to lose their jobs.” He added: “It’s something strange around people like him. Everyone wants something.”
And Depp, standing by the courthouse, will hear no harm about Captain Jack Sparrow.
Customized facts are all the rage all over the world. The truth has left the building.