A lot of people are commenting on Bush’s statement last night in his State of the Union address that America is “addicted to oil,” but no one seems to have noticed the bizarre and glaring fact that this statement was made by a recovering addict.
As we all know, Bush used to be a hard drinker until he found Jesus and gave up the bottle. He’s not on the Alcoholics Anonymous path (which AA fundies believe is the only legitimate path to sustanable sobriety), but he is nonetheless someone for whom the concept and experience of addiction are very real.
I’m not sure that Bush or his speechwriters recognized this resonance, but it’s a strange one. It makes oil into something like tobacco or alcohol or heroin, something we need to give up completely in order to free ourselves from it. And it casts the federal government in the role that Jesus played in Bush’s own recovery.
I don’t know quite what to make of all this — considering that this was a Bush speech, most of it will probably be ignored as policy anyway, so maybe there’s no reason to make anything of it — but it’s weird nonetheless.