When suffering became an abstraction — a budget item — Bush lost the sensitivity he had when he confronted poor people directly. His faith enabled him to appreciate those who gave their lives to the poor, but it didn't force him to struggle toward a deeper, detailed understanding of poverty or what could be done about it.
And this, I think, is at the heart of what is disturbing about Bush's faith in this moment of national crisis: it does not discomfort him enough; it does not impel him to have second thoughts, to explore other intellectual possibilities or question the possible consequences of his actions. I asked one of Bush's closest advisers last week if the President had struggled with his Iraq decision. "No," he said, peremptorily, then quickly amended, "He understands the enormity of it, he understands the nuances, but has there been hand-wringing or existential angst along the way? No."
Dealing in all manners of abstraction and fully understanding what it is they represent is essentially a job description for any position of power, let alone the Office of the President of the United States.
Klein's article is yet another confirmation of George W. Bush's utter lack of qualification for the job, which helps explain why he has the marionette reputation he does. The "lights on, nobody home" expression he wears while delivering speeches doesn't help, and now Klein's characterization of his faith as a kind of sleepwalking certainty paints a picture of catastrophic incompetence.