The Mix

The reverse Jesus complex

Let my people suffer for my sins.
...the most self-serving…in…history -- a man whose government has repeatedly passed legislation that favoured his business interests, and altered the law to ensure he would not be convicted of any of the many alleged offences.
Who is this in reference to?

Actually, it's the Economist on Italy's corrupt prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. But I can see how you might be confused. Amend "altered the law" with "and claimed to be above it" and you've got yourself a political leader a little closer to home.

Seems Mr. Berlusconi thinks he’s something of a prophetic figure, telling the press, "I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I'm a patient victim. I endure everything. I sacrifice myself for everyone."

Apparently, Berlusconi uses statements like this as catnip for the press -- keeping the papers filled to distraction with accounts of his self-proclaimed martyrdom rather than, say, his unilateral rewriting of electoral law.

This kind of distraction -- via absurd and humorous statements -- has me pining for the days of Bush hijinks, when the President's alternate perception of reality was almost amusing ("You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that.") It seems so long ago that simply hearing the President say the word "nuclear" made me chuckle.

These days, the only thing to distract us from a scandal (hey, guess what? Bush was repeatedly warned about the devastation Katrina was going to cause) is another scandal (hey, guess what? He also was warned by intelligence officials two years ago that the Iraqi insurgency was going to get worse because of the presence of American troops).

Nope. There’s just nothing amusing about this President’s deceit, and the suffering and death it has caused -- and he’s got that paltry 34 percent approval rating to prove it. This rate echoes that of another President. One who was thisclose to impeachment when he chose to resign.
Onnesha Roychoudhuri is an editorial fellow at AlterNet.
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