Monday, September 12, 2005

Walk Him Through It

Dan Froomkin, in his daily White House roundup today headlined his piece today with this:
Now They Tell Us
He was referring to the several media reports, most notably this weeks Time and Newsweek articles, where Bush is revealed as being, shall we say, somewhat less than in control and genial. I'm not too surprised by these revelations, but it's sure a contrast to the attack poodles view of Bush in his first term.

Then I ran across this from Nora Ephron:
It’s always been clear to me that five years ago, when all those Republican guys got together and realized that George Bush could be elected president – and that he wasn’t remotely capable – they came to an understanding: they would walk him through it. I’m sure it seemed like a swell idea, especially because it meant that they’d be in a perfect position to convince him to do all sorts of exciting things they had always wanted to do.
I always thought this was the case, but as Bush's presidency as progressed, it has become abundantly clear.

Then I came across this Time:
But as the Bush era begins to wane, some remaining aides lack the chops to set him right when he is off course. Several of his closest advisers—including Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales and Karen Hughes—have left the West Wing for Cabinet posts or jobs in other agencies. His chief of staff, Andrew Card, has never been mistaken for James Baker, the man who made a minor career out of setting Bush's father right. And Bush has filled a number of lesser spots around the government with political hacks and patronage candidates—most embarrassingly Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (fema), who was yanked from on-site supervision of Katrina on Friday.

"Katrina has shown the incredible weakness of the notion that you can have weak players in key spots because the only people who matter are in the White House," said a lobbyist who is tight with the Administration. "You can't have a Mike Brown at fema unless you can guarantee that there isn't going to be a catastrophe."

The result is a kind of echo chamber in which good news can prevail over bad—even when there is a surfeit of evidence to the contrary.
I remember at the end of Bush's first term, right after the election. The Bush plan was to "seed" the Federal bureaucracy with his loyal soldiers and leave a "Bush Imprint" on the Federal government for years to come.

Could this have backfired? In his final term, as Bush deals with disasters, and intractable mess in Iraq, mounting deficits, and DOA domestic agenda, could he now be in over his head PLUS he doesn't have any lifeguards around? And tell me. What happens when anyone is way over their head in a stressful situation. A little crankiness maybe?

Gotta wonder if Bush's lame-duckness my turn out to be a nasty goose....or hopefully a cooked goose.


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