Monday, November 14


Eleanor Clift has an interesting read in which she outlines Bush's, and our, troubles.

Bombings of hotels in Amman, Jordan, begged the question: Why can’t we capture Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born insurgent leader in Iraq suspected of carrying out the attacks—or Osama bin Laden for that matter? Al-Zarqawi moves beyond the borders of Iraq to become a regional threat while Vice President Dick Cheney, a veteran of multiple draft deferments, battles Sen. John McCain, a former POW, for pushing an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that puts the U.S. government on record opposing torture.

Something is deeply askew in the White House when the priorities are so off kilter. Unless events conspire to save President George W. Bush—Iraq turns around, the economy improves for average workers (not just oil execs), and the price of energy comes down—he is heading for a full meltdown, a scary prospect when you realize he’s president for three more years. What’s needed now is the political imagination to change direction, the way President Bill Clinton did after losing both the House and Senate in 1994.
This is a battle between the Bushes of Kennebunkport and the Bushes of Crawford, and who prevails will determine which direction Bush 43 goes for the rest of his term.
If Bush sticks with Rove and goes to the right, there’s a ceiling on his popularity at best of 45 percent. If he moves to the center, like the Bush 41 crowd would like, the base collapses and he doesn’t necessarily pick up votes in the center. The administration is too far gone, the problems intractable.
[emphasis mine]

I'd say, however, that this is a battle not between supporters of the senior Bush and the cronies of Bush lite. I think it's more a matter of an internal war of Dubya's personal demons. Will his stubborn, intractable nature continue to dominate, his fragile ego requiring demonstrations of "respect" and opportunities to prove his manhood? Or will he, as he did so often in his earlier years, allow Daddy's pals to bail him out of this jam? Heaven knows, the latter would be better for us. That crowd might be despicable in many ways but they're certainly a vast improvement over Rove/Cheney et al.

If I weren't so convinced that Bush is either drinking again (see also here and here) or on medication, I'd feel more optimistic that Junior would cave and ask for help. As poor decision-maker as he is during the good times, any impairment of those faculties is downright scarifying. Strong drink makes him belligerent and arrogant and reinforces all his worst qualities.



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