Archive for March 13th, 2006


Heh heh heh…

Of all the reasons that President Bush is in trouble these days, not to be overlooked are inadequate REM cycles. Like chief of staff Card, many of the president’s top aides have been by his side nonstop for more than five years, not including the first campaign, recount and transition. This is a White House, according to insiders, that is physically and emotionally exhausted, battered by scandal and drained by political setbacks.

“By the time you get to year six, there’s never a break… and you get tired,” said Ed Rollins, who served five years in President Ronald Reagan’s White House. “There’s always a crisis. It wears you down. This has been a White House that hasn’t really had much change at all. There is a fatigue factor that builds up. You sometimes don’t see the crisis approaching. You’re not as on guard as you once were.”


[A]t a time when Bush needs his staff to be sharp to help steer past these political shoals and find ways to turn things around, he still has the same core group working since he turned his sights toward the White House….

The succession of crisis after crisis has taken its toll. Some in the White House sound frazzled. While there are few stories of aides nodding off in meetings, some duck outside during the day so the fresh air will wake them up. “We’re all burned out,” said one White House official who did not want to be named for fear of angering superiors. “People are just tired.”

The deliciously bitter irony here is that the White House is actually suffering from the same problem that they’ve inflicted on the troops in Iraq: Not enough time away from the front lines, not enough fresh blood being rotated in. Of course, when one of Bush’s staffers screws up due to fatigue, they don’t usually get blown up…

3 comments March 13th, 2006 at 04:31pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


Wow. I admit I’ve only been paying passing attention to this Claude Allen refund fraud story, but I’ve been getting a healthy dose of knowledge from today’s White House Briefing column (All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin be praised; blessed is his wisdom), and a variety of little tidbits jump out at me:

First, Froomkin himself points out the difference between the official White House reaction to Allen’s felony charges vs. their reaction to Libby’s – shock and embarrassment about Allen, expressions of support and admiration for Libby:

Spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday night that if the allegations against Allen are true, “no one would be more disappointed, shocked and outraged” than the president.


But it was starkly different than the response to Libby’s indictment. In that case, the White House didn’t express any misgivings whatsoever. There was no acknowledgement of how serious the charges were, or what it would mean if they were true. There was no expression of even hypothetical disappointment, shock or outrage. There was no suggestion that anyone in the White House might have been lied to. There were no regrets — except, of course, that Libby had to resign.

Here is the text of Bush’s remarks about Libby: “Scooter has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country. He served the Vice President and me through extraordinary times in our nation’s history.”


Now that the White House has demonstrated the ability to respond in the conventional way to criminal charges filed against a member of its senior staff, it becomes even more abundantly clear that in the Libby matter, it assertively chose not to do so.

The inescapable conclusion is that either Bush and Cheney think Libby’s innocent — or they don’t think what he’s accused of doing was in any way wrong.

Actually, scratch that. If they thought he was innocent, they could just say so. Nothing wrong with saying: We don’t think he did it, but let’s allow the legal system to do its job. So that leaves only option B: They don’t think that what Libby is accused of doing was wrong.

Froomkin probably could have taken this a step further and observed that A) Libby’s alleged wrongdoing was on the administration’s behalf, and B) Libby almost certainly has some potentially very embarrassing beans to spill on the culpability of other administration bigshots, so they have a vested interest in not pissing him off.

Onward! Also from the WaPo:

Allen is friends with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas: “The two would often go to lunch, sometimes talking about the burdens of being black conservatives. ‘He would always say to make sure I conducted myself appropriately,’ Allen recalled in an interview last year.”

How’s that workin’ out for ya, Claude?

And finally, from Newsweek, an inside look at the real White House staff reaction:

As one White House aide, who asked for anonymity to avoid embarrassing the administration, put it, “When you hear about a White House official getting busted, you’d hope it would be for something so much better than this, like securities fraud or embezzlement. But robbing a Target? Are you kidding me?”

Ahh, the Republican mindset in all its febrile glory – how dare Allen disgrace the Grand Old Party with such amateurish penny-ante schemes!

Entertaining as it is, I think this is similar to the Cheney-Shot-A-Guy-In-The-Face! story. In itself, it’s not a huge deal, largely because it’s not particularly damning of Bush or his policies, but it is revelatory about the fundamental Republican character. It’s yet another data point in the “Republicans are corrupt, arrogant, and unaccountable” narrative that the Democrats need to be pushing hard this year.

I would actually prefer something along the lines of “The GOP is the party of hypocrisy and moral rot,” but I guess that’s probably not sufficiently genteel…

1 comment March 13th, 2006 at 04:02pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Favorites,Libby/Plame,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Not All Georges Suck

Finally, a George we can be proud of:

I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I’m proud of it.

Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you’d whisper “I’m a Nazi.” Like it’s dirty word. But turn away from saying “I’m a liberal” and it’s like you’re turning away from saying that blacks should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus, that women should be able to vote and get paid the same as a man, that McCarthy was wrong, that Vietnam was a mistake. And that Saddam Hussein had no ties to al-Qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11.


The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, “We were misled.” It makes me want to shout, “Fuck you, you weren’t misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic.”

Bottom line: it’s not merely our right to question our government, it’s our duty. Whatever the consequences. We can’t demand freedom of speech then turn around and say, But please don’t say bad things about us. You gotta be a grown up and take your hits.

I am a liberal. Fire away.

A-fucking-men, Mr. Clooney. And can someone please remind the Democrats that President Bush’s poll numbers are for shit? Even more so when you subtract out the Republicans? There is no reason, I repeat, NONE, to defer to this guy. Even if the Dems want to play to the middle, even the middle hates Bush right now.

It’s not 9/12/01, people. Bush is not an invincible heroic 90% approval president. The American people want to see you opposing, and opposing hard. Not capitulating. If they want capitulating, they can vote for Republicans.

March 13th, 2006 at 12:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Politics,Polls

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