1 comment July 2nd, 2007at 11:29am Posted by Eli

Peter Baker has a fascinating piece in today’s WaPo, on Dubya trying to cope with his isolation and unpopularity. If he weren’t such a total bastard, I could almost feel sorry for him, but the sad fact is, this is nowhere near the misery he deserves. But it’s a start!

At the nadir of his presidency, George W. Bush is looking for answers. One at a time or in small groups, he summons leading authors, historians, philosophers and theologians to the White House to join him in the search.

Over sodas and sparkling water, he asks his questions: What is the nature of good and evil in the post-Sept. 11 world? What lessons does history have for a president facing the turmoil I’m facing? How will history judge what we’ve done? Why does the rest of the world seem to hate America? Or is it just me they hate?

These are the questions of a president who has endured the most drastic political collapse in a generation. Not generally known for intellectual curiosity, Bush is seeking out those who are, engaging in a philosophical exploration of the currents of history that have swept up his administration. For all the setbacks, he remains unflinching, rarely expressing doubt in his direction, yet trying to understand how he got off course.

Wha? How can he be trying to understand how he got off course if he still thinks he’s going in the right direction? Does he regard this as a failure of spin and nothing more?

And yet Bush does not come across like a man lamenting his plight. In public and in private, according to intimates, he exhibits an inexorable upbeat energy that defies the political storms. Even when he convenes philosophical discussions with scholars, he avoids second-guessing his actions. He still acts as if he were master of the universe, even if the rest of Washington no longer sees him that way.

“You don’t get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker,” said Irwin M. Stelzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. “This is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can’t tell you which.”

Would you like to hear my guess?

Here’s where it really gets good:

“I don’t understand for the life of me why Al Gonzales is still there,” said one former top aide, who, like others, would speak only on the condition of anonymity…. The ex-aide said that every time he runs into former Cabinet secretaries, “universally the first thing out of their mouths” is bafflement that Gonzales remains.

Some aides see it as Bush refusing to accept reality. “The president thinks cutting and running on his friends shows weakness,” said an exasperated senior official. “Change shows weakness. Doing what everyone knows has to be done shows weakness.” Another former aide said that no matter how many people Bush consults, he heeds only two or three.

Beyond Gonzales, the discontent with the Bush presidency is broader and deeper among Republican lawmakers, some of whom seethe with anger. “Our members just wish this thing would be over,” said a senior House Republican who met with Bush recently. “People are tired of him.” Bush’s circle remains sealed tight, the lawmaker said. “There’s nobody there who can stand up to him and tell him, ‘Mr. President, you’ve got to do this. You’re wrong on this.’ There’s no adult supervision. It’s like he’s oblivious. Maybe that’s a defense mechanism.”

And finally, perhaps the most pathetic paragraph of all:

Bush’s unpopularity appears to impose limits on where he goes. He turned down an invitation from the Washington Nationals to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day, pleading a busy schedule. The former baseball team owner instead hosted an invitation-only ceremony for a college football team in the East Room, where no one would boo. When commencement season rolled around, he stayed away from major universities, delivering addresses at a community college in Florida and a small religious school in Pennsylvania run by a former aide. And even then he was met by student and faculty protests.

That doesn’t sound very resolute and manly to me at all. The big, bad Saddamslayer is afraid of a few boos and protesters? Some tough guy.

I will be shocked if he doesn’t spend his post-presidency years muttering darkly and drinking himself into a coma.

Entry Filed under: Bush

1 Comment

  • 1. home page&hellip  |  June 30th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    nice site d00d…

    heres mine…

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