The Wenck-Steiner coalition
You want a DEA badge, El....I
Bush in a Snit
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Monday, October 16, 2006; 12:52 PM
The notion that President Bush is not just in denial -- but is petulantly in denial -- is taking on greater credence thanks to two recent Washington Post stories.
Upbeat During a Meltdown
Michael Abramowitz writes in Sunday's Washington Post: "Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove. . . .
"The official White House line of supreme self-assurance comes from the top down. Bush has publicly and privately banished any talk of losing the GOP majorities, in part to squelch any loss of nerve among his legions. Come January, he said last week, 'We'll have a Republican speaker and a Republican leader of the Senate.'
"The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- based on Bush's and Rove's electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command -- or of self-delusion. Even many Republicans suspect the latter. Three GOP strategists with close ties to the White House flatly predicted the loss of the House, though they would not do so on the record for fear of offending senior Bush aides."
In a similar vein, Kenneth T. Walsh writes for U.S. News: "Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7--a concern aggravated by the president's news conference this week. . . .
"'The Bush White House has had no relationship with Congress,' said a Bush ally. 'Beyond the Democrats, wait till they see how the Republicans--the ones that survive--treat them if they lose next month.' GOP insiders are upset by Bush's seeming inability to come up with new ideas or fresh approaches. . . .
Marc Sandalow of the San Francisco Chronicle examines the history of harsh words between Bush and House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi and asks: "So if Pelosi's party wins control of the House for the final two years of Bush's presidency, can the new Democratic speaker and the Republican chief executive put aside their rhetorical disdain long enough to forge a productive relationship?"
Pelosi says yes, on her terms: "If Democrats are in control of the House, the president will have to listen," she said.
Polite answers by Pelosi, but reality dictates a sea of investigations. And they will inexorably in an impeachment. It should have led there this year. Not because the Dems are especially brave, but because if the GOP Congress hadn't totally failed in their Constitutional responsiblilites, Bush would be facing an impeachment hearing now. I mean, how can you look at the way Cheney did business and it not lead to all manner of civil and criminal action? How Bush did business.
The only reason that we're debating this is because the Congressional GOP refused to stand up to Bush and defend the constitution. I don't think any investigation of Bush can end anywhere else, even if it's not vigorous.
Bush was confident elections would solve Iraq's problems. Given that track record, I wouldn't bet on Bush. But the problem in assessing this is not that Rove has some secret plan, he might, it's getting late in the day for that, but a detachment from reality. The GOP has seats they cannot win, due to scandal and indictment. Yet, Bush and Rove are playing mind games.
I'd bet the internals he's looking at show an ugly picture, but they figure they can psyche out the Dems one more time. They don't admit a mistake and it might work out. But to do that, he can't throw his arms around Denny Hastert. He would have had to stand against the house leadership. and that wasn't happening. Someone needed to go under the bus. They're all taking turns over who goes, not realizing all of them will.
Bush personalizes issues he can't deal with. When facing failure, he denies the possiblity and tries harder. He just refuses to consider failure and Rove sees it is better to go down fighting than worrying. They're trying to minimize the damage David Kuo did, but again, it's getting late for that as well. Bush and Rove have been working the fundies hard to minimize that damage, all off camera. Only problem, Kuo's friends will be pushing back, as well.
In a normal election, their tools would work, the problem is that people are getting pissed, like NASCAR dad below. People don't like being lied to about serious matters like child sex predators and war. And pissed off people are unpredictable. And now the corruption keeps coming, with Crazy Curt Weldon up now.
They're looking for Wenck and Steiner when Busse trying to save the 9th Army.
posted by Steve @ 1:26:00 AM