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Sunday, November 12, 2006

One more time

I need my daddy

The Rescue Squad
With Congress lost, George W. Bush is looking for a way out of Iraq, and his father's men, led by Jim Baker, are riding in to help. Untangling the rivalries and loyalties that link two generations.
By Evan Thomas

Nov. 20, 2006 issue - The rendezvous in the supermarket parking lot was a secret. On the Sunday before the elections, Robert Gates, the president of Texas A&M University and the deputy national-security adviser and CIA director in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, drove two hours from College Station, Texas, to the small town of McGregor, where he switched from his own car to one driven by White House chief of staff Josh Bolten. Gates was quietly taken to President George W. Bush's office on his ranch at Crawford, where the two talked long enough to convince Bush that Gates was the man to replace Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Guests at the presidential ranch, assembled for the 60th birthday of First Lady Laura Bush and the First Couple's 29th wedding anniversary, didn't even notice Gates's coming and going.

Across the state of Texas, at his house in Houston, James A. Baker III was following his favorite Sunday-afternoon routine. He was taking a nap. Later, it would be widely speculated that Baker was somehow in on the secret, that he helped arrange the firing of Rumsfeld and the appointment of Gates as part of a fundamental power shift, a last-ditch rescue operation—by the old guard of Bush 41 to save Bush 43 from sinking ever deeper into the Iraq morass. Baker is the co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, which is looking for a solution to the Iraq riddle, and Gates was a fellow commissioner, as well as a mutual friend of Baker and of Bush 41. Rumsfeld would have been a surefire obstacle to whatever Baker was proposing. Gates is likely to welcome the Iraq Study Group recommendations as if they were his own (which, in a manner of speaking, some of them are). Baker is one of the great behind-the-scenes manipulators of any age. So, NEWSWEEK asked the former secretary of State, Treasury secretary, White House chief of staff and all-around Wise Man, was he in on the deal?

"You don't have a virgin here," Baker said with his customary twang. Indeed not. He meant he wasn't about to be lured by a reporter into spilling any secrets—not, of course, that he had any secrets to spill. (The White House says that Baker had nothing to do with the Pentagon swap.) Baker warned against getting too optimistic about some sudden deliverance from the agonies of Iraq. "Look," he protested. "This is not a precooked deal. And there is no magic bullet."


For one thing, Baker still has to convince George W. Bush. At his post-election press conference, the president looked like a base runner trapped in a rundown, unable to go forward or scurry back. The president is probably stuck—he will have to embrace some kind of compromise approach on Iraq. He didn't look too happy about it. As he japed and mugged and fidgeted, he seemed worried by something more than Iraq or the election returns; his whole character appeared to be wrestling with some more personal, inner demon. Last week Bush's aides were resisting the story line that Bush was caught in a cosmic episode of "Father Knows Best." The president himself was said to be indifferent to the press chatter. "I don't care," he told his advisers when they asked him, the morning after the elections, how he wanted to deal publicly with the suggestion that he was picking one of his father's advisers. "He doesn't think the neocons ran him over a cliff and now he has to go to Dad," said a senior Bush aide, preferring to remain anonymous while discussing Oval Office conversations. "It's not the way he sees this. He wants the best and brightest."

It is an irony of history, and the tragedy of the Bush family saga, that President Bush has all along had the best and the brightest just a phone call away. His father is a deeply seasoned and wise foreign-policy expert. Had, say, Sen. John McCain been elected, Bush 41 would have been jetting around the globe helping to resolve conflicts. Instead, aside from some tsunami and Hurricane Katrina relief work, Bush Senior has been relegated to watching all those political talk shows his son refuses to watch, wincing each time he hears his son's name being mocked or criticized. George H.W. Bush has been, in effect, sidelined by nepotism. He has repeatedly told close friends that he does not believe it is appropriate or wise to second-guess his son, or even offer advice beyond loving support.

This time, however, was different. A source who declined to be identified discussing presidential confidences told NEWSWEEK that Bush 41 left "fingerprints" on the Rumsfeld-Gates decision, though the father's exact role remains shrouded in speculation. "This would have been done by nuance and indirection. Forty-one would have said to 43, 'One of the people who I've been talking to who might be helpful is Bob Gates'," said a veteran of previous GOP administrations who declined to be identified talking about the Bush family. A onetime director of the CIA and loyal member of Skull and Bones, his Yale secret society, Bush "is a master of deniability," says an old aide to Jim Baker, who asked for deniability while discussing Bush.

Baker's role in the affair remains shadowy. He was spotted with both Bush father and son, as well as Bob Gates, in early October at the launching of the new aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. But the four men may have just been discussing the Texas A&M football team. Baker, like Bush, is not likely to have been plotting in public. "For a meeting like that," says the former Baker aide, "the maximum number of people involved is two."

This is fucking pathetic. For the last time in his sad, failed life, W needs daddy to bail his ass out. And we know how that ends, with a wave, a goodbye and president Hagel sometime at the end of next year.

Cheney is going to be shoved aside. Cheney is a man who needs to be listened to, and he knows Poppy Bush will only listen for so long before blowing him off. W can protest as he likes, but he fucked up, daddy had to come onboard and present the exit path. What people forget is that when you have daddy save the day, W is soon gone from the picture.

How pathetic is it that a 60 year old man needs his daddy to save his ass. It would be funny if we hadn't killed all those Iraqis in the process, and crippled 20k, and killed 2800 Americans.

When I said Bush had been a failure his entire life, people would argue the point. A blood-dimmed tide later, I think the point has been made. A sad little coward, who hid in his bible and his bottle, has, for the final time in his public life, had to be rescued by his father.

You think Bush has seemed off-kilter in public, you wait. He has suffered the ultimate humiliation, despite winning the presidency twice, he is a sad little loser, king of the cheetos-stained cowards, who fear a Muslim from every corner. His manhood has been disposed
of like a used condom.

So, which one of his mommies will comfort him, after daddy has emasculated him one final time? Condi, Karen? My bet is Condi. Laura will be the whipping girl for this, and suffer his rage. When she realizes she could be rich for life, tabloid fodder will become frontpage news, and Laura Bush will leave her cowardly husband behind.

posted by Steve @ 2:47:00 PM

2:47:00 PM

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