Why Bush is in trouble
Welcome to India
It's funny, people kick you around for saying Kerry would win when he lost by 2 points. No one ever reminds Tucker Carlson that he said the same thing, but hell, that's part of the business. But the reason I think Bush won't finish his term is not based on wishful thinking.
Simply put, no ship can survive multiple torpedo hits. One, sure, maybe two, but after that, the damage is so great that the ship's superstructure starts to fall apart from stress, the fires, the subsequent explosions. And that's with a captain fully in command of his ship and crew.
Bush's administration is anything but. There are crises all over the place and Bush acts above it all. The problem is that the people who have dealt with it have their own problems. Cheney's health, the real story behind the shooting, is going to come up as things get worse. Pat Fitzgerald is acting like he's building a case, and doing it quietly as well. If he was wrapping things up, the WH wouldn't have given him 250 e-mails.
Nixon went down because of the ties of corruption went into his office. Bush isn't that kind of manager. He isn't really much of a manager at all.
Atrios posted this up and it shows exactly how far gone Bush is.
Does Laura have to call him Mr. President too:Bush is such a dry drunk his friends can't call him George. Which also means that no one can tell him about anything bad and that is a handicap
BUSH: You know, it's interesting, you said that one of the things that we love doing is to invite our buddies up from Texas. And I think about the time we had Jones, Procter and Selee . These are guys we grew up with in Midland, Texas. They are down to earth, you know, they have no agenda, except being with their friends Laura and George.
VARGAS: They call you George?
BUSH: No, they call me Mr. President.
VARGAS: I was going to say…
BUSH: They probably don't want to call me Mr. President, but they do call me Mr. President. And we sit up there in the White House. First of all, it's a great joy to see their joy about being here. It's a fantastic experience for people to be able to come here.
Which means he can't deal with crises. Look at last month, Bush didn't get a good day of press. The month started off with Cheney shooting a man in the face and ended with a giveaway of American ports to the UAE. Leaving many GOP House members exposed to Dem challenges on national security. My God, that's like the GOP gaining the high ground on health care.
This isn't a minor blunder, but a major strategic failure, and Bush is oblivious.
After years of anti-Arab doggerel by the right, suddenly, because of the need to keep the Emirs happy, Americans are supposed to ignore this slight security mess and then endorse the management of American ports by a state-owned company, from a state where smuggling has been a regional business since the time of Christ. House members can see themselves losing their seats quicker than if they proposed a child molester amnesty bill. They are torn between protecting an increasingly unpopular president, with a 29 percent job approval rating, and saving their jobs.
But none of that alone would drive Bush from the White House. Even together, that won't do it.
It all hangs on Iraq.
Three years ago, I said the worst case outcome for US troops would be a fighting withdrawal to Kuwait, Chosen Resevior II. For two and a half years, I was alone in predicting this. I am not alone any longer. Bush had devised Iraq politically to enshrine himeslf and the GOP as the vanguard of a new revolution in the Middle East, which would secure Israel's place in the region and end the worst dictatorships.
Only problem, the Middle East is a pandora's box and elections unleashed the Islamacists in their full fury.
Gwynne Dyer said that the war may continue at a low level for the next two years, but he forgot his prediction of Shia flooding the streets to end the occupation. What people don't get is that Sadr is making his move. He's going to be the winner out of all of this, crazy or not. Because Sistani is old and the people around him simply lack the street cred. Sadr is the likely ruler of a postwar Iraq because he's made deals with both Sunnis and Shia, and they will both turn on the Kurds when they get the chance. Statements like "Kirkuk is Iraqi" is not a random statenent of opinion. It is a statement which will get people killed.
The problem for Bush is that he wanted to take all the credit for Iraq. They wanted to use it to render the Democrats a rump party like the UK Tories for a decade or so.
But Iraq has gone horribly wrong and is about to end very ugly.
The US cannot stop the violence now, and every commander and soldier knows this. They admit it in polling. They don't have enough men or equipment and the men they do have are about to take a sharp decline in quality.
The scenes of evacuation from Iraq will make Saigon look like Spring Break. Thousands who worked with the US will be killed by all sides. Think Rwanda or Bosnia. Think piles of bodies, decapitated, shot. Abu Gharib will pale before the carnage.
And this is in an orderly evacuation with phased withdrawals.
In a full out flight, we will abandon our Iraqi allies wholesale. Iraqi units, already infiltrated, will turn on US forces and join the resistance en masse. US troops will abandon their equipment by the side of the road. Three years of war will catch up with them, and only the air cover of AC-130's will prevent massacres.
By the end of it, artillery will be taken out of storage and fired at fleeing troops.
Either way it ends, Bush will be held responsible. Whether it is a phased withdrawal or Chosen II, Bush's adventure in Iraq will fail and Osama will be chortling about it on video.
At the end, Bush will be presented with a failure which he cannot be protected from, or have covered up. It will lie at his feet, pointless sacrifice and defeat. And that he will not survive.
But I also think that Bush is not mentally healthy. You can take the Capital Hill Blue stories with a grain of salt, but that Vargas interview was downright creepy, not only verbally, but physically. LIke he was trying to convince her his world was the real one. And she wasn't buying it.
Bush literally erupts when questioned. The DW Ports deal is just one example. No sane pol would threaten a veto when he is going to lose, over an issue which he cannot convince anyone he is right. If Tony Blair had given the Tories this kind of gift, he'd be drinking beer and watching Newcastle from the stands.
You cannot stab your own party in the back and survive, and Bush is deaf to the cries of his own party.
It's a cheap joke to say the Dems are ineffective. Part of that is due simply to minority status, partly to a debate over tactics. But the reality is that the longer this goes on, the more the GOP is hurt.
But if I were asked what would drive Bush from office, I would predict a mental collapse. Now, you can't qualify how that happens or even if it happens, but I think there is a better than reasonable chance that Bush cannot deal with the pressure of failure. Especially if Rove is facing indictment.
Impeachment? Only if the House goes Democratic, and if that's the case, Bush will walk away first, like Nixon.
There are conditions where Bush becomes a liability and is told it's time to go.
People need to stop investing Bush with the power to steal elections and quash dissent. Diebold hasn't won any elections yet, and if they did, no one has done the kind of electoral district studies to prove it. You have to research how districts voted, who voted and where those votes went. Diebold can't add more people to an ED than exist, and if it does, you have your fraud. And unless it swings, you can't just go from blue to red or vice versa.
But it's easy to rely on exit polls, which had Tom Bradley governor and Harvey Gantt in the Senate, thus giving the GOP a tool to discourage people from voting. Or Diebold code issues. But the fact is that Bush is a weakened, failed president and his grasp of reality is scary.
I would say that Bush has so many obstacles to face, needs so many things to go his way, that at some point that you get a snowball effect. The questions over the UAE deal then moves to K Street and Congress and the war in Iraq. Consider that all the wounds Bush had this month were self-inflicted. All from bad decisions in the West Wing. All could have been handled differently.
That, alone, should cause people to think about Bush's prospects of serving out his term.
posted by Steve @ 4:36:00 PM