It was no surprise to me to read this account in Newsweek 's article "How Bush Blew It"
It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United States...
The bad news on this early morning, Tuesday, Aug. 30, some 24 hours after Hurricane Katrina had ripped through New Orleans, was that the president would have to cut short his five-week vacation by a couple of days and return to Washington. The president's chief of staff, Andrew Card; his deputy chief of staff, Joe Hagin; his counselor, Dan Bartlett, and his spokesman, Scott McClellan, held a conference call to discuss the question of the president's early return and the delicate task of telling him...
We're not talking about a bunch of kids on summer internships. We're talking about Mister Bush's most senior advisors, drawing straws to see who gets yelled at.
Short tempers and an unwillingness to hear what you don't want to hear from your subordinates is a trademark of the Bush administration. Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are both infamous bullies. Little wonder they considered John Bolton the perfect man for the United Nations Ambassador slot.
Don't want to hear about no terrorist attacks. Don't want to hear the intelligence on Iraq is wrong. Don't want to hear we need more troops. Don't want to hear the insurgency's getting out of control. Don't want to hear 'bout no hurricane.
Can't be distracted by all that right now. Remakin' the whole world in your own image is hard work. Just tell me what I want to hear or get out.
Q: What's the difference between a crony, a yes man, and a sycophant?
A: A crony is a yes man you've known since your Texas days. A sycophant is a crony who actually hisses as he says "yessssssss."
Direct quote from Mister Bush's press conference today:
"Of course I rely on good people."
And from the standard echo menu:
Blame game... Blame game... Blame game...
Problem solvers... Problem solvers...
We're moving forward...forward...forward...
If talking points were horses, beggars would ride.
We don't know too much about Osama bin Laden's leadership style, but he must be doing something right. With no army, no navy, no air force, no national treasury--shoot, the guy doesn't even have a country--he's managed to stand the most powerful nation in history on its ear.
Virtually everything the Bush administration does plays into bin Laden's grand strategy. It's telling that the US Army can't meet its enlistment quotas, but bin Laden's organization has no trouble recruiting a sufficient number of suicide bombers.
And as fundamental Islam grows more popular in the Middle East daily, support for the Bush administration--both foreign and domestic--dwindles by the hour.
It might be overstatement to call bin Laden a political and strategic genius, but based on his results so far, he's looking like a far sharper tack than the one that's stuck himself in our collective foot.