Thursday, July 27, 2006

Does Anyone Believe That Bush Is Just Unlucky?

There are conservatives who look at hard facts and make adjustments and there are conservatives who look at hard facts and make excuses. The latter group currently dominates Washington. Dan Froomkin of White House Briefing asked a curious question today:
As the Bush White House is jolted by one confounding overseas crisis after another, the obvious question emerges: Is it just a coincidence? Or is it a consequence of President Bush's foreign policy?

It's a startling question since the evidence is mounting that incompetence and ideological rigidity in the White House are the main culprit (the other culprit is a foreign policy so broken the world doesn't know what the rules are anymore). Fortunately, Mr. Froomkin goes on to quote some articles suggesting that yes, the Bush Administration is not exactly the A team.

As though to give proof of his inability to deal with the problems facing him, President Bush is off on another public relations tour. President Bush could improve his image enormously by firing Donald Rumsfeld and cutting Cheney down to size. Instead, he is pushing for John Bolton's confirmation as UN Ambassador. John Bolton, of course, is part of the Cheney/Rumsfeld orbit. And finding a Secretary of State who actually knows how to do diplomacy and is committed to the many hours and days need for such diplomacy (as opposed, let's say, to working on spin for talk shows, campaigning for the president, playing the piano or shopping for power clothes) would be an improvement along with drafting some prominent envoys to help with the enormous workload that has been piling on Bush's foreign policy desk for the past five years. And as for Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, who comes across as a hapless clone of the senior Bush (note the same awkwardness and even some of the same awkward language) but with none of the ability to make things happen, is Hadley truly the best person Bush could find?

It's possible for a president to create his own luck but Bush appears to be creating the wrong kind.


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