Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another Staffer Sours on Bush

A fair number of Bush officials and staffers have left over the past six years disillusioned with Bush and his governing style. Paul O'Neil, Richard Clark and David Kuo come to mind. It's important to note that professionals in the Pentagon, CIA and State Department have left in significant numbers because of their disillusionment with the erratic policies, ideology and incompetence coming out of the White House. In fact, the bleeding has been so bad, that Republican or Democrat, the next president may have to hold a recruiting drive to bring some of the professionals back into government.

Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times has an article on Matthew Dowd, Bush's 2004 campaign strategist, who is among the latest to become disillusioned with Bush:
Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.

He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.

“I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things,” he said. He added, “I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in.”


Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled “Kerry Was Right,” arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq.

It was a bitter illusion for anyone to think in 2000 that George W. Bush was a uniter. In reality, Bush modeled himself more after Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich and there are signs he has more in common with Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter than most of us would like. Our president is a profoundly flawed man who hid his flaws behind a charm too many people found appealing without bothering to know much about the man and his dark ideological view of the world. The media didn't do its job because there was much in his background that suggested what kind of president he would be: a failure.



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