Taking the Preznit to the Woodshed
Hoo boy. The NY Times is not happy with the Preznit — and it isn’t pulling any punches about it, either.
After President Bush’s disastrous visit to Latin America, it’s unnerving to realize that his presidency still has more than three years to run. An administration with no agenda and no competence would be hard enough to live with on the domestic front. But the rest of the world simply can’t afford an American government this bad for that long.
And that’s just for starters.
What does it say about Bushie that national newspapers have to take him to the woodshed publicly, because no one on his staff is allowed to do it behind closed doors?
In Argentina, Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his ability to relate to world leaders face to face, could barely summon the energy to chat with the 33 other leaders there, almost all of whom would be considered friendly to the United States under normal circumstances. He and his delegation failed to get even a minimally face-saving outcome at the collapsed trade talks and allowed a loudmouthed opportunist like the president of Venezuela to steal the show.
Ouch! Okay, granted, it’s just an editorial but…ouch!
Second terms may be difficult, but the chief executive still has the power to shape what happens….Mr. Bush has never demonstrated the capacity for such a comeback. Nevertheless, every American has a stake in hoping that he can surprise us.
The place to begin is with Dick Cheney, the dark force behind many of the administration’s most disastrous policies, like the Iraq invasion and the stubborn resistance to energy conservation. Right now, the vice president is devoting himself to beating back Congressional legislation that would prohibit the torture of prisoners. This is truly a remarkable set of priorities: his former chief aide was indicted, Mr. Cheney’s back is against the wall, and he’s declared war on the Geneva Conventions.
Mr. Bush cannot fire Mr. Cheney, but he could do what other presidents have done to vice presidents: keep him too busy attending funerals and acting as the chairman of studies to do more harm.
Bet the NYTimes reporters won’t be flying with the VP any time soon again. Should be a fun press briefing again today, though.