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The State of the Bush/Cheney Presidency

Bush wonders
AP: Bush musing in Ohio

Many of you have expressed concerns about the President’s mental status. After all, he’s dealing with a showdown over his catastrophic Iraq occupation, and despite the fact that a compliant Congress gave him every authorization he asked for, all the money he requested and more, the Generals he wanted, the Secretaries of Defense he wanted, the surge he wanted and all the “last chances” he needed, Democrats are now claiming he’s lost the war. And every day he has to avoid reading/hearing about growing violence in Iraq that has claimed tens/hundreds of thousands of lives, including over 200 Iraqi deaths on Wednesday and over 3300 US troop deaths. In Iraq, there are a half dozen or more Virginia Tech massacres every day. The Provisional Authority he created was a huge failure, the Iraq government he set up is struggling to maintain support, the Green Zone isn’t safe, and bridges in the heart of the city are being blown up. And that’s just Iraq.

At home, he’s fending off investigations of multiple scandals, he and his party are sinking in the polls, and the public isn’t buying his shameless negative framing of the Democrats. Worse, editorial boards and members of his own party are calling for the resignation of his Attorney General, who just made an embarrassing spectacle of himself before Congress. His senior political adviser is under seige and facing a likely subpoena for his role in that mess. And past and present Department of Justice officials are writing op-eds describing the extreme politicization of the Department under his regime, implying conditions that come close to suggesting a pattern of obstruction of justice.

Every day the WH opens the WaPo or NYT, they have to worry about what the next whistleblower will reveal or which of their supporters is being investigated. If this keeps up — and it will — pretty soon the only sane person who won’t be clamoring to clear the table for a joint impeachment will be Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker who is consistently earning the respect and support of the American people but who cannot ask for impeachment because she understands the conflict. But we won’t know because the Beltway media, who should be talking about this, remain clueless or in denial about how angry and oh so done this country is with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

So I guess we need to check on how the President is dealing with this and what he has to say. Deb Riechmann, writing for this AP story, found the answer:

When Bush went to Ohio on Thursday to talk about terrorism, he ended up musing about marriage and chicken-plucking plants, the agony of death and his Oval Office rug, which resembles a sunburst.

About his legacy, Bush said historians are still assessing George Washington, the nation’s first leader. “My attitude is, if they’re still writing about (number) one, 43 doesn’t need to worry about it.”

On being married: “A good marriage is really good after serving together in Washington, D.C.”
_”Politics comes and goes, but your principles don’t. And everybody wants to be loved — not everybody. … You never heard anybody say, `I want to be despised, I’m running for office.'”

_”The best thing about my family is my wife. She is a great first lady. I know that sounds not very objective, but that’s how I feel. And she’s also patient. Putting up with me requires a lot of patience.”

_”There are jobs Americans aren’t doing. … If you’ve got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I’m talking about.”

_”There are some similarities, of course” between
Iraq and Vietnam. “Death is terrible.”

_”I’ve been in politics long enough to know that polls just go poof at times.”

As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office, a task he quickly cast to his wife. He told her to make sure the rug reflected optimism “because you can’t make decisions unless you’re optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow.”

Later, when he talked about his hope for succeeding in Iraq, Bush said, “Remember the rug?”

Feel better?

Ok, maybe this needs translating. Here’s what he’s saying:

“I don’t need to worry about how the American people perceive me and my policies because they haven’t made up their minds about George Washington either. I don’t care what the polls say the American people think about me and my policies now, because they can change overnight but I won’t, because I’m right and the American people are wrong. Moreover, I have studied the history of our involvement in Viet Nam, and the main thing it teaches us is that death is terrible. And despite all the terrible news, which I don’t pay attention to, I’m optimistic about our prospects in Iraq, and I have a rug that reminds me I’m optimistic.”

Feel better now?

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley

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