Presidential Pity Party
The WaPo is hosting a Presidential pity party this morning — but a closer read shows some significant cracks in the sympathy and hand holding facade. To wit:
And yet Bush does not come across like a man lamenting his plight. In public and in private, according to intimates, he exhibits an inexorable upbeat energy that defies the political storms. Even when he convenes philosophical discussions with scholars, he avoids second-guessing his actions. He still acts as if he were master of the universe, even if the rest of Washington no longer sees him that way.
“You don’t get any feeling of somebody crouching down in the bunker,” said Irwin M. Stelzer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who was part of one group of scholars who met with Bush. “This is either extraordinary self-confidence or out of touch with reality. I can’t tell you which.”…
Some aides see it as Bush refusing to accept reality. “The president thinks cutting and running on his friends shows weakness,” said an exasperated senior official. “Change shows weakness. Doing what everyone knows has to be done shows weakness.” Another former aide said that no matter how many people Bush consults, he heeds only two or three.
Beyond Gonzales, the discontent with the Bush presidency is broader and deeper among Republican lawmakers, some of whom seethe with anger. “Our members just wish this thing would be over,” said a senior House Republican who met with Bush recently. “People are tired of him.” Bush’s circle remains sealed tight, the lawmaker said. “There’s nobody there who can stand up to him and tell him, ‘Mr. President, you’ve got to do this. You’re wrong on this.’ There’s no adult supervision. It’s like he’s oblivious. Maybe that’s a defense mechanism.”…
How, exactly, can you learn from the study of history when you refuse to apply history’s lessons to yourself, to pull out the mistakes of your past and examine them in the full sunlight, and to admit — privately and publicly — that you have made errors? Honestly, what it sounds to me is that the President is wallowing around in the fact that other heads of state have also made mistakes in the past, without ever accepting the reality that it is his own mistakes that have led him to this point in his own history. How about accepting responsibility for your own failures, George? Or, better yet, how about not only accepting them, but actually making the desperately needed changes to correct this failed course?
And isn’t it worth pointing out the fact that a number of the failures and tribulations detailed by all these sympathetic pals are messes of Bush’s own making? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?
It isn’t enough to ask the questions about how the Bush Presidency got off course — because just asking questions still leaves the failures intact. Real leaders get up off their asses, dust themselves off, admit their errors and look them square in the eye…and then do something. Right now, all George Bush is doing is hosting a self-perpetuating pity party and treading water.
And that isn’t exactly leadership, now is it?
(The above YouTube is Leslie Gore and her signature “It’s My Party.” Here’s an Amazon clip link for the dial-up crowd. H/T to Scarecrow and reader WB for the link on this article.)