The Dysfunctional White House

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

From the New York Daily News:

For the moment, Bush has dismissed discreetly offered advice from friends and loyalists to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and bring back longtime confidant Karen Hughes from the State Department to shore up his personal White House staff.

"He thinks that would be an admission he’s screwed up, and he can’t bring himself to do that," a former senior staffer lamented.

BushpretzelDoesn’t Step One of the "Twelve Steps" require you to admit that you have a problem?  It seems to me that Bush, a (supposedly) recovered alcoholic, should be able to admit failure now and then.  The fact that he can’t admit mistakes — nay, the fact that he goes to extremes to avoid having to admit mistakes — gives me pause. 

And while I don’t necessarily agree with them, others are seriously wondering if things are even worse than we’ve imagined.  Here’s the excerpt that makes everyone’s skin scrawl (from the printed page of The New Yorker, in a column by Sy Hirsch):

Bush’s closest advisors have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that "God put me here" to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that "he’s the man," the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reelection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.

If the Republican sweep of congressional elections in 2002 fortified Bush’s belief that he was the arm of God, we can only hope that he gets the message in 2006, when (hopefully) the sweep goes the other way.