Friday, July 13, 2007
It's been a slow week in a hot era. I found myself Thursday watching President Bush's news conference and thinking what it is about him, real or perceived, that makes people who used to smile at the mention of his name now grit their teeth.
He's in a good mood. There was the usual teasing, the partly aggressive, partly joshing humor, the certitude. He doesn't seem to be suffering which is jarring. Presidents in great enterprises that are going badly suffer: Loncoln, LBJ with his head in his hands. Why doesn't Mr. Bush? Every major domestic initiative of his second term has been ill thought through and ended in failure. His Iraq leadership has failed. His standing is lower than any previous president's since polling began.
He's in a good mood.
That is a stunning indictment of Bush from Reagan speechwriter and loyalist Peggy Noonan. Nixon even had demons. Carter suffered during the Iran hostage crisis, yet W still acts like a frat boy as his poll numbers drop and our casualty numbers climb.
Laura Bush has famously stated that "no one suffers more than their President and I do." There is no evidence of this. The President still has not attended a military funeral; the only chief executive who has skipped this sacred duty. Bush has not allowed pictures of coffins ton be aired on our screens. During a time of war, he has by far taken more vacation days than any President in history (He broke the record in just over four years).
Now even rock-ribbed conservatives are grasping there is something wrong with the man. No matter what horrors his policies have wrought, he remains chipper without a care in the world. Conservatives recognizing this signals the beginning of the end.
Even Republicans have suffered enough.