TPMCafe || What It's LikeBush must have many strengths, but his weaknesses seem to be profound. Maybe it does come from a life of wealth, and the world of the CEO. The CEO is not a democrat; s/he is at best a wise king, at worst a tinpot dictator. FDR, also a child of privilege was the wise king. Bush seems more the tinpot dictator, one who curries the praise of fools, shoots the messenger, and ruthlessly executes the disloyal. Is Rove no different?
... The exodus and incapacity were inevitable [from Bush's original team]; replacing Bush's stand-up guys and gals with suck-ups and sycophants was not. After he was re-elected, with the clouds of scandal still all `round, Bill Clinton lured John Podesta back to the White House. Podesta, who is as tough as a bar of iron, became deputy chief of staff, and then chief of staff. He was indispensable in maintaining the focus of both the President and his staff. When Abner Mikva left, Clinton recruited a new White House counsel, Charles Ruff, who was strong and steady, and put together the most impressive team of lawyers ever to grace the West Wing. When Mike McCurry stepped down, he was replaced by bulldog Joe Lockhart. Clinton also promoted Rahm Emanuel and Doug Sosnik, veteran campaigners, and convinced me to leave my beloved Austin to become Counselor to the President. Not because I was possessed of some special wisdom or insight, but because I knew him well and was not afraid to give him bad news.
Mr. Bush would do well to augment his current staff, a C-Team if ever there was one, with some stronger characters. But to read the Bush-Miers correspondence is to gain a disturbing insight into Mr. Bush's personality: he likes having his ass kissed. Ms. Miers' cards and letters to the then-Governor of Texas belong in the Brown-Nosers Hall of Fame. You can be sure the younger and less experienced Bush White House aides are even more obsequious. The last thing this President wants is the first thing he needs: someone to slap his spoiled, pampered, trust-funded, plutocratic, never-worked-a-day-in-his-life cheek and make him face the reality of his foul-ups.
And so they wait. And they sniff the royal throne. They tell the Beloved Leader he's the victim of a partisan plot (although how the Bush CIA, which referred the Plame case for prosecution, became ground zero of Democratic liberalism escapes me). They assure him all is well. But all is not well. People are looking over their shoulders. The smart ones have stopped taking notes in meetings. The very smart ones have stopped using email for all but the most pedestrian communications. And the smartest ones have already obtained outside counsel...
PS. I don't believe there will be any indictments from Fitzgerald's grand jury.
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