Bush reign of terror in the Beltway
Newsweek reporters Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe have a profile on Bush this week; Boy in a Bubble. We've noted before the minor Beltway genre of not speaking for attribution; and this article contains many outstanding examples of that art:
A White House aide, who like virtually all White House officials (in this story and in general) refused to be identified for fear of antagonizing [Bush] ...
They all live in fear; His friends, Condi, all of them. Read on:
One of his closest friends (speaking anonymously so as not to complicate relations with [Bush] ... Declined to be identified for fear of giving offense ... One House Republican, who asked not to be identified for fear of offending the White House ... A GOP staffer who did not want to be identified criticizing [Bush]...
And what, exactly, would give offense to the Bush White House? Anything that would burst the bubble, of course!
A foreign diplomat who declined to be identified was startled when Secretary of State Rice warned him not to lay bad news on the president. "Don't upset him," she said.
What Bush actually hears and takes in, however, is not clear. [One House Republican] recalls a summertime meeting with congressmen in the Roosevelt Room at which Bush enthusiastically talked up his Social Security reform plan. But the plan was already deadâ€”as everyone except the president had acknowledged. Bush seemed to have no idea. "I got the sense that his staff was not telling him the bad news," says the lawmaker. "This was not a case of him thinking positive. He just didn't have any idea of the political realities there. It was like he wasn't briefed at all." ...
Occasional outsiders brought into the Bush Bubble have observed that faith, not evidence, is the basis for decision making.
Pitiful we have a President who is so reluctant to facts that he terrorizes anyone who brings him bad news.
Pitiful that we have a Beltway that's so afraid of Bush that they don't tell Him the bad news that they must know the country needs Him to hear.
NOTE There's also this interesting little note:
His character was forged by hard-won struggles with drink and more shadowy demons, and he has been redeemed by faith.
Forget the credulity on drink and faith; there's no reason to believe Bush's faith is genuine, nor is there any reason to believe he's anything other than a dry drunk--if he is, indeed, dry.
What are the other "shadowy" demons? Coke? Whatever happened during Bush's "missing year" in the Air National Guard? Something more recent, like tranquilizing drugs? Or a stroke? What other demons?