Saudis heave Bush over the side as "loyal Bushies" begin to eat their own
What a shame. Even the pushers won't sell to the man anymore. WaPo's Jim Hoagland:
President Bush enjoys hosting formal state dinners about as much as having a root canal. Or proposing tax increases. So his decision to schedule a mid-April White House gala for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah signified the president's high regard for an Arab monarch who is also a Bush family friend.
Now the White House ponders what Abdullah's sudden and sparsely explained cancellation of the dinner signifies. Nothing good.
Well, that remains to be seen.
Abdullah's reluctance to be seen socializing at the White House this spring reflects two related dynamics: a scampering back by the Saudis to their traditional caution in trying to balance regional forces, and their displeasure with negative U.S. reaction to their decision to return to co-opting or placating foes.
The Saudis don't want to be seen with Bush? Heck, there's a whole continent over here that feels that way!
And now, the quote of the week, as the "loyal Bushies" begin to eat their own:
Adds an admirer who tracks Rice's intentions and assessments in the Middle East: "Condi is doing everything she can. But she is dancing with a corpse that just keeps flopping over in another direction every time she tries to move it."
Nice. So, Bush is a dead man waltzing? That's what the Saudis think, at least:
The Saudis, too, know how to read election returns. They see Bush swimming against a tide of scandal and stench that engulfs his most trusted aides. In the traditional Saudi worldview, this is a moment to hedge, not to indulge in the kind of leadership needed to break the Israeli-Palestinian deadlock or the deadly morass of Iraq.
Downwind, boy! Downwind!
NOTE And State isn't the only place where Republicans are making a meal of it. Take Justice--please:
Hoekstra spoke out as Gonzales' closest advisers turned on one another, according to documents and sources.
"It's unreal - it's open warfare over there," a former Justice official with close ties to Gonzales' team told the Daily News.
Kleig lights are the best disinfectant.