11/01/2005

Daily Kos: Bush is Coming Unglued

Bush is Coming Unglued
by MMinNY [Subscribe]
Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 08:17:33 AM CDT

Today's Daily News is reporting that Bush is losing the remnants of his self-control. The article is well worth reading.

Facing the darkest days of his presidency, President Bush is frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter, his associates say.


Similar stories have been floating around the net for quite a while, and I even heard an account from a friend who heard it directly from a person who had witnessed one of Bush's outbursts. As was widely noted last week, the author of the recent Daily News stories on the Bush White House, Thomas DeFrank, is quite reliable and well-connected. Thus, this story is no longer the stuff of rumor and Capitol Hill Blue-style exposes.

In addition, there are some new and alarming wrinkles in the DeFrank piece that may have implications in the Plame case. More below the flip.

* MMinNY's diary :: ::
*

According to DeFrank, Bush used to control his temper, directing outbursts only at senior staff because "he knows they can take it", but this has changed recently. He is described by a staffer as being "unhappy in general and casting blame all about," while refusing to take any responsibility himself. A couple of aides dispute this account, but the denials don't strike me as convincing. While I'm generally suspicious of the "dry drunk" psychologizing in which some have indulged, I must say this kind of blaming others does seem like a classic symptom of alcoholism.

DeFrank's description of Bush's behavior and mindset reminded me of Nixon during the last stages of the Watergate implosion, but without the maudlin, self-pitying quality that was so uniquely Nixonian. While there was a lot of fear about what Nixon might do when backed into a corner, Nixon lacked Bush's arrogance and sense of entitlement. For this reason, I think there's cause for alarm about how Bush will react to indictments and other setbacks. It's pretty clear he ignored cooler heads in the administration when he appointed Miers.

DeFrank sees Bush as determined to press forward, "convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency", regardless of the outcome of the 2006 and 2008 elections. And also, apparently, without regard to the advice of others. I have been skeptical of the idea that Bush would pardon anyone Fitzgerald may indict, but after reading the DeFrank piece, I'm starting to think otherwise. Certainly, the prospect of an increasingly angry, isolated and vindictive Bush chills the blood. Things were bad enough when he listened to his advisors, but at the very least, they were concerned about and somewhat constrained by big picture politics. There's simply no telling what Bush unleashed might do. Pardons may prove to be the least of it

Daily Kos: Bush is Coming Unglued

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