Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reality 1, Bush 0

We shouldn't be surprised. It was bound to happen one day. But it's amazing how fast all of Bushworld is just unraveling before our eyes, turning to dust and blowing away like the CGI mummies in those movies. There is no need to list all the bad things that have befallen Bush & Co. lately. The situation is continuing to deterioriate. What's astounding is the Bush people seem to have no clue how to regain the upper hand. They are just throwing paint at the canvas and hoping some of it sticks. Bush himself appears dazed and dispirited. Rove is (apparently) about to be indicted. Party discipline has broken down, and disciplinarian-in-chief Tom DeLay is out. The heretofore amazing political and message discipline emanating from the West Wing are nowhere to be seen. Miers may well win confirmation, but the choice has divided the right. Karen Hughes is a sideshow, a bad joke. The ill will stirred up by the government's incompetent response to Katrina has not dissipated and is now being fueled by the outrages of the bloated contracting process. The Senate is rebuking Bush/Cheney on torture. It's like multiple organ failure. All the contrary political forces and hard truths that have been systematically denied or held in check for the past four years are rampaging through the Bush body politic.

It's funny to see Bush so adrift. Given that his formula has been both effective and simple (stick to a few things, repeat them endlessly, slavishly reward your supporters, screw the opposition, ignore everything else, including policies that actually work) I thought he'd stick with it. But he moved off it a bit with Roberts (non-provocative to the left) and then way off it with Miers (provocative to the right). If you're used to always having your way and believe your own PR, when reality catches up with you, you'll have no practical tools to deal with it.