(off topic) Bush's blame game
- From: "Vagabond" <retoricus2@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 6 Sep 2005 17:32:43 -0700
Dealing With Political Disaster
By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; 1:21 PM
President Bush somehow missed the significance of what was happening on
the Gulf Coast last week as he and his political guru, Karl Rove,
flitted between Texas and California and, finally, Washington.
But now, facing what is clearly a full-scale political disaster, Rove
and a handful of other masterful political operatives have gone into
overdrive. They are back in campaign mode.
This campaign is to salvage Bush's reputation.
Like previous Rove operations, it calls for multiple appearances by the
president in controlled environments in which he can appear
leader-like. It calls for extensive use of Air Force One and a massive
deployment of spinners.
It doesn't necessarily include any change in policy. It certainly
doesn't include any admission of error.
It utilizes the classic Rovian tactic of attacking critics rather than
defending against their criticism -- and of throwing up chaff to muddle
the issue and throw the press off the scent.
It calls for public expressions of outrage over the politicization of
the issue and of those who would play the "blame game." While at the
same time, it is utterly political in nature and heavily reliant on
shifting the blame elsewhere.
But in some ways, this post-Katrina campaign poses Bush's aides with
The problem -- an achingly slow federal response to what has turned out
to be one of the greatest natural disasters this country has ever faced
-- can be traced at least in part to one of the Bush White House's most
defining characteristics: The protective bubble within which the
Bush's aides intentionally keep him mentally and physically aloof from
any ugliness -- political or otherwise. It lets them keep tight control
over the presidential imagery and stay on message.
But inside his bubble, Bush first failed to recognize what was becoming
clear to almost anyone watching the news: That Americans needed help.
And in his two meticulously staged visits to the Gulf Coast on Friday
and Monday, it is precisely because Bush was kept so far away from
dissension or mess that he appeared so out of touch.
He cracked jokes on Friday, including one about his drinking days in
New Orleans, but has yet to confront the true horror of the situation
so widely seen on TV. He has yet to acknowledge the disgrace of a major
American city being rendered uninhabitable on his watch. He has yet to
come face to face with people left to suffer for days in hellish
conditions and explain to them why their government failed them. And he
has yet to demonstrate the strength that Americans require from their
president in a time of crisis.
This crisis finds the president looking impotent at best, incompetent
at worst. And there is an element of whining to Bush's refusal to
shoulder his responsibility -- especially should the press continue to
make it clear how intensely he and his top aides are trying to pass the
The men behind Bush's bubble are clearly hoping that their tried and
true methods will serve them well yet again and that over time, Bush's
reputation will recover.
But with every body removed from the attics of New Orleans over the
coming weeks, America will remember the colossal failure of government
to protect its people.
- Prev by Date: Re: (The Nation) Thaksin wants no bad news
- Next by Date: Re: True number of Muslims in Thailand?
- Previous by thread: Re: Flight of Thai Muslims
- Next by thread: Re: (off topic) Bush's blame game