During his initial bid for the White House, in response to allegations that he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Bush-backers informed the public that he typically employed a cadre of experts to digest information, analyze complex situations, and advise him on appropriate action. This information was enough to allay the fears of many with respect to Bush's executive ability, and he was soon elected to what may be the most powerful office in the world.
Sadly, the public was so eager to embrace a conservative candidate that it failed to scrutinize Bush's previous career, his management style, or the claims made about it. Americans were thus duped by a lie of omission when the spin doctors failed to mention that the future commander-in-chief typically ignored such experts as he employed.
It seems unlikely that Bush surprised anyone in disagreeing with the report issued this week by the Iraq Study Group. In fact, it would be much more surprising to find Bush with the humility to admit either that his plan is not working, or that the public does not support it.
Dr. Robert Gates, lately of Texas A&M University, made headlines this week by daring to utter the obvious truth known to every middle school student: the United States is not winning the war in Iraq. Considering the White House response to his first public statements, one wonders if Gates were not chosen as Secretary of Defense for his "ignorability".
Mr. Bush's latest actions are, however, completely in character. They are part of a larger pattern of disrespect for his advisers, for public opinion, and for good sense in general, not to mention the Constitution and civil liberties. This pattern explains how a Harvard Business School graduate managed to be at the helm of so many failed business ventures.
And while Mr. Bush may hold "success" in disdain, he must needs be aware that the American public does not share this sentiment, and is unlikely to forgive him for a failure of such magnitude. With the death toll standing at nearly 3000, it is unclear that Americans will continue to have the stomach to "complete the mission," the objective of which becomes hazier by the day.
Friday, December 08, 2006
- ▼ 2006 (15)