Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 3, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH'S BRAIN....The Washington Post has more dirt from Robert Draper's new Bush bio, Dead Certain, today. Turns out Karl Rove didn't want Bush to pick Dick Cheney as VP but Bush figured it couldn't do any harm. Score one for Karl. Rove also had doubts about appointing Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Score two for Karl. On the other hand, Rove also favored keeping Donald Rumsfeld on as Secretary of Defense when Bush polled his advisors in mid-2006. And Bush "hit the roof" when he learned that Rove knew about Valerie Plame after all, even after telling Bush otherwise. So call it even on the Rove-O-Meter.

What else? The White House was like a war zone, with senior aides refusing to talk to each other. Cheney thinks the main mistake we made in Iraq was not immediately installing a provisional government, just like Ahmed Chalabi recommended.

But wait. This was supposed to be a book about Bush, wasn't it? What does it say about him? Lessee. The Secret Service went crazy trying to keep up with Bush's demand for presidential bike trails whenever he was on the road. (That's why Bush was so quiet on that famous pre-Katrina videocon with FEMA head Michael Brown: he was tuckered out from a bike ride at the ranch.) He really did believe that "democracy would spring forth with little effort" in Iraq after the invasion. He doesn't really remember how and why the Iraqi army got disbanded. And he thinks Bill Clinton is a git for doing dumb stuff like hanging out at the UN in his post-presidential career.

Quite a guy, our president.

Kevin Drum 12:43 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

He's a reformer with results, a uniter not a divider, a Churchillian visionary, a prophet without honor, etc.

I'm sorry, I meant to say a dumb fuck, born well, a serial failure in life, treated with kid gloves by an ever credulous media, who has led us to disaster.

Posted by: Klein's tiny left nut on September 3, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

what's a git?

and do we call him up, just like the gimp?

Posted by: dahoz on September 3, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Fantastic Freedom Institute!

Posted by: anonymous on September 3, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

"He really did believe that 'democracy would spring forth with little effort' in Iraq after the invasion."

Note that he believed it in large part because he was told as much by the likes of Kenan Makiya, who I seem to recall was a pretty widely respected commentator at the time--a liberal idealist who seemed to know what he was talking about. The problem here isn't that Bush is stupid--Makiya certainly isn't, nor is he guileful--but that he only heard what he wanted to hear, and failed to listen to alternative voices.

Posted by: David. on September 3, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Does a free packet of salt to take with the stories from anonymous White House sources come with the book. Sounds like lots of ass covering and blame placing (which, admittedly, is going to be fun to read). The direct quotes from the Pres are astonishing, the rest seems like reputation saving

Posted by: Martin on September 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Just because Bush told the author certain things does not make them in any way true. In reading these statements, it is best to keep in mind that George W. Bush is a very disturbed individual and is, in fact, a pathological liar. Next week, the stories could be completely different. So picking the few grains of truth from the mountains of lies upon lies upon lies is quite a chore. I think the line between fantasy and reality has become so blurred in his mind that even he doesn't know what the truth is.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 3, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Painting the picture of a mentally challenged, swaggering drunk.

And of course "He doesn't really remember how and why the Iraqi army got disbanded," because being Cheney's presidental face - why be burdened with details.

And also, Bush didn't pick Cheney - Cheney pick Bush. Cheney needed a drunk, completely incurious, completely lazy imbecile who prefers remaining intoxicated most of his time. In this Bush has fit's bill perfectly.

Bush "hit the roof" when he learned that Rove knew about Valerie Plame after all - yeah, poor little Bushie, always being lied to by his own people. But being a drunking idiot, why should anyone waste time telling Bush, the face, the dim-wit anything at all? Bush is more irrelevant than the cleaning staff in the Whitehouse. Leaving dim-wit out-of-the-loop is a daily practice, as Bush doesn't know anything and he doesn't care about anything except his narcissistic image.


Posted by: Me_again on September 3, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, the tell-alls are starting a little early, aren't they? I thought they'd at least wait until GW was safely back at the "ranch" before they started in on him.

Anyway, get ready for the chorus of denials from the usual Corners.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 3, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and the "replenish the ol' coffers" thing? I wish I could be there when he learns that nobody is willing to cough up $75K even to watch him act out The Aristocrats live onstage, much less listen to him ramble his standard nonsense.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 3, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the phrase "Bush's brain" a bit like "jumbo shrimp"?

Posted by: craigie on September 3, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Frat Boy wrecks house. Don't worry, Daddy will pay for it.

Who's yer Daddy?

Posted by: bobbywally on September 3, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

What Helena Montana said.

The entire history of George W. Bush has been about using the tools of marketing and public relations to create the image of something that does not exist. From the national guard, to the Texas Rangers, to the ranch, to "Who do you want to have a beer with," to the hagiography of 9/11, to the Winston Churchill comparisons, to the aircraft carrier, and right on up to this weekend's "surprise!" visit to Iraq, everything of note about George W. Bush has been complete and total bullshit.

Any "biography" written with his approval is no more than a continuation of that marketing and public relations campaign.

Posted by: James E. Powell on September 3, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Re the UN, I somehow get the idea that the feeling is mutual.

It will be interesting to see if big buck Republican'ts are willing to pay this guy to speak his "wisdom" to them, like they did Poppy and that scum Clinton, who has stolen Poppy's affection.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 3, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

His big plus is that he'd be good to have a beer with; oh, wait; he doesn't drink.

Posted by: Rula Lenska on September 3, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

The "replenish the coffers" business doesn't make sense. He's never really made any money in the business world: his wealth is almost entirely inherited. This period in public office means a 14 year period when he isn't using any of his own money on operating expenses and his own assets are in a blind trust. In terms of his personal finances it has to be the most productive portion of his adult life.

Posted by: rk on September 3, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Draper writes that Bush was "gassed" after an 80-minute bike ride at his Crawford, Tex., ranch on the day before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and was largely silent during a subsequent video briefing from then-FEMA Director Michael D. Brown and other top officials making preparations for the storm.

Well, clearly W mastered the one central skill of the quintessential C student: Always have an excuse why you weren't prepared and didn't do the work.

Posted by: DrBB on September 3, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed here about the grain of salt comments and the CYA nature of much of what Draper got from him in this "authorized" biography.

What's interesting to me in that regard, though, is the impression you get that this incredibly lame excuse-making about Katrina and not being able to remember or understand at the time how his own policy re the Iraq army got turned around really does come from the bozo himself. Like he's clueless enough to think it's all consistent with his other delusions about being The Churchill of Our Times.

Inside the mind of a coddled fratboy. Ugh.

Posted by: DrBB on September 3, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm sorry, I meant to say a dumb fuck, ***born well***, a serial failure in life, treated with kid gloves by an ever credulous media, who has led us to disaster."

I think the phrase you mean is born RICH.
(1) I thought we didn't believe in aristocracy in America.
(2) It's not like the rest of the Bush clan are great human beings. Bush senior only looks like a decent president when compared to his son. Is the bar now really set so low that "didn't cause a major fsck up and was kinda honest about taxes" now all it takes to be a great president?
(3) There don't seem to be any particularly impressive genes in the Bush pool. While GWB can run and ride a bike better than most Americans his age, he's not especially superb in this regard. And god knows his brain, even if you agree with the goals of his policies, doesn't seem to work especially well in carrying them out, or in any sort of planning or analytic thought.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on September 3, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Maynard,

GWB is highly successful. He's got a great wife and two beautiful, well-adjusted kids and a nice ranch in Texas. He's got about $15M in the bank and a license to print money after he 'retires'.

As far as carrying out his policies he seems to be doing quite well regarding terrorism. Weren't you one of the ones waiting for the surrender to begin after the congressional elections and after the Iraq Study Group made it's recommendations? I think you were. How is it GWB ignored the ISG, ignored Congress and ignored you in ADDING 30,000 troops in Iraq? How is it he got the entire Iraqi budget passed? How is it he told Harry to stuff his timelines and Harry stuffed him timelines? Harry has already surrendered before the September hearings.

For someone not especially bright or talented he seems to toy with the Democrats easy enough. They're not even pretending anymore They're doing the surrendering. Have they done a single thing to actually oppose Bush?

At a minimum you've got to agree this visit to Anbar has been very well timed before the hearings.

Posted by: rdw on September 3, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

He's never really made any money in the business world: his wealth is almost entirely inherited.

Actually he's inherited little. He was very successful before he became governor and he will be able to print money after he 'retires'. He and Laura will write successful books and he'll be able to get at least $100K an appearance. He remains enormously popular with his base and that's where the money is.

Posted by: rdw on September 3, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

And he thinks Bill Clinton is a git for doing dumb stuff like hanging out at the UN in his post-presidential career

That's okay by me, I don't want Bush hanging out anywhere near the UN, or any other body of influence for that matter. We'd be safest if he were to just spend his remaining years not trying to do anything remotely good for our Country or the Planet. I'd even be willing to pay extra taxes just to keep him on the ranch.

Posted by: Fred on September 3, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think the line between fantasy and reality has become so blurred in his mind that even he doesn't know what the truth is.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 3, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

King George needs an omnipresent court jester with carte blanche to say anything.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08 on September 3, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

It will be interesting to see if big buck Republican'ts are willing to pay this guy

Fret not Cal Sal. GWB is enormously popular with his base, far moreso than his Pappa. His base is large and wealthy.

Posted by: rdw on September 3, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I do not believe for one moment that Bush did not know that Karl Rove outed Valerie Wilson.
Like he and Karl weren't joined at the hip 24/7.
And it makes his statement another lie from 2003 that "If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if that person violated the law, the person will be taken care of."
They must have had some good laughs with that one as time progressed and he commuted the sentence of the convicted Libby.
And when you think of all the prisoners that were killed by the state in Texas when he was governor because he refused to consider clemency for them, mercilessly mocking one who found Jesus.

And he never served in a war yet lied about a war where almost 4000 soldiers have died....and is over there now creating photo opporunities for himself in a most disingenous way.
Sheds tears my ass. God's shoulders to cry on. What bull. This narcissist knows no empathy, and sheds no tears.
It is disgusting he wants to make extra money making speeches and has no interest in relevancy after his presidency concludes.
Pathetically shallow.
Worst President Ever

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

As the previous post of rdw so beautifully illustrates, the thirty percenters who sitll support the President are deluded that execution of a brilliant and victorious PR stratgey is equivalent to having a successful foreign policy.

It actually is, if you don't count the lives of three thousand American and tens of thousands of Iraqis, the 20 thousand injured American soldiers and a million or more displaced Iraqis, not to mention a few hundred billion dollars thrown down the drain. That is some brilliance. Indeed.

Posted by: gregor on September 3, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

"...And if that person violated the law, the person will be taken care of."

Oh, they were taken care of. They were taken care of very well.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Probably laughing all the way to the bank with the "Libby Defense Fund."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"I'd even be willing to pay extra taxes just to keep [George W. Bush] on the ranch."

Only if he's shackled to a fence post and forced to forever look toward the site of Camp Casey.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 3, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

According to rdw, "He and Laura will write successful books and he'll be able to get at least $100K an appearance. He remains enormously popular with his base and that's where the money is."

Regarding the **ahem** successful books, My Pet Goat has already been written.

Regarding the $100K an appearance he supposedly will be pulling down--I can't believe even his base would sit through listening to that poor man ramble incoherently about subjects he is totally ignorant of. Whatever his neurological/psychiatric problem is, it's getting nothing but worse.

Regarding his enormously wealthy base--so they're going to support him, huh? I thought those folks didn't believe in welfare.

Posted by: Helena Montana on September 3, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

This is so similar to Richard Nixon, who complained in an 11 page memo released this summer that voters never hears about his inner goodness and the little every day touches that made him so human...
Such pettiness of these two presidents


Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops--preview is my friend yet I whipped that out without grammatically correct speech!!

..voters never heard..."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

They are cool with the corporate kind, and they have no problem taking care of their own. It's any social program that benefits the masses, and not just their selfish asses, that they get all foam-flecked about.

But that aside - aWol has been a tool in every sense of the word - a means to an end for those soulless fucks. He will soon find out that once he is not of use, he'll be cut loose.

And did someone say he was "successful"? He has failed at everything! He drilled dry holes and then when he played at baseball he traded Sammy Sosa. Where are his successes, exactly?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 3, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

In "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," John Perkins related that George was retained as a board member and consultant at Harken, with absolutely no record of accomplishment, and in 1989, Amoco Oil was negotiating offshore drilling rights with the gov't of Bahrain. Then Bush senior was elected president. Suddenly Amoco was replaced by Harken--who had not drilled previously outside the southeastern US, and never offshore--but Harken won exclusive drilling rights in Bahrain.
"Even seasoned energy people were shocked by what happened in Bahrain. "I hope G,W. isn't up to something his father will pay for," said a lawyer friend of Perkins..."Is the son's career worth risking the presidency?"
Perkins said he was "less surprised than my peers...he was familiar with Middle Eastern politics...and knew that Bush, just like the Enron executives, was part of the network that he and his EHM colleagues had created; they were feudal lords and plantation masters."

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 3, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

[you were not missed]

Posted by: rdw on September 3, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Where are his successes, exactly?

Well, he could fuck up a train wreck.

That's gotta count as a rare ability.

Posted by: DFH on September 3, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

[Your persistent thread-killing was never welcome and is no longer tolerated.]

Posted by: rdw on September 3, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

rightist dim wit at 5:22 PM;
GWB ... got a great wife and two beautiful, well-adjusted kids....
Do you know Pickles and have you seen photos of the drunken antics of his daughters?

...be doing quite well regarding terrorism....
The number of terrorism attacks was dramatically increased in 2005. That's why the State Department stopped gathering statistics. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

....this visit to Anbar has been very well timed...
Like the proverbial thief in the night

rightist dim wit at 5:28 PM

....He was very successful before he became governor and he will be able to print money after he 'retires'. ...
Actually, his daddy's friends bailed him out time after time until he was given a sweetheart deal on a baseball team if he helped sell the citizens and screw them thereafter

...GWB is enormously popular with his base.... His base is large and wealthy. rightist dim wit at 5:31 PM
As Bush himself declared: The Haves and the Have Mores Posted by: Mike on September 3, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

So he was tuckered out by his widdle bike ride before Katrina ? I don't have his recent medical report handy, but we now know he was treated for Lyme's disease a year or so ago. The likelihood is that he picked up the tick during one of his "challenging" bike rides, either in the woods of Camp David or on the road. This may very well not have been his first tick bite, though. Not all of them result in the telltale bullseye rash which he experienced after the one noted in his medical report. Some of Chimpy's "quirks" are consistent with the effects of Lyme disease. And let's not forget that both his parents (and the family dog !) developed Graves' Disease within months of each other during senior's term in the White House. Graves' is a form of hyperthyroidism & hereditary (so who in the family screwed the pooch ???); chances are high that Jr. will develop it & may already be in its early stages, given he's at the age when it manifests. This is all speculative, of course, but I have been convinced there has been something physiological going on for sometime. For example, keep an eye on his face-- some public appearances it's extremely bloated, his eyes watery; others gaunt & sunken.

Posted by: fignaz on September 3, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

President Homer Simpson.

Posted by: ogmb on September 3, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Maynard,

You are quite right -- born rich, not born well.

rdw,

Stay from the brown acid dude. Its giving you delusions.

Posted by: klein's tiny left nut on September 3, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's one positive legacy was killing the movement conservative cause--hopefully the corporate media will fold soon after. It will be his only lasting gift to America. His saddest true lasting legacy are thousands of dead and disabled people worldwide. Then comes economic collapse, chaos, and pestilence.
And then there were the glorious bike rides.

Posted by: Sparko on September 3, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Liberals like to portray the White house as a monolithic right-wing machine. But as "Dead Certain" makes clear, there is healthy policy debate among its key players.

And the President's small foibles make him appear much more human than the humorless robot that the MSM paint him as.

Posted by: Al on September 3, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Jan Crawford Greenburg over at ABC has summarily dismissed Draper's claim that John Roberts recommended Harriet Miers for the SCOTUS appointment. Maybe Draper has some housekeeping issues?

Posted by: daveinboca on September 4, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Bush: "Six years from now, you're not going to see me hanging out in the lobby of the U.N."

No kidding. They'd never let the s.o.b. in the door.

Posted by: TheOtherWA on September 4, 2007 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: As far as carrying out his policies he seems to be doing quite well regarding terrorism.

A.
Pentagon estimate July-2003 - Insurgents in Iraq: 5000

Pentagon estimate October-2006 - Insurgents in Iraq: 25,000

Pentagon estimate March-2007 - Insurgents in Iraq: 70,000


B.
"I believe he (Osama) is in the tribal region of Pakistan." - US director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell 7/22/07

C.
Days the color-coded gut-feeling terror alert system has been in place: 1,997

Days spent at terror alert level Blue or Green: 0

D.

after 2-invasions....and more than 500-billion spent.....the title of a report issued on 7/12/07 by the National Intelligence Council of the Bush Admin....

“Al Qaida Better Positioned to Strike the West”

rdw....quite well....

Posted by: mr. irony on September 4, 2007 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK

A "git"? Been reading Harry Potter much? :)

Posted by: Gregory on September 4, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Where are his successes, exactly?

He is an expert at using tax payer money to enrich himself.

Posted by: Disputo on September 4, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

But as "Dead Certain" makes clear, there is healthy policy debate among its key players.

Or vicious infighting. YMMV.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 4, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

What about me? Am I a success?

Posted by: Felipe Calderon on September 4, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Quite a guy, our president.

His only problem is that he's been totally misunderestimated.

Posted by: tomeck on September 4, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

President Forrest Gump, aka, Gomer Pyle, Mayberry RFd.

Posted by: Outraged Citizen on September 4, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly