Democrats & Liberals Archives

Nothing Gets In The Way Of A Bad Idea

Why am I not surprised? Bolton gets recess-appointed.

Bush gets what Bush wants, and that’s the whole problem. Even with serious reservations coming from his own party, and serious questions about whether the Bush administration has been honest about this man’s role in the whole WMD affair, or his testimony about the Plame case, this is what Bush does.

I've got a theory here: we got a president who is brilliant about winning elections, and an utter dumbass otherwise when it comes to any other kind of politics. He knows how to deal with things where there's a clear line between winners and losers, but when the situation is more complicated than that, he still tries the zero sum game, and breeds huge amount of resentment in the process.

Bolton's appointment is that kind of political mistake. Put simply, he will exacerbate the political weaknesses of this administration. What you fight for is what you're invested in, and Bush has invested a great deal of political capital into this appointment.

He has invested himself in a man who is known to be outspoken against the UN. This appointment is unlikely to change that. We can expect some unnecessary dust-ups and soundbites that are going to embarrass the administration, and frustrate our purposes abroad.

He has invested himself in a man who has covered up and conveniently forgotten things and is being covered up for, meaning that his appointment is a political liability for them both.

He has invested himself in a man who is not part of the community he's expected to interact with.

But this is what Bush wants. This is Bush's victory. Let's review Bush's victories so far. His victory on tax cuts has created deficits so huge even his own party members are disgusted. His victories in getting his war has become his greatest political liability, destroying his credibility as a CINC, and utterly annihilating his protected status as a war president. His victories in 2000 and 2004 were both by one state, with an electorate divided neatly down the middle, and both elections the source of major bitterness. He wins so many times, but every time, it seems, the victory comes at great cost.

I would be sitting right back and letting Bush get enough rope to hang himself, except we are living in extraordinary times, where the decisions of the president actually do matter. In an age of globalized terror, our diplomatic relations are important, and now we have this loose cannon on deck.

The question is no longer whether the Republican party can stand that many more Bush victories, it's whether America can.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 1, 2005 11:29 AM