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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Great anti-Bush post of the day.

Right here, from the National Review

The last paragraph:

Which brings us to the Bushes. People have been trying to figure out what kind of bubble the Bushes live in for a long time. But it is not the cocoon of wealth that insulates them from reality and explains their frequent missteps and tone-deaf remarks, but that of family itself. The problem for W is that the ethic of friendship and loyalty that the Bushes cultivate and that brought him to power is threatening now to bring him down. He has made the common dynastic mistake of confusing loyalty and merit; in his eyes, the merit of people like Michael Brown and Harriet Miers consists in their being his friends. They are loyal to him, and their loyalty must be rewarded. Thus in Bush, the very loyalty that was a private virtue has become a public vice. His greatest failing is his inability to hold people accountable for their errors. Because they are his creatures, he seems unable to disown them or even to see their faults. This is an inexcusable failing in a democratic leader. As the Machiavellian FDR would be the first to acknowledge, aristocratic virtues have no place in the modern executive. For while Americans do love a prince, they want nothing to do with a king.

What I think is missed here is the fact that, if you accept the premise of the piece, Bush is only as successful as the cronies he appoints. Given Bush's success- he is a second term President of the United States with a same-party legislature and he's about to get a same-party judiciary, I have a hard time believing he doesn't pick his cronies well. So when Bush says "trust me" regarding Harriet Miers, I trust him. I trusted his father when it came to Thomas, who was no more qualified than Miers, and that worked out pretty well.

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