Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I don't know why the announcement of the Bushies' grand new strategy is being postponed, but part of the problem could be the family drama in Boy Bush's head.

From today's New York Times:

Some members of the administration, including some in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, have argued that the administration needs to provide clear support to a strong Shiite majority government, but the State Department, led by Condoleezza Rice, views that as a recipe for perpetual civil war. Ms. Rice has instead advocated a proposal intended to woo centrist Sunni leaders to Mr. Maliki's side, including provincial leaders.

Uh-oh -- Bush's surrogate dad is arguing with Bush's surrogate wife (surrogate mom?). No wonder the Decider can't decide.

With regard to Surrogate Dad, this morning an NPR reporter pointed out that Cheney pal Donald Rumseld is leading the listening session at the Pentagon today, while Cheney has been present at all the sessions. To Bush Kremlinologists, the departure of Rumsfeld was a sign of a reduction in Cheney's influence -- but now Dick's back.

What the hell is going on with Rummy? He was booted, but he was allowed to stay on well past Gates's confirmation, he made that trip to Iraq with no reporters other than a bloviator from Cheney's favorite news outlet, and now he's the alpha dog at the meeting today.

It's as if Junior, attacked by the bullies (voters, Democrats, the media) and clearly not being defended by his real dad (represented by James Baker), became sullenly compliant and let Rumsfeld go in favor of one of Dad's friends -- but now Surrogate Dad is stiffening Junior's spine, and so Surrogate Dad's friend Rummy is back in favor.

Or maybe Cheney and Rumsfeld represent the "bad crowd" Junior's been ordered not to hang around with. His sullen compliance lasted a couple of weeks -- but then Cheney pulled up in front of the house with his elbow out the window and Rummy riding shotgun, and Junior sneaked out his bedroom window and went off joyriding with them, even though he's grounded.

People talk about the "psychodramas" of the Clinton years -- E.J. Dionne was using that word just yesterday -- but Clinton's dramas were personal, and what was called "compartmentalization" was really just the mature ability to put personal issues aside and get to work.

Bush's presidency, by contrast, is one long psychodrama, and it all plays out in terms of policy. Everything he does is an attempt to get back at the liberals he felt mocked by at Yale, or to get back at and/or outdo his centrist wuss father. Maureen Dowd gets it, and even Bob Woodward, who usually seems too cyborgy to understand human nature, has started to get it, but I wish more of the press corps did.

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