I've been thinking for long time that Bush is having a major mental breakdown. When he jumped into the orchestra pit, I was pretty sure I was right but this little incident convinced me completely.
Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."And if further evidence is needed, then there was the recent presser with President Talabani where our crackpot president was quoted as saying in part:
We had a good conversation today about a variety of subjects. I told the president that I'm fully committed to helping the Iraq government achieve important objectives. We call them benchmarks, political law necessary to show the Iraqi citizens that there is a unified government willing to work on the interests of all people.Could Bush have possibly sounded more clueless and arrogant or transparently self-serving? Unfortunately, yes he can. He followed up that zinger with this little gem of an announcement.
The president fully understands the need for the Iraqi government to meet certain benchmarks, and he is dedicated to achieving those benchmarks. We're working very hard, for example, on getting an oil law with an oil revenue sharing code that will help unite the country, working very hard on a de-Baathification law and on reform, as well as provincial elections.
I told the president of a decision I have made. I have asked one of my top aides, Meghan O'Sullivan, to return to Baghdad. Meghan has been an integral part of our team here at the White House. She has been in Iraq before. She's going back to serve with Ambassador Crocker to help the Iraqis and to help the embassy help the Iraqis meet the benchmarks that the Congress and the president expect to get passed, and I want to thank Meghan for her dedicated service to a free Iraq.Does this sound sane to you? Could he have undermined the Iraq government's illusion of authority any more thoroughly than he did with that clumsy rhetoric? What could possibly be more humilating to Talabani than to be publicly informed our imperial majesty decided to send a US
Mr. President, it is important that you succeed. Failure in Iraq would endanger the American citizens, because failure in Iraq would embolden the enemies of a free Iraq.
President Talabani's longer response predictably echoed the mandatory White House script -- after all he wants to keep those US dollars and troops flowing -- but this one sentence sums the relationship up perfectly.
And I've briefed His Excellency, Mr. President about what we have done and what we have achieved for this purpose.Exactly the right tone to strike with a crazy person who has the power to do you harm if you want to survive, but it won't win Talabani any respect with his own people.
Meanwhile administration insiders are fleeing in droves. Many have spoken critically on the way out, perhaps out of political expediency or to salve their guilty conscience but I suspect for some it's out of a genuine fear of what insane measures he might take in his remaining months in office.
Not so with the latest rat to jump off the sinking ship of state. Dan Bartlett isn't burning any bridges and remains a loyalist. Not that one would expect Rove's star pupil to be pricked by any form of conscience, but you do have to wonder why the guy would suddenly give up a 14 year career in the inner chambers of power without a better job offer waiting on the outside. What does he know, that we don't?