Wednesday, March 29, 2006

White House change

By Creature

What is Bush so afraid of? This question comes to me while thinking about the departure of Bush's chief of staff, Andy Card, and Bush's safe, stay-within-his-bubble choice of Josh Bolten. The conventional wisdom being tossed around right now is that Bush listened to his critics by initiating, however grudgingly, the so-called White House shake-up yesterday. But if George was listening, it was only through one wax-filled ear. Bush picked Bolten, someone whom, as The Washington Post described it, "he knows and trusts implicitly." His choice of Bolten shows weakness. Real change takes courage. Real change would have been picking someone from outside his close-knit circle. Real change would have been firing Andy Card. Real change would have been firing Karl Rove. Real change would have been firing Donald Rumsfeld. My "real change" list is pretty long, so I'll stop there before my fingers tire.

So I'll ask the question again: What is Bush so afraid of? Could it be he is afraid of being seen as a presidential fraud if an outsider were to enter the Oval Office? And by presidential fraud, I mean a disengaged, incompetent leader who allowed the real power of the president to reside in the hands of his vice president. By presidential fraud, I mean a figurehead leader whose only purpose as the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is to make scripted appearances, shake a few hands, clear some brush, and look tough for the cameras.

The sad truth is that this is exactly what the president is afraid of. To thwart this Oz don't-look-behind-the-curtain act, he must keep his circle tight. He must keep his circle closed. For if he does not, he will be exposed for the fraud that he is.

Change more.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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