TPM Reader JB
has Bush's number ...
Future historians may draw some contrasts between President Bush's declaration that he's the one who decides troop levels in Iraq with his earlier and oft-stated insistence that commanders on the ground were asked what they needed and always got what they asked for.
I suppose he just decided to let someone else decide, and now has a new strategy. More likely, of course, he's just insisting now that he'll decide rather than let Congress do it, an easy enough point to hold when Congress doesn't want the job. It shouldn't get it, either; better to forego resolutions in favor of extensive oversight of reconstruction accounts, procurement, O&M, operations and other aspects of the war. The President won't like this either, but will have scant grounds to object.
Incidentally, Josh, you must have noticed that Bush's very expansive claims of executive authority are being made by the first President in our history to delegate to his Vice President anything close to the authority over policy and personnel that he has ceded to Cheney. Back in 1980 the GOP Convention audience was kept amused by an effort to establish a "co-Presidency" with Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, who'd have been given extensive authority if elected. Reagan decided then that it was a stupid idea; he wasn't running to be half a President. And now we have a President weak enough to make the "co-Presidency" a reality.
A weak President claiming vast powers is, if not unique in our history surely unusual.
That really does capture him: a weak and essentially cowardly man with great pretensions of power.