It really does seem as though the cardinals of DC punditry are constitutionally incapable of believing that George W. Bush has ever — in the real sense — gotten anything wrong or that they, the Washington establishment, has gotten anything wrong over the last six years.
I don’t like to use such words but I can only think to call the denial and buck-passing sickening. I can’t think of another word that captures the gut reaction.
Here’s the lede to Mort Kondracke’s new column in Roll Call (emphasis added) …
All over the world, scoundrels are ascendant, rising on a tide of American weakness. It makes for a perilous future.
President Bush bet his presidency â and Americaâs world leadership â on the war in Iraq. Tragically, it looks as though he bit off more than the American people were willing to chew.
The U.S. is failing in Iraq. Bushâs policy was repudiated by the American people in the last election. And now Americaâs enemies and rivals are pressing their advantage, including Iran, Syria, the Taliban, Sudan, Russia and Venezuela. We have yet to hear from al-Qaida.
Let’s first take note that the ‘blame the American people for Bush’s screw-ups’ meme has definitely hit the big time. It’s not Bush who bit off more than he could chew or did something incredibly stupid or screwed things up in a way that defies all imagining. Bush’s ‘error’ here is not realizing in advance that the American people would betray him as he was marching into history. The ‘tragedy’ is that Bush “bit off more than the American people were willing to chew.” That just takes my breath away.
Now come down to the third graf. Bush gets repudiated in the mid-term election … “And now …” In standard English the import of this phrasing is pretty clear: it’s the repudiation of Bush’s tough policies that have led to the international axis of evil states rising against us. Is he serious? The world has gone to hell in a hand basket since the election? In the last three weeks? The whole column is an open war on cause and effect.
This is noxious, risible, fetid thinking. But there it is. That’s the story they want to tell. The whole place is rotten down to the very core.