Bush Calls Attention to His Failures

His visit to Wall Street and Cheney's to Iraq only reinforce the link between the administration and poor performance.


Leave it to the leaders of the Bush administration for their marvelous gift of timing. Whether it is the war(s), the economy, or a domestic emergency, this crowd gets the gold medal for failure.

On the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, Vice President Cheney makes an unannounced trip to Iraq. He is an appropriate visitor to the war zone, since he and former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld, along with a compliant Bush, have led the country into a never-ending conflict.

Even the generals who believe in the so-called surge agree that there is no reasonable move to a political solution. Without it, the conflict goes on, and the United States is going it really alone.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Cordesman, hardly a dove, calls the Bush group worse than Lyndon Johnson's top people in the shattering war in Vietnam.

In Afghanistan, where the administration left far too early in the reasonable war on the Taliban, there is turmoil. Bush couldn't wait to move on to Iraq despite the warnings by intelligence reports.

On the economy, Bush appeared in New York to give an uplifting speech. About the same hour, the Federal Reserve Board scrambled to avert a meltdown from the Bear Stearns fiasco.

The president's tin ear was never more in evidence. He refuses to tell his constituents what is apparent to them. The economy is surging to recession, and the stock market is certain to take more hits.

The American people have shown in the past that they are willing to accept bad news or make sacrifices at a time of war or poor economic news. But they won't hear it from Bush or his crowd, now in the twilight of eight years at the controls.

What about Hurricane Katrina and the administration's work in its aftermath? The city is still struggling to recover, and the return to New Orleans by African-American citizens is slow at best. Bush promised in that wonderful photo op at Jackson Square that the Big Easy would be stronger than ever.

We all know what happened: plenty of rhetoric and public relations, but New Orleans remains in trouble.

When will it end? Next January 20 there will be a change. It might be Democrat Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, or it could be Republican John McCain. Even with McCain's wrongheaded view on Iraq, he will be preferable to the man going home to Texas.