The White House also suggested that it would not necessarily accept the recommendations of an independent commission reviewing Iraq policy. "We’re not going to outsource the business of handling the war in Iraq,"said Mr. Bush’s press secretary, Tony Snow.So as per usual, if GW doesn't like what he's hearing he'll just kick it to the curb -- even if coming from the man who played a huge role in getting Bush into power in the first place, in 2000.
But this follows a pattern:
Indeed, one of the worst-kept secrets in Bush World is the dismay, in some cases disdain, harbored by many senior aides of the former president toward the administration of his son - 41 and 43, as many call them, political shorthand that refers to their numerical places in American presidential history.Oh how lovely. Thanks to a daddy-son rift, where junior is looking to prove daddy wrong, our country suffers, terribly. As Mike Malloy has always said, the Bush family is a cancer.
For five years, the 41s have bit their collective tongues as, they complain, the 43s ignored their counsel. But as the war in Iraq has worsened and public support for the current administration has tanked, loyalists of the elder Bush have found it impossible to suppress their disillusionment - particularly their belief that many of 43's policies are a stick in the eye of his father.
"Forty-three has now repudiated everything 41 stands for, and still he won't say a word," a key member of the elder Bush alumni said. "Personally, I think he's dying inside."
To 41 loyalists, the bill of indictment is voluminous. Some alleged 43 has betrayed his father's middle-of-the-road philosophy by governing as a divider, not the uniter he promised in the 2000 campaign. Others, like former 41 speechwriter Curt Smith, argue 43 isn't conservative enough.
"Conservatives want limited government, a balanced Middle East approach, a foreign policy that builds, not destroys, and general, not special, interest," Smith said. "Bush 41 endorsed all of the above. Bush 43 supports none."
A common refrain of the 41s is that 43's muscular approach to foreign affairs - what one derided as "cowboy diplomacy" - has estranged the U.S. from its allies and diminished its authority around the globe.
The ultimate sticking point for the old guard is Iraq. They cite the appointment of 41's close friend and former secretary of state, James Baker, to chart a new Iraq policy as belated vindication.
The 41s remain incensed, however, that Brent Scowcroft, 41's national security adviser and once a top outside adviser to this administration, has been demonized since he wrote a 2002 article opposing an Iraq invasion.
"What Brent said is now the accepted wisdom," a senior 41 hand said, "and everyone believes 41 agrees with him, though he'll never say it."