Maureen Dowd on Bush Running Away from Bush

Some weeks George Bush just makes things too easy for columnists like Maureen Dowd:

Things have become so dire for the Republicans that now even Bush is distancing himself from Bush.

The president is cutting and running from the president.

In a momentous event at the White House on Monday, Tony Snow made a major announcement about an important new strategy for Iraq. The president will no longer stay the course on the rallying cry “stay the course.”

Dowd has plenty more to say about Iraq before she moves on to other topics, and to Republicans beyond Bush:

Many frantic Republican lawmakers are also running against themselves, either reneging on their support for the war they started, or railing against Washington, the town they absolutely control, claiming that the capital has forgotten their values, or making ads denouncing the Democrats’ “homosexual agenda,” even though Republicans are now the party of gay scandal.

It’s a hilarious spectacle of a whole party re-enacting the classic scene in Mel Brooks’s “Blazing Saddles,” in which the sheriff holds the gun to his own head to take himself hostage.

The Bushes don’t connect words with action. Action is something that’s secretly plotted with the inner circle behind closed doors. The public should stay out of it. The Bushes just connect words with salesmanship. Poppy Bush never meant it when he said “Read my lips: no new taxes” at the 1988 convention. It was just a Clint Eastwood-sounding line in a Peggy Noonan speech, meant to pump up his flighty image.

Just so, his son never paid any mind to his campaign promise not to nation-build, and he didn’t come through on his bullhorn pledge to catch the perpetrators of 9/11 or his tough-guy vow to bring in Osama dead or alive.

To W., the words he says to Americans don’t matter as much as the words Dick Cheney says to him. He just has to hope that daddy’s friend, James Baker, the smooth fixer who is co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group and who has already suggested moving past the meaningless partisan jargon of “cut and run” and “stay the course,” comes up with a plan to rescue Junior from a fine mess one more time.

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