Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for Bush's 2004 campaign, told reporters yesterday that it was Katrina that broke the president's bond with the American people and toppled the bully out of him when he watched his own government flounder in response to the hurricane. Dan Bartlett, former White House communications director claims Katrina was the final nail in the political coffin. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Colin Powel, compares Bush to Sarah Palin and says that he was a "personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum." These comments are part of a Vanity Fair oral history of the Bush White House for its Feb. edition that comes out on Jan. 6. Surprisingly, this story hit the wires yesterday and is still within the top 10 AP stories today.
Meanwhile, Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi shoe throwing journalist, is enjoying world fame from behind bars while awaiting trial for the charges of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit." Mrs. Bush last week popped out of the woodwork long enough to declare the incident an attack on her husband. Starkly taking a different point of view, US activists say that to prosecute al-Zaidi would increase anti-American sentiments, so the incident should be treated as civil disobedience instead.
Ideally, the media exists and functions for the people by acting as the government's watchdog. To release such a damning "history" now, well before the inauguration of the next president, is a very large example of one of the reasons Islamic extremists despise Western ways. Outside the camp of Islam is the Arabic cultural tenet of pride and insult, and once again, the last laugh is on Americans. Al-Zaidi knew very well what he was doing when he launched his shoes and expects to pay the price. In all likelihood, he would be shunned far more if left unpunished for his act of "grave insult," and Bush would not be absolved from his shame.
This lame duck president is now tarred and feathered and de-nutted in ways far worse than his own actions could ever do. If Bush was so pitiful to begin with, why was he elected for a second term? Be careful what you wish for, or you just might get it.