Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

The White House gets lonelier

Posted by Ron Coleman on May 31, 2007

It must be May 32nd. My utterly alienated blogfather — Andrew Sullivan — and his (says me) replacement, Glenn Reynolds, are on the same page about the White House’s unreal attitude toward the immigration bill. Yes, we’re all disgusted: “It’s the arrogance and condescension that finally makes your blood boil.”

It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before. It’s of a piece with the Bush weakness for cronyism, which is a family trait not entirely unrelated to loyalty.

Now who could be less of a crony to the Bushes than a Mexican immigrant pulling weeds from your garden? Well, some people insist that this is about President Bush’s strong compassionate feeling for the unfortunate Mexican immigrants who just want to make a life for themselves. Who am I to gainsay that? I don’t know the President. But the cronyism I wrote about at the link above, which put the Harriet Meiers debacle into the context of the Dick Cheney nomination, can be added to the President’s insistence on standing by a mediocre Attorney General, to get the following sum:

George Bush is a man of principle. Popularity polls and even congressional elections do not sway him from what he believes is the right course of action — say, in Iraq. But being, in that way, the anti-Bill Clinton, George Bush relies on a small inner galaxy to direct his inclinations. The result is an inappropriate amount of trust in his inner circle, and almost a contempt — or deafness, perhaps — to popular sentiment, maybe even iced with enjoyment of swimming upstream.

That’s a lonely place to be, especially when your hunches don’t work out so well, and especially in your lame duck years in office. Bill Clinton would not lead politically; defiance of the popular will was only something he did while signing midnight pardons on the way out the door. George Bush leads with his heart to the extent that his White House condescends even to its grass roots supporters. Unlike Bill Clinton’s all-night carnival, the Bush White House seems like a lonely world to live in, but for the governed, it may be worse.

Next time, can we get something in between?

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3 Responses to “The White House gets lonelier”

  1. Califlander said

    George Bush is a man of principle.

    Oh, yeah?

    McCain-Feingold.

  2. LOL — I should have said, “For a politician.”

  3. Bob Miller said

    Working in NJ a long time ago, I was grousing to my manager about politicians. He said (more or less), “Bob, the problem with politicians is that they’re just like us.”

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