Saturday, June 11, 2005

Arianna and Dr. Schlesinger

Uh, that would be Arthur, not Laura. We old people tend to be more phlegmatic than sanguine about current events. Hubris and incompetence, a dangerous cocktail...That's good. Wish I'd said that.

“What Korea was to Truman, and Vietnam was to LBJ, Iraq will be to George W. Bush,” Dr. S. told me. In all three cases, the public grew weary of a drawn out war with no end in sight. History shows that there is nothing sacrosanct about wartime presidents. There is no guaranteed immunity for them. Rally round the president when the nation is at war is the American tradition -- but only for a time. The Korean War forced Truman to pull out of the 1952 race. Vietnam forced Johnson to pull out in 1968.

Bush was able to keep Iraq at bay long enough to get re-elected, but the debacle threatens to derail his second term. It’s already starting to happen -- just look at the latest polls.
Like LBJ with Vietnam, Bush appears to be losing touch both with reality and with the sentiments of a growing majority of Americans. But, unlike Johnson, he seems strangely unaffected by the disconnect. Perhaps because he’s so convinced that God put him there. That He saved him from drinking and drugs so he could spread democracy in Iraq. But a combination of hubris and incompetence -- always a dangerous cocktail -- could well be his undoing. Unlike Truman and Johnson, he doesn’t have any more elections to lose -- but his party does. If only the Democrats would find their voice on the subject as 2006 approaches.
LINK (Background LINK Another one. And yet another)

No comments: