The Penalty of Leadership

Well, well.
We’ll start off with this heated Frank Rich rant laying out the usual liberal story line, which has now become undeniable for the President, that his public relations first, actual meaningful responsibility and attendant responsible action a distant second, has finally backfired, apparently, as reflected in the President’s now record (for him) dismal polling numbers.
That precise observation, the “Operation Hug a Black Person” is backfiring on all cylinders, is also reflected in this great piece by Billmon, noting that while Bush’s ratings among liberals can’t go much beyond where they are (perhaps a 10% approval rating?); no, no… what matters now is that for the first time, the combination of undermining both of the core values of so-called Republican values (i.e. government cheapness about spending money (1) in general and (2) toward the benefit of dark-skinned people particularly) is actually costing Bush among his hardened base. (That, and as I’ve pointed out before, high gasoline prices will do that.)
We, of course, shudder at just how big a jerk New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin must be to have to actually be wrong when the Bush Adminsitration is right, but such is the case as Nagin halted his ahead-of-schedule directives to businesses in New Orleans to try to get people back into the devastated city. Something about… Hurricane Rita or something. (Has anybody noticed that we’re already up to “R” in hurricanes, and we’re still in September? Just asking…) I hate to say it, but New Orleans could have used a guy like Rudy Giuliani (though, thankfully, they now have Vice-Admiral Thad Allen, albeit way, way too late). Of course, as they say about the Big Easy (similar to what they say about my home County of Kings): we don’t tolerate corruption… we demand it.
Anyway, there you have it. The President, right now, albeit around 11 months too late, is hopelessly damaged goods. While it’s a little too late to do anything about John Roberts, the President may well need another publicity stunt for O’Connor’s replacement… time will tell… (My suggestion is a former Watergate prosecutorial staffer… now the junior senator from New York… wouldn’t that be something?)
So much else going on in this wild and crazy world… elections in Germany and Afghanistan, the latest “deal” with North Korea… Actually, the link is pretty balanced from our friends in Beijing who brokered the deal…
The thing is, in substance, I am at a loss as to distinguish it from an apparently identical deal reached by the Clinton Administration around ten years ago, that was widely derided by Republicans as some sort of “appeasement”. But, as with everything else from record deficits to treason, I suppose IIOKIYAAR…
My fellow Americans, you can vote for a Democratic House in ’06… the only hope we have of neutralizing, if not impeaching, this Damaged Duck of a President… the choice is yours, America…