Despite continual public attempts by Bush to make it appear that he is completely in control of his staff and his senses regardless of all of the scandals swirling around his White House, insiders tell the NY Daily News that, behind closed doors, he is as out of control as a rabid dog. Unlike a rabid dog, however, Bush brought all of this on himself.
Thomas DeFrank has the scoop in his article, Bushies feeling the boss’ wrath. Noting the unrelenting insurgency in Iraq, the loss of 23 US soldiers this past week, the US death toll nearing 2000, the controversy of the Miers nomination and, of course, the pending probable indictments in the Plame investigation (writes DeFrank: “Many Bush staffers believe indictments are likely.”), DeFrank gives us a glimpse into the madness of the modern-day King George.
WASHINGTON – Facing the darkest days of his presidency, President Bush is frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter, his associates say.
“He’s like the lion in winter,” observed a political friend of Bush. “He’s frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there’s no way he’d be happy about the way things have gone.”
Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss’ wrath.
“This is not some manager at McDonald’s chewing out the help,” said a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts. “This is the President of the United States, and it’s not a pleasant sight.”
That’s what happens to control freaks. When things go wrong, they have a very nasty meltdown and no one around them is spared.
DeFrank’s sources have many more adjectives to describe Bush’s bad behaviour:
Presidential advisers and friends say Bush is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the “blame game.” They describe him as beset but unbowed, convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
What was it Bush said about how the history books would remember him as if he didn’t care? “History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” Right.
Apparently, Cheney hasn’t been spared the wrath of Bush either and is getting the blame for the mess in Iraq:
“The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about,” said one Bush insider. “Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share.”
The vice president remains Bush’s most trusted political confidant. Even so, the Daily News has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the runup to the Iraq war that have been seized on by Bush critics.
That’s what happens when you give your vice president unrestrained power, Bush. Guess what? That’s your fault, not his.
If indictments of those in Bush’s inner circle are forthcoming this week, the White House will be faced with making major staff changes. If WH staffers think things are bad now, just wait until the end of the week. The rabid dog’s foaming at the mouth will no doubt reach every exposed surface in those hallowed halls and no one will be able to escape that horridly ugly scene.