Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7â€“a concern aggravated by the president’s news conference this week.
“They aren’t even planning for if they lose,” says a GOP insider who informally counsels the West Wing. If Democrats win control of the House, as many analysts expect, Republicans predict that Bush’s final two years in office will be marked by multiple congressional investigations and gridlock.
“The Bush White House has had no relationship with Congress,” said a Bush ally. “Beyond the Democrats, wait till they see how the Republicansâ€“the ones that surviveâ€“treat them if they lose next month.” GOP insiders are upset by Bush’s seeming inability to come up with new ideas or fresh approaches. There is even a heightened sensitivity to the way Bush talks about advisers who served his father. ~U.S. News & World Report
Now why would Mr. Bush lower himself to have a relationship with his servants? It seems downright undignified for the autocrat to spend much time with the yes-men, and if there is one thing Mr. Bush promised to do it was to bring back dignity and respect to the office.
Now perhaps Mr. Bush has confused the consequences of Iraqi elections (i.e., where there is no significant change to the political situation, and even if there is you are supposed to ignore it) with the consequences of our own, where there may be at least a bit of political change. Or perhaps he still lives in a world where he is a “uniter, not a divider” (oh, to return to the fun days of 2000…) and still remembers watching Thirteen Days with the Kennedy clan. Maybe he believes in the power of positive thinking. Maybe he just never plans for anything. That would make sense of a lot of things.
Should the GOP lose one or both houses, watch as Congressmen and Senators bare their teeth and start savaging Bush. They have nothing left to lose and everything to gain by being the most brutal critics of the administration. 2008 waits for no man, and many of the nominee wanna-bes will need to be positioning themselves as the anti-Bush. Anyone daft enough to claim the mantle of Bush (John McCain, this means you) will come to regret it.