Monday, August 27, 2007

the sinking ship

Bush is a lame duck president who reportedly does not want to act like a lame duck president. Increasingly, though, his presidency looks like a sinking ship, and the rats are leaving. In the past two weeks, we've had two official announcements of resignations–Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales–and an unofficial announcement–Tony Snow. Though these may not be the highest level in actual hierarchy, they are remarkably high in the odd calculus of this administration. The man who made Bush's political career, the man who defended Bush's political career, and the man who was brought in to be the TV-ready face of the administration. Other top, long-time trustees who are still in place–Condi Rice, as a prime example, and Cheney–have been absent from the cameras and the headlines long enough to seem absent. In the headlines, in other words, Bush is alone now.

I don't pretend to understand the political or personal calculations behind these moves. I do wonder whether the Bush clan has anything to do with this. After all, it is widely rumored that Barbara, Laura, and others are extraordinarily angry with what has happened over the last few years. Moreover, the fact that the senior Bush was interviewed by the New York Times about his frustration and disappointment only a few weeks before the current run of resignations makes me wonder if the dynasty isn't playing a significant role in this shake-up. Then again, Junior's actions over the years have been an almost-Shakespearean drama of the son trying to show up the father.

Regardless, I want to believe that this regime is turning into a game of Last Man Standing in the face of a true comeuppance, but I'm also cynical enough to believe that they have a few more tricks up their sleeves.