Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

The emperors fight back

Posted by metaphorical on 12 December 2006

My friend Andrew seems hopeful that the Iraq Study Group will help the administration change its course. (Smackdown: George Bush gets some much needed adult supervision)

But it’s not clear the intervention is working. Thursday’s headline in the NY Times was “Bush Backs Away From 2 Key Ideas of Panel on Iraq” and Sunday’s was “Bush Aides Seek Alternatives to Iraq Study Group’s Proposals, Calling Them Impractical.”

What seems to be going on is that some sort of immunological response by the politicos has been triggered. Here, it’s with an outside advisory group, but it’s really the same thing that happens when the Bush politicos clash with the careerists (eg, with the career diplomats at the State Department, or the career lawyers at Justice).

I’m reminded of Bob Park’s comment back in 2002 in his venerable What’s New weekly newsletter. “When asked about an EPA report acknowledging the climate is growing warmer, President Bush said he had ‘read the report put out by the bureaucracy.’ If you’re wondering who the bureaucracy is, the White House signed off on the report.” (What’s New, 14 June 2002)

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One Response to “The emperors fight back”

  1. Me, I’m always hopeful. It’s a character flaw. I was really just enjoying the public dressing down that W got from his elders.

    I was hopeful that speculation floated by some pundits before the election that George would use the ISG recommendations as political cover for pulling out of Iraq would prove true. But I admit I was optimistic; a public lambasting by Dad’s buddies is not the way to get Junior to budge.

    Bush brazenly ignored the 9/11 Commission report. With three Iraq studies to pick and choose from, he can ignore the ISG report a little more artfully.

    About the only force pulling George away from stay-the-course is party politics. Republican hopefuls will argue that Iraq is an electoral millstone around their necks and George needs to do something. But I doubt George will heed them.

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