Thursday, September 15, 2005

Too little, too late

Surely the man standing next to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in the East Room of the White House two days ago must have been an imposter. President George W. Bush would never say, "Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."

Then today the nation saw a man who claimed to be the President of the USA say, "When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I, as President, am responsible for the problem, and for the solution." That sounds more like President Harry Truman than it does like President George W. Bush. It turns out President Bush is now claiming responsibility for mistakes at every turn.

However, this is the same man who never admitted a single mistake in the first five years of his presidency. This blog widely documents the incessant mistakes, errors, and bad decisions of George W. Bush. To claim that he made no mistakes is simply disingenuous. Yet, George W. Bush instead rewards failure and gives promotions to the most incompetent in his administration. For example, after former CIA Director George Tenet insisted that it was a "slam dunk" that Hussein possessed WMDs and former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer "misplaced" $9-billion dollars that were supposed to go to rebuilding Iraq, Bush awarded both men the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian honor).

Also last year, a reporter asked George W. Bush, "After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be?" But the closest he could come to an admission of guilt was the following eloquent statement:
"You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer, but it hadn't yet...

I hope I -- I don't want to sound like I've made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one."
I agree that it's rare that anything pops into the President's head, and there's no question that he's not as quick on his feet as he should be, but being "under the spot" is no excuse for not being able to think of at least one minor error out of a career of countless monumental blunders.

Has the President suddenly turned over a new leaf and subscribed to the adage, "The buck stops here"? I doubt it, and I think the world doubts it. His sudden non-stop claims of responsibility and admissions of failures in his administration are falling on deaf ears. The words will ring hollow until responsibility is followed up with accountability -- something that is never accepted in this administration.

Mr President, all your apologies this week are too little, too late.

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