Although all administrations use political muscle on the opposition, GOP lawmakers and lobbyists say the tactics the Bush administration uses on friends and allies have been uniquely fierce and vindictive….The fear is that Bush will either freeze them out of key meetings or hold a grudge that might deprive them of help in other areas, the lobbyists said. When the Electronic Industries Alliance declined to back Bush’s dividend tax cut, the group was frozen out when the White House called its “friends” in the industry to discuss the tax cut, according to White House and business sources.
I’ve noticed the same thing myself. Bush seems to have an almost pathological desire for obsequious loyalty, and when he says “either you’re with us or you’re against us,” he means he expects you to be with him on everything. The result, though, as Democrats learned last year and Republicans are learning now, is that there’s not much payoff for supporting Bush unless you’re willing to toe the line as thoroughly as Waylon Smithers donating a kidney to his boss. If you’re not ? well, you might as well be Al Gore as far as Bush is concerned.
Sadly, I imagine Tony Blair is going to learn this lesson too when the war is over. He probably deserves better, but I imagine that the first time he crosses Bush their relationship will be all over.
Even Bush’s father apparently agrees that Jr. ought to lighten up a little. My own advice, however, is a bit simpler than his: put down the Old Testament for a bit and read a few passages from the New Testament now and again. There’s some good counsel there.