BAD TIMES….It’s been a rough few weeks for President Bush, hasn’t it? Let us count the ways.

David Kay says “We were all wrong.” The administration’s near panic to pull out of Iraq has become almost palpable. The State of the Union speech was met with a combination of yawns and derision. (Steroids?) The 2005 budget was immediately mocked as a new low point in numerical mendacity and/or self-delusion. Democrats are regrettably poised to nominate someone other than Howard Dean. Job growth is sluggish to nonexistent. Indictments at very high levels seem imminent in the Valerie Plame case. The State and Defense departments are close to open warfare. Approval ratings are in free fall.

And to top it all off, we have the National Guard media frenzy, surely a shock to a bunch of political pros who figured that stonewalling had worked just fine in 1994 and 2000 and would work just fine again. When it didn’t, they inexplicably decided that releasing a bunch of pay records would shut everyone up and were shocked yet again when it didn’t. Then, in an example of self-imposed Chinese water torture unparalleled in modern politics they decided to release a single presidential dental record while admitting that they also had a big pile of other medical records but weren’t going to release any of them. Yet.

It almost makes you feel sorry for them, doesn’t it? Almost.

Anyway, I was in an artistic mood tonight and decided to finish off the evening by creating a sign that the assembled Washington press corps can carry en masse into the the White House press room every day ? journalistic decorum be damned ? to clearly let Scott McClellan know what it’s going to take to make the National Guard feeding frenzy go away. It’s going to take a president who keeps his word.

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