BLEATING AROUND THE BUSH….Ryan Lizza writes today that former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card viewed his job less as running the White House and more as being George Bush’s ultimate spear carrier:
As his White House service wore on, this ostentatious modesty morphed even further into creepy masochism. He seemed to delight in the most painful assignments. After his own father died of Parkinson’s disease, Card became a supporter of the life-saving potential of stem-cell research. Yet, when Bush limited federal money for the research, it was Card who made the rounds on the Sunday shows to cheerily defend the policy.
But this is less a reflection on Card than it is on Bush. After all, what kind of man would allow (or force?) a loyal retainer to do something like this? Answer: The same kind of insecure blusterer who repeatedly humiliates his aides in public with remarks like, “He’s a PhD, see ? I’m a C student. Look who’s the President and who’s the advisor.” Or who’s so famous for surrounding himself with toadies that it’s considered newsworthy when he appoints someone who doesn’t decorate his office with pictures of George Bush.
This is the central mystery of George Bush: How does this man-child with such an obviously mediocre mind manage to generate such intense loyalty in so many people? And yet somehow he does. Where’s Sigmund Freud when you need him?