MATTHEW DOWD SPEAKS….I would probably be sued for blogger malpractice if I didn’t link to today’s New York Times story about the Epiphany of Matthew Dowd:
In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership….In speaking out, Mr. Dowd became the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him.
….Mr. Dowd’s journey from true believer to critic in some ways tracks the public arc of Mr. Bush’s political fortunes….Mr. Dowd, 45, said he hoped in part that by coming forward he would be able to get a message through to a presidential inner sanctum that he views as increasingly isolated. But, he said, he holds out no great hope.
….He said he thought Mr. Bush handled the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks well but “missed a real opportunity to call the country to a shared sense of sacrifice.” He was dumbfounded when Mr. Bush did not fire Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld after revelations that American soldiers had tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
….He describes the administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, and the president’s refusal in the summer of 2005 to meet with the war protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son died fighting in Iraq, around the same time that Mr. Bush entertained the bicyclist Lance Armstrong at his Crawford ranch as further cause for doubt.
“I had finally come to the conclusion that maybe all these things along do add up,” he said. “That it’s not the same, it’s not the person I thought.”
Welcome to reality, Mr. Dowd. Like you, though, I hold out no great hope that Bush will come out of his cocoon. In fact, I expect just the opposite.