BLIND QUOTES….David Ignatius calls for a mission into the heart of darkness:

If you want to hear despair in Washington these days, talk to Republicans….”This is the most incompetent White House I’ve seen since I came to Washington,” said one GOP senator.

[Etc. etc.]

When a presidency is as severely damaged as this one, the normal drill is to empower a strong and politically adept White House chief of staff to make the necessary changes….The current White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, needs to mount a similar salvage mission, argue several prominent Republicans. They question whether he’s politically adept enough. But most of all, they question whether Bolten or anyone else can break through Bush’s tight, tough shell and tell him the truth. What’s starting to crack isn’t the obdurate Bush, but the country.

Politically adept? Bush may have lots of problems with the Hill, as Ignatius documents, but let’s face it: this is all about Iraq, and there’s no chief of staff in the world who’s going to change Bush’s mind on that. Until Republicans themselves stop hiding behind blind quotes and start going public with the plain truth themselves, there’s no point in pretending that Josh Bolten can do it for them.

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