"They're going to find out they've misread George W. Bush."
The image here is of a fellow that apparently "misread" George W. Bush. He's Matthew Dowd, a former Texas Democratic Party strategist that was seduced by the dark side in 1999. By 2004 he was named as the Bu$h campaign's chief strategist. Jim Rutenberg of the NYT gives us reporting based on an interview he recently had with Mr. Dowd. Indeed this guy has had a rough few years in his personal life yet I don't think we should completely discount what he has to offer. Having a son about to deploy to Iraq certainly gives him plenty of right to share his thoughts.
I noted Mr. Dowd was out in California working for the Governator while I was out there helping the other team. Wish I could have met him then to understand him more yet as an initial reaction I'm merely recalling my thoughts from back in the day, mostly in 1999 and 2000. I remember telling a niece that George W. Bush and Liddy Dole were attractive candidates back before the GOP field was known. He seemed truly somewhat moderate and I never thought Bu$h the Elder was a Reaganite, which was hardly something I wanted. Ms. Dole had her Red Cross background and I'd forgiven Bob Dole for his past attack dog style. I was doubtful I'd vote for the GOP candidate in that I was even then expecting Al Gore would likely be my choice. As the campaign started Dubyah and St. John McCain in fact both seemed tolerable since neither appeared to be total right wing nut jobs.
Then I started looking more closely at "Dubyah" and the situation in Texas. One thing I recall learning is that the Governor in Texas has rather limited power. Not a figurehead but not much better. Then I saw his record of failures in business, although far be it that I should throw the first stone. The Rangers deal was the only one he'd done well on and recall that he did that via taxpayers financing a stadium deal. May pay and a few profit ... he's really a Republican isn't he? Harvard MBA seemed more related to his legacy than capacity. Silver spoon and Skull and Bones and ... He was indeed more Shrub than Bush. We should have listened Molly ... and we miss you!
I was hardly comfortable with the GOP leadership in Congress yet thought some of the moderates up in DC might be able to do something with "a uniter not a divider". The debates sealed the deal for me as Gore simply destroyed him. The Bush/Cheney policy position had me nervous as well. I hate to admit it but Dick Cheny made me feel a little better. I knew he was rather extreme in some areas but fell for the Wyoming angle thinking maybe it was just some of that Mountain West contrariness. I recall thinking when the Veep debate was done that both Dead Eye and Loserman would be good for either of their Presidents.
Early on I was still smarting over the Florida recounts and especially how five conservative Supremes had "reasoned" their decision to stop counting votes. Al Gore courageously took one for the team and told us to stand down. So I did. What else could we do? I was upset over their NCLB and tax policy and ... yet after 9-11 felt like he might actually be able to handle things. How Afghanistan was approached seemed solid enough and yet very soon I lost any comfort with this administration. Seeing how theCongressional Republican "leadership" and Karl Rove and ... manipulated the "Global War on Terror" into political advantage still makes me sick. Then again, simply observing and reading Dubyah butchering the King's English reveals much. "Misunderestimated" is being all too kind.
I have admitted my shock and frustration with the 2004 election. I literally had to beak out the emergency Scotch at around 3:00 AM that next morning as I'd nodded off thinking Kerry had won, despite their dreadful campaign.
I know Mr. Dowd had a large role in keeping Bu$hCo in power. So shame on him! Shame on many in this administration from Condi Rice to ...! Politics and power have been the whole foundation of this foundationally flawed White House and their Rubber Stamp Congress. Many Americans "misread" George Bush so we'll all be dealing with those consequences for many years to come.
I'll at least have the pleasure of knowing that I only "misread" him for a brief period long before I cast my ballot. Peace ... or War!