Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bush in the Bubble

I've blogged about this several times before... But Newsweek has a good article on Bush's leadership style: essentially he surrounds himself with a group of like-minded yes-men who reinforce his world view.

A good leader usually seeks out diverse opinions and input on complex issues: but not our president -- he already knows the answer -- a result of his close relationship with Jesus I guess... So why ask experienced people for their opinions?
Jack Murtha still can't figure out why the father and son treated him so differently. Every week or so before the '91 gulf war, President George H.W. Bush would invite Congressman Murtha, along with other Hill leaders, to the White House. "He would listen to all the bitching from everybody, Republicans and Democrats, and then he would do what he thought was right." A decorated Vietnam veteran, ex-Marine Murtha was a critical supporter for the elder Bush on Capitol Hill. "I led the fight for the '91 war," he says. "I led the fight, for Christ's sake."

Yet 13 years later, when Murtha tried to write George W. Bush with some suggestions for fighting the Iraq war, the congressman's letter was ignored by the White House (after waiting for seven months, Murtha received a polite kiss-off from a deputy under secretary of Defense). Murtha, who has always preferred to operate behind the scenes, finally went public, calling for an orderly withdrawal from Iraq. In the furor that followed, a White House spokesman compared the Vietnam War hero to "Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party." When that approach backfired, President Bush called Murtha a "fine man ... who served our country with honor." The White House has made no attempt to reach out to Murtha since then. "None. None. Zero. Not one call," a baffled Murtha told NEWSWEEK. "I don't know who the hell they're talking to. If they talked to people, they wouldn't get these outbursts. If they'd talked to me, it wouldn't have happened."
Three more years of damage to come...


Democracy Lover said...

So apparently Bush's personal diplomacy skills are about the same as his international diplomacy skills - non-existent. In fact, I'm having a hard time thinking of a single skill Bush has that's relevant to his job.

Of course, that's never prevented him from getting an executive job in the past. He's just gone from getting hired because of Daddy's contacts to getting hired because of Rove's contacts: Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and the Secretaries of State of Florida and Ohio.

Reign of Reason said...

Don't forget all the executive and board jobs for those TX oil companies... that all failed miserably...

Amazes me that the 'CEO' president has a perfect record with regard to businesses he's been significantly involved in: all failed.

(you can't count the Rangers: he was just a PR/Front man)

Reign of Reason said...

Another good quote from the article:

In subtle ways, Bush does not encourage truth-telling or at least a full exploration of all that could go wrong. A former senior member of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad occasionally observed Bush on videoconferences with his top advisers. "The president would ask the generals, 'Do you have what you need to complete the mission?' as opposed to saying, 'Tell me, General, what do you need to win?' which would have opened up a whole new set of conversations," says this official, who did not want to be identified discussing high-level meetings. The official says that the way Bush phrased his questions, as well as his obvious lack of interest in long, detailed discussions, had a chilling effect.