Sunday, September 11, 2005

A New Low, Indeed

Those are the images and words you'll find juxtaposed currently on Newsweek's home page.

Their Web exclusive cover story is chock full of data covering the developing -- and worsening -- political situation for the president. Michael Brown may be getting a good night's sleep, but it's gonna take a lot of those margaritas for Karl Rove to get another one again for a long time to come.

Particularly shocking are these statistics; I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the graphic on CNN in the 10 p.m. Eastern hour:

More critical to President Bush—and the GOP’s future as the nation’s majority party: most Americans, 52 percent, say they do not trust the president “to make the right decisions during a domestic crisis” (45 percent do). The numbers are exactly the same when the subject is trust of the president to make the right decisions during an international crisis.

You've got to love Newsweek's sense of irony in putting those two images together. So helpful to underscore that what used to be the president's greatest strength -- his resolute and powerful response to the 9/11 attacks -- was psychological.

The president is like a poker player who keeps stoking the pot, raising the stakes, forcing everybody to fold, and winning every hand without showing his cards. Katrina caught him by his surprise, made him flip his hold cards, and he was stuck sitting there with seven-deuce offsuit against a royal flush.

When you play no limit Texas Hold 'Em, you can lose everything on a single hand. The president swore we'd never have another 9/11. We the people swore we'd never see our own citizens running scared for their lives through another of our great cities. So much for never again.


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