Bush and the I-Word
Talking to congressional Republicans about the current Beltway imbroglio over the administration's firing of eight U.S. attorneys, Robert Novak finds a pervasive level of disgust with the Bush administration's typically inept handling of the situation.
The I-word (incompetence) is also used by Republicans in describing the Bush administration generally. Several of them I talked to cited a trifecta of incompetence: the Walter Reed hospital scandal, the FBI's misuse of the USA Patriot Act and the U.S. attorneys firing fiasco. "We always have claimed that we were the party of better management," one House leader told me. "How can we claim that anymore?"Congressional Republicans are, unsurprisingly, disinclined to rally to either the president's or Attorney General Gonzales's defense. Unmentioned by Novak or his congressional sources, of course, is the ongoing mess in Iraq, President Bush's disastrous blunder that cost the GOP its congressional majorities and threatens to make it a minority party for at least a decade. The I-word applies there just a well, but with a much greater cost for everyone.