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Summer Stonewall By David Ignatius

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jbfam4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:27 PM
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Summer Stonewall By David Ignatius
Summer Stonewall
By David Ignatius

Wednesday, July 20, 2005; Page A23

A president's ability to govern effectively depends on a measure of accountability -- the public's confidence that the leader will hold subordinates accountable for lapses in performance, ethics and judgment. That is precisely the quality that is beginning to slip away from the Bush administration, just six months into its second term.

The Bush White House's stonewalling and temporizing in the leak investigation of Karl Rove is the most dramatic sign of this problem, but it isn't the only one. This is an administration that rarely holds anyone accountable for anything, other than political disloyalty. That has been the problem on Iraq and Abu Ghraib. People who make mistakes, or worse, have had too many medals pinned on them.

But Bush's stance doesn't work politically. Look at the polls and you can see that the administration is losing public confidence. An ABC News poll released Monday showed that just 25 percent of the public believes the White House is cooperating fully with Fitzgerald's probe, compared with 47 percent when the investigation began in September 2003. Most striking in the ABC poll was the unanimity of opinion across party lines. Asked if Karl Rove should be fired if he leaked classified information, 71 percent of Republicans said yes. That was just a few points lower than the 75 percent average for all voters.

In place of accountability, the Bush White House has embraced the three-pronged strategy of attack, attack, attack. If anyone had forgotten how these trash-the-enemy rules operate, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman gave an astonishing demonstration on Sunday's talk shows. Mehlman had a tough case to argue, given uncontroverted evidence that (a) Rove had been a confirming source for columnist Robert D. Novak's initial story that the man who was making trouble for the White House on its arguments regarding weapons of mass destruction, Joseph Wilson, was married to a CIA employee and (b) Rove was the initial source for Time's Matthew Cooper on information that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA on WMD issues.

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Son of California Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:30 PM
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1. those poll numbers sound great
maybe Republican voters across the country are waking up and realizing that Bush, no matter what his party affiliation, is just, quite plainly, a bad president.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:06 PM
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2. Isn't it time for a month or so vacation?
Being pResident is Hard Work(tm) you know.
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:28 PM
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3. glad to see the msm isn't going to let this die quietly
May it be in newspapers every day and when the congresspeople go home they get an earful from their constituents. Every night I dream that they are all sent to prison or convicted of treason.
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