Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm the Decider

Having discussed the Bush presidency over the years, I know we've all wondered how much Bush had to do with making decisions etc. Whether or not we should say "Bush invaded Iraq" or use "Bush Administration" or whether we should listen to guys like Sam Harris seeking to convince us that American foreign policy resulted from Bush's unique faith. Well, you knew not to listen to Sam Harris though, didn't you?

Anyway, a top Aide to Colin Powell has recently discussed this matter with some serious candor, and the results are basically what you would expect: Bush was never expected to be a serious "decider." He was, of course, chosen like you'd choose a logo for a product.

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell:
We had this confluence of characters--and I use that term very carefully--that included people like Powell, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and so forth, which allowed one perception to be "the dream team." It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president--because, let's face it, that's what he was--was going to be protected by this national- security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire. What in effect happened was that a very astute, probably the most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur I've ever run into in my life became the vice president of the United States.