Ignoring the undeniable fact that Iraq was the issue that turned both Houses of the legislature over to the Dems, Bush yesterday dumped the blame for the loss right in the laps of his conservative puppets in Congress. Althought he admitted, in the immediate aftermath of the blood bath, that the election had been a clear repudiation of his policies, he’s had time to “think” about it and now he’s digging in.
While Bush said that voters clearly indicated they wanted more bipartisan cooperation, he did not characterize last month’s election as a repudiation of his leadership. Instead, he said, the lack of progress in the war in Iraq and ethical lapses among Republican members of Congress soured voters on the GOP and created an opening for the Democrats’ victory.
“There’s a sense that people’s votes were being taken for granted, in a way,” Bush said. “. . . Look, you’ve got a guy using earmarks to enrich himself; there was sex and all kinds of issues that sent the signal that perhaps it was time to give another group a chance to lead.” The president was referring to political corruption involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the Mark Foley House page scandal. (emphasis added)
Nice parsing. Iraq is his baby all the way but somehow criticizing the “lack of progress” there (helluva way to describe chaos and civil war, ain’t it?) doesn’t mean they were criticizing his “leadership”. This will likely come as a surprise to any voters still paying attention. We thought we were pretty clearly expressing our repudiation, but I guess not.
One wonders how the ex-Congressional GOP – it’s still their party, after all – is going to take this. He just declared that major leaders in the GOP are corrupt and immoral and that’s why they lost Congress. I should think they’d have something to say about it. Or will they all lie down like the whipped dogs thay are and Take One for the Party?