Bush’s jibe talking

by Stephen Tall on November 10, 2006

You’ve lost the Senate, you’ve lost the House, you’re a lame duck President with plunging approval ratings – chances are you’re a bit miffed. You gotta blame someone, and that person obviously can’t be you. Here’s your ‘to do’ list:

1. Take full responsibility, then
2. Sack the defense secretary
you said was unsackable, and
3. Make a barbed joke at your chief political strategist’s expense:

If Mr Bush does try to pin any of the blame on Karl Rove, it seems he’ll get short shrift from his party, according to today’s FT:

Republican analysts on Thursday said the jibe was unfair. The election was an indictment of Mr Bush’s Iraq policy, not political tactics. “Nobody thinks that Karl is in charge of the occupation of Iraq,” said Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, who has close ties to Mr Rove. “I haven’t heard any complaints about him. In a conference call with conservative groups no one faulted the turnout effort.”

Mr Norquist is an exemplar of the Republican right, as is clear from his penetrating analysis of the GOP’s defeat in the key swing state of Pennsylvania:

“Bob Sherwood’s seat would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn’t whined about being throttled,” said Mr Norquist. Any lessons from the campaign? “Yes. The lesson should be, don’t throttle mistresses.”