The New York Times editorial, President Bush's Walkabout (membership required) was a telling piece for two reasons:
1) It demonstrates a new willingness of the US media to question and, indeed, criticize Bush for failings which have been obvious to so many for so long. It's a day late and a dollar short because part of the reason Bush is still there is the fault of a lame and tame main stream media;
2) It issues a plea that Americans should hope against hope that Bush can turn around his desperate situation and make a comeback.
Second terms may be difficult, but the chief executive still has the power
to shape what happens. Ronald Reagan managed to turn his messy second term
around and deliver - in great part through his own powers of leadership - a
historic series of agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev that led to the peaceful
dismantling of the Soviet empire. Mr. Bush has never demonstrated the capacity
for such a comeback. Nevertheless, every American has a stake in hoping that he
can surprise us.
Comeback from what? To a the rest of the world (outside the 49/126 - 30/72 box) and a large number of American voters, one thing has been obvious from the start - George W. Bush has never been in charge of the 43rd US presidency.
Bush is too inept, too stupid, too lazy and too easily led to have actually been in charge. He is commanded from near and far, whether it be his political advisor in the White House or some religious charlatan trying desperately to return America to the horror of Leave It To Beaver.
Cries and protestations emanate from every quarter strongly suggesting that Bush replace advisors, change his cabinet, shake up those closest to him and generally clean house. In other words, dump those closest to his seat of power in favour of new, fresh and, possibly, ethical staff.
There's only one problem: Bush didn't pick any of them. They picked him, and they did it for precisely the reason they are now in serious trouble: he would do as he was told and he didn't mind having everyone else run the show. He, after all, was not nearly up to the task of understanding the domestic situation of the United States, much less the complexities of a world community he had never visited, studied, nor witnessed.
Bush cannot turn his administration around because it's NOT his administration. He cannot dismiss possible offenders on his senior staff because without them he has nobody. He legally cannot fire his Vice-President, but in Bush's case, he cannot even relegate Cheney to mall-opening duty - Cheney, who is known for his disdain for all others, would just tell Bush to fuck himself... and then do whatever he pleased.
We are now witnessing the real George W. Bush - a political basket-case and a personal failure. Turn things around? Not him. That would take dedication, hard work, passion and intelligence. He has none of those things.
The world and the USA are in for a horrible 3 years.