[The president's most revealing comments on his prosecution of the Iraq war came not on the air last night, but beforehand in a private confab with Congressional leaders.
In his speech, Mr. Bush spoke vaguely and inconclusively about the consequences of Prime Minister Maliki's failure to cooperate with the administration's "New Way Forward": "If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people."
Seeing how the support of both fell through long ago, the remark was as baffling and empty as it was vague and inconclusive. But we're used to that, so let's forgo beating that dead horse among the accumulating herd of dead horses.
In his earlier White House meeting with Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and Congressional others, however, Mr. Bush, according to the New York Times, brusquely framed the same issue this way: "I said to Maliki this has to work or you're out." (So much for "free elections" - G.)
No more chances. No more bilateral negotiations with our own uncertain ally. No more Mr. Nice Guy permitting a sovereign nation to conduct its business with sovereignty. The prime minister either gets it right or he's gone -- presumably at the hands of an American-orchestrated coup.
The ultimatum says a lot about Mr. Bush's own sense of entitlement -- his inner assurance that he and he alone should be in charge and stay in charge of this mess, no matter how many times he fails, fails again and keeps on failing. After all, how many chances has the president had to get things right in Iraq? How many times has he covered failure, excused failure or promised success while mired in the abyss of certain failure?
Others are rightly subject to accountability and finality, was the one reasonable side of Mr. Bush's message. The other was that he, for reasons unproffered, is regally exempt from that human condition -- although the adverb "regally" is proffer enough, in his mind.
Another remark to Congressional leaders was even more revealing of the president's insular, bubbled mind. Asked time and again why this fourth or fifth "new way" would prove victorious when the past three or four haven't, Mr. Bush finally blurted: "Because it has to."
Simple as that. Reality be damned. We, meaning 150,000 human targets, are now fighting with the brigades of a hope and a wish and a prayer. The commander in chief can "will" victory and victory shall ensue.
Why? How? Well, simply "because it has to."
That's more than delusional, the frame of mind most commonly attributed to Mr. Bush. That's criminal negligence wrapped in fraudulent faith and served on a plate of pure, willful hokum.
Entitled criminality -- that's what we have in charge. And the ways in which Congress can unseat or deal with it are even more problematic than the war itself.]
Note to Congress: Just STOP the sonofabitch, any way you can.
Folks, if it appears like I've gone crazy over this shit, it's only because I've gone crazy over this shit.