Monday, April 24, 2006

Bolten's "New" Playbook

When Josh Bolten replaced Andy Card as White House Chief of Staff, the predominant reaction was that little had changed – just another insider moving to a new office across the hall.

Now, Time is reporting that Bolten has revealed an “informal” playbook designed to improve George Bush’s chances of creating a positive legacy – by keeping control of both houses of Congress and presumably, I guess, the ability to control perception. Or at least, to avoid any real investigation that would unearth any more “dead bodies!” Of course, the playbook looks remarkably similar to the one used by the previous “Head Coach,” making me wonder whether the Bush Administration has secretly enlisted Al Davis as a consultant. Do these plays sound familiar?

  1. Deploy Guns and Badges – described as an appeal to the base who are concerned about border security. In essence, this involves giving Bush the opportunity to strut around with “law enforcement” Flight suit anyone?
  2. Make Wall Street Happy – by getting the talking heads on financial shows to speak glowingly about the economy, Bolten is expecting the average Joe paying $3.50 a gallon for gas, who just lost his retirement, and is on the verge of possible layoff, to cheer because investors don’t have to pay tax on capital gains?
  3. Brag More – I guess Bolten thinks that Bush’s decline in popularity comes from all those mistakes that he has so frequently apologized for! Bush has been bragging about a "wonderful" economy, and a series of phantom successes in Iraq, for nearly his whole term in office, but with little to back it up. Perhaps he could have everyone who significantly benefited from his tax cuts dip their fingers in red ink and hold them up to show off their windfall!
  4. Reclaim Security Credibility – This is yet another attempt to use fear - this time of Iran – to make people afraid to vote for Democrats. I guess he thinks that the Republicans have done such a good job of handling the “war on terror” and conducting the war in Iraq, that the American people will stick with them. Nothing is more credible than botching a war for political purposes, followed by calling out your intention to use the threat of another war for political purposes!
  5. Court the Press – This sounds to me like the efforts of an abusive husband to give his wife flowers just in time to keep her from calling the cops! The Bush administration has tried (and largely succeeded) at intimidated the Press for so long that a few sweet words aren’t going to cut it. I suppose they could always bribe them with diamonds – or have their lobbyist pals take them golfing in Scotland!

Looks to me like another season of missing the playoffs!

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