Where’s Bush?

Something occurred to me this morning about the ongoing financial crisis. Where’s Bush?

In the face of a cataclysmic implosion of the banking and financial services industry, a disaster that has taxpayers on the hook for tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars because we’re hoping (hoping) that we can thereby stave off something far worse, a crisis where the loss of public confidence is not just a troubling symptom but is in fact the primary engine driving the crisis forward, some happy talk from Fearless Leader would seem like just the thing to calm troubled markets and citizens. So why are we Fearless Leader-less? Why has Bush been invisible?

Partly, I assume, this is because a conscious decision has been made to keep Bush under wraps until after the election. Just as at the Republican Convention, the people trying to get McCain elected would just as soon Bush disappeared completely for the next six weeks. The more Bush is on TV, the more it will remind low-information voters how much they hate the guy, and they’re much more likely to take that hatred out on McCain than on Obama.

There’s something else, too. In a way, this reminds me of the aftermaths of 9/11 and Katrina. As in those cases, we’ve got Bush in a figurative Air Force One, jetting randomly through the nation’s airspace, keeping him safe from threats to his person, yes, but more importantly, safe from live cameras and microphones. Without wanting to minimize the tragedy of those earlier events by comparing them to a crisis where (so far) actual human deaths have been few, we now have yet another situation in which Bush put a bunch of boobs and nitwits in charge, and then Something Unspeakably Horrible happened. Partly the Something Horrible was due to circumstances beyond Bush’s control, but partly, too, to the fact that Bush put a bunch of boobs and nitwits in charge.

So now he’s faced with a situation that is pretty much unspinnable in real time. There’s no way to make a credible case that this is not a catastrophe. Some way is going to have to be found to deflect Bush’s blame to someone else, and creating such an impression in a sufficient mass of minds is not easy. It will take teams of crack image-manipulators, devious, unscrupulous liars with heads like eggplants and souls like black ice. It will take time to see how things are going to fall out, what new information might come to light, how the public will react to it. It will take careful research to identify potential fall guys, do opposition research on them, script the public statements, and get all the stories lined up.

Meanwhile, we the people are left in a familiar situation: wondering where the Leader of the Free World is hiding out.

8 Responses to “Where’s Bush?”

  1. enkidu Says:

    well CNN.com says dumbya is flapping his lips on the subject this AM.
    I hope he talks and talks and talks, since whenever the public sees this doofus, they are reminded of the fact that he and his ilk have been in charge of this clusterfark.

    I love this bit:

    Bush has not fielded questions about the economic upheaval this week and even canceled a statement Tuesday. Reporters have tried each day. When one tried to press Bush in the Oval Office on Wednesday, he said he could not hear the question, then made light of the moment by saying, “I’m old.”

    I can’t heeeeeaaaarrrr you. la la la lala neener neener neener (jams fingers in ears and runs away behind Dick Cheney’s skirts)

    Great, the ‘leader’ of the free world has the intellect of a 6 year old…

  2. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    He had a press conference, I know because John Stewart used a clip of it for Monday night.

  3. shcb Says:

    There is an old saying, I forget who said it “it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt”. Nancy Peloci (what a twit) is doing just that. She is out there saying this banking mess is due to deregulation. This is from a New York Times piece bylined by Stephen Labaton September 11, 2003

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

    A bill was introduced in the 2005 congress to regulate the exact problem that has occurred, SB 190, Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. The bill was sponsored by Chuck Hagel (R-NE) cosponsors

    Sen. Elizabeth Dole [R-NC]
    Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]
    Sen. John Sununu [R-NH]

    In his remarks to introduce the bill Hagel said the bill would:

    Provide the new regulator the authority of receivership to close down a failing GSE and protect against a taxpayer bailout; provide the new regulator greater discretion in raising capital standards to protect against insolvency; provide the new regulator approval power over new programs and activities proposed by a GSE; provide the regulator with greater authority to limit exit compensation packages or golden parachutes for executives removed for cause; require the annual audits of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s affordable housing programs to ensure that these programs support the enterprises’ affordable housing mission; end presidential appointments to the board of directors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would require all Federal Home Loan Bank directors to be elected.

    The bill never made it out of committee, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs consisted of 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans with Chris Dodd chairman.

    Last Action: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably.
    Status: Dead

    The key word here of course is “favorably” this usually means that the bill was generally supported by the majority of the committee “with an amendment” at least to the point that it should be debated on the floor. When a bill gets this remark and is not put to the floor it usually means the Chairman has blocked it. This bill died at the end of the session. A similar bill was introduced, again by Hagel, with Dole as cosponsor, among others, (without McCain) in the current session.

    This bill, SB 1100 current status is

    Apr 12, 2007: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

    It seems to have stalled in exactly the same spot as SB 190. Now how will McCain handle this? Obviously this is too deep for the average voter. Getting into the details of the difference of favorably and unfavorably in a footnote of a bill is way past their attention span. I would think they will wait until the debates before they make much of this, hoping Obama will bring up the lack of regulation as the culprit.

    And really, there isn’t anything the President can do, congress created this mess throughout the last 30 years and congress will have to fix it, or better yet let it fix itself. Just as in Katrina the problem is with a few Democrats, in this case Dodd and Franks at the lead.

  4. enkidu Says:

    So how do you feel about socialized mortgage lending?
    The gov just nationalized Freddy and Franny (couldn’t we have better spent that money on education?)

    The gov is now bailing out AIG and is promising to just sweep all that bad debt from big shitpile under the carpet too (couldn’t that money – roughly a trillion or two maybe more – be better spent on helping more Americans get access to basic healthcare?) Socialized financial markets are suddenly all the rage… aren’t you boys the party of deregulation and free markets and let the chips fall where they may?

    I love how this has nothing to do with deregulation, nothing to do with McCain and Phil Gramm and lack of accountability. Its all the damn Dems fault. Grow a pair and accept some responsibility for once.

  5. enkidu Says:


    rude crude and a(n in)decent introduction to our latest deregulation disaster

    Fixing this mess (like all bush era blunders) will be expensive and take time, but what we need is smart transparent gov, like Obama promises and helped deliver (Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, also known as “Google for Government.”) with Tom Coburn (R)

    Not just more deregulation and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans (we are already bailing out these pirates too much imho – on that I agree with McCain)

  6. shcb Says:

    I’ve explained in detail how Democrats have blocked regulation that could have stopped these problems, perhaps you can explain how deregulation by McCain and Gramm have caused it?

  7. enkidu Says:

    here is a good place to start (I linked to it before, obviously you didn’t take the time to read it)


    I could poke holes in your detailed list above (and there is some blame to go around for sure, I have never said this is entirely one person’s/one party’s problem), but it just isn’t worth my time to debunk your blather in detail.

    Rs are for deregulation and giving the largest part of every pie to the richest 0.1% while Ds are for reasonable regulation to protect the little guy and a progressive tax system… neither side is lilly white, but I find the Rs have gone so far to the right that you folks are driving yourself to extremism and extinction as a political force (don’t I wish, but the tides are turning, despite all the money, power and greed on your side)

  8. shcb Says:

    That’s the “greater fool theory” and yes it is a part of this mess.

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