Bush Inner Circle Defection

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Bush Administration

This’ll stir things up — Matthew Dowd, a close associate of George Bush, has publicly broken ranks with the President. Jim Rutenberg writes for the New York Times (April 1):

In 1999, Matthew Dowd became a symbol of George W. Bush’s early success at positioning himself as a Republican with Democratic appeal. …

… Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.

Rutenberg calls Dowd “the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him.”

This is interesting:

Mr. Dowd, a crucial part of a team that cast Senator John Kerry as a flip-flopper who could not be trusted with national security during wartime, said he had even written but never submitted an op-ed article titled “Kerry Was Right,” arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq….

… In television interviews in 2004, Mr. Dowd said that Mr. Kerry’s campaign was proposing “a weak defense,” and that the voters “trust this president more than they trust Senator Kerry on Iraq.”

But he was starting to have his own doubts by then, he said.

Dowd’s son deployed to Iraq in 2004, which seems to have had an impact.

Mr. Dowd said he had become so disillusioned with the war that he had considered joining street demonstrations against it, but that his continued personal affection for the president had kept him from joining protests whose anti-Bush fervor is so central.

The article hints at issues Dowd might have with Karl Rove, as well.

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16 Comments

15 Comments

  1. SamFromUtah  •  Mar 31, 2007 @4:27 pm

    …hm. Is it significant that this is for publicaton on April 1?

  2. Kevin Hayden  •  Mar 31, 2007 @5:36 pm

    Digby’s take is closer to mine.

    Funny how he cares about Iraq when it’s his kid. Nobody else’s kids entered into his thinking previous to Cindy Sheehan, I guess.

    If he leaves the world of politics, he might convince me. Otherwise, he may just be another rat fleeing a sinking ship.

  3. Bucky Blue  •  Mar 31, 2007 @5:39 pm

    sorry, don’t want to hear it. Bush had an almost equally horrible record in Texas as governor, the signs of what he would be like were clearly there. It’s like all of the Mea Culpas over the Iraq War. Anyone with half a brain knew that we could easily defeat their army, but to occupy and recreate the country, no chance. This isn’t you picked the wrong team for the NCAA tournament bracket. You helped, by repeatedly smearing a decent guy (Kerry) elect someone who it will take a generation to erase the effects from the our political scene.

  4. jean L'homme  •  Mar 31, 2007 @6:50 pm

    A sign of the times. People call it falling in love when the reality is it’s chemistry then infatuation. It’s the confusion that leads to disaster. A careful examination of Mr. Bush’s history, an open minded reading of people in the know, like Molly Ivins, and maybe he should have not so blindly jumped under the bus.

    There are so many of us that get led around by our ‘feelings’ and don’t check into the facts.

    I dearly love a whole bunch of people, among them 7 of my children. However – only one of them would I believe, not feel, could do a ‘really big job.’

  5. Donna  •  Mar 31, 2007 @6:54 pm

    Whatever led to Dowd changing his mind about GWB, at least he demonstrates some courage and more functional brain power than about 27 percent of the population who refuse to see what is in front of their faces about Bush and his appalling team.

  6. Bonnie  •  Mar 31, 2007 @7:07 pm

    Like when Colin Powell’s aide (Larry something) and Powell himself started telling the truth, it’s just too little too late. Like Reagan, Bush has been nothing but an actor all his life. He’s a pretty good actor because he has fooled a lot of people into thinking he is a nice guy, which is something I have never seen. I see emptiness in his eyes and don’t believe he has ever cared for any one but himself. And, he certainly doesn’t care if he turns America into a third world country. I really would like to see W pay for his sins with impeachment, in jail, at the Hague being tried as a war criminal. But, it seems he’s going to get away scot free.

    While I agree with Kevin Hayden and Bucky Blue’s comments, I do like the idea of re-establishing “a level of gentleness in the world.” Now, that would be a great movement. It would put Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc., out of work. What a nice thought.

  7. justme  •  Mar 31, 2007 @7:57 pm

    Ok, so we all know I tend to have a low tolerance for BS….but these people take the friggin cake.Mr.Dowds sudden awakening is indeed quaint ….but that don’t cut it with me.

    These “people” know what the hell is going on.They have the inside info to stop this administration in their friggin tracks and yet they choose to come out with this whiny wussy hand wringing crap???..If your an administration insider and you think supporting bush or a party is more important that saving the country with the information you could bring forward don’t expect anything from me but being spit upon as you pass me.

    Saying “oops I made a mistake and trusted a jerk” is nice and all but it is not enough.The reality based crowd understands that once you made a mess like bush it isn’t enough to say “oops” , YOU HAVE TO THEN CLEAN UP THE DAMN MESS!!!!!Any idiot can make a mess, but don’t tell me about it until you have fixed it.Talk to the hand, dowd.If you want credit for having courage you actually HAVE to show some.

    Dowd doesn’t need to tell us how bad the bushies have screwed things up.. we already know that..we need to know how those who enabled him intend to mend this nation

  8. whig  •  Mar 31, 2007 @10:14 pm

    I agree with justme that those who make mistakes have a responsibility to correct him. I always consider an apology a good start, and from there it remains to demonstrate true repentence through action. I will not condemn or judge him so long as he does that. If he thinks he is entitled through dint of his misaligned experience to run for office of trust or profit, I would say no, absolutely not, and nor should he take a position which will compensate him for having been wrong. Do what is right, and then build from there.

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 31, 2007 @11:06 pm

    Here’s where I differ from most of you:
    Where we are at as a country is not the result of incompetence, but of design and neglect.
    I’m not saying it was ALL planned. Some of it was just allowed to happen. “Jazz” politic’s by, and for, the crazy theocrat’s and corporate interest’s. Their improvised riff’s still fill the air and drown out all logic…
    Dowd was a new member of the band. He was told what notes to play. He wasn’t told about the whole piece. Where it was going. He was told, “Hit the cymbal (symbol) here!”. And he did…
    Now, with his own skin in the game (his son), he realizes that it’s not Satchmo’s Band that he’s joined, but the Cotillion for Corporatism, War, and Profit Band that he’s shilling for…
    A late rude awadening is better than none…
    Still, I have no respect for him. It didn’t take a trainspotter to see this trainwreck coming…

  10. whig  •  Mar 31, 2007 @11:45 pm

    A good example I thought of for someone who repented and made good is David Brock.

  11. Swami  •  Apr 1, 2007 @12:14 am

    He’s a day late and a dollar short. If he really wants an effective repentance maybe he should publicly detail a full accounting the frauds and deceptions he was a party to. He might delude himself think it was only Kerry who he screwed over, but in order to get to Kerry he had to consciously screw over America. His repentance seems based more on his political failing than his moral failings.

  12. RevmarOK  •  Apr 1, 2007 @12:42 am

    Here comes the expected vilification of Matthew Dowd (as it did with David Kuo with the publication of his book, Tempting Faith.)
    Woe to anyone who exposes (further) the absolute ineptitude of the Bush administration.

  13. biggerbox  •  Apr 1, 2007 @1:21 am

    I submit that the first step in actually trying to re-establish gentleness in the world would have been to actually try talking to Bush and Rove, to bring them toward the light? I’d believe his conversion declaration more if he’d actually tried to influence his co-conspirators. But he admits he hasn’t spoken about this to the President, and hasn’t spoken to Rove in months.

    I mean, I know it wouldn’t have done any good, but Dowd claims he actually believed W was a compassionate conservative, so it seems odd to me he didn’t even try appealing to Bush’s ‘better side’.

    He also seems awfully slow on the uptake. It wasn’t until W snubbed Cindy Sheehan that the coin dropped? And what, exactly, has he been doing since then? Come on! He’ll have to do a lot better than this lackadaisical “my bad.”

  14. John Palcewski  •  Apr 1, 2007 @2:14 am

    You’ll notice that Dowd clams up when it comes to Karl Rove. Everyone knows–including the editorial board of The New York Times–that Karl is behind every single immoral, illegal, and traitorous move the administration has ever made. What does Karl have on Dowd and virtually everyone else? It must be something big, and important. I mean really big. Otherwise how can you possibly explain Karl’s embarrassingly horrid public display the other night? That’s how a man acts when he KNOWS there’s nothing in the world anyone can ever do to him. That’s what we’ve come to. Allowing fat fascists to get away with murder.

  15. marijam  •  Apr 1, 2007 @7:19 am

    What a stupid fool. I knew from the moment I saw Bush sneer at Karla Faye that he wasn’t what he was made out to be by his campaign.

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