Washington Post Engages in a Little Post-Katrina Schadenfreude Regarding Bush
Balz, though, seems to revel in his analysis, engaging in a bit of shadenfruede. Balz starts this way: "The main text of President Bush's nationally televised address last night was the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but the clear subtext was the rebuilding of a presidency that is now at its lowest point ever, confronted by huge and simultaneous challenges at home and abroad -- and facing a country divided along partisan and racial lines."
Not incredibly bad, as the president had to act decisively in Hurricane Katrina's wake. But in Balz' next line, he surmises that "Hurricane Katrina struck at the core of Bush's presidency by undermining the central assertion of his reelection campaign, that he was a strong and decisive leader who could keep the country safe in a crisis. Never again will the White House be able to point to his often-praised performance after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, without skeptics recalling the fumbling and slow-off-the-mark response of his administration after the hurricane and the flooding in New Orleans."
This is a bit of wishful thinking on the part of Dan Balz, and is prevalent throughout his entire "analysis" piece.
Other highlights include: "Katrina has added an enormous new burden to a presidency already bending under the stresses of public dissatisfaction with Bush's policies in Iraq and growing anger over rising gas prices." This, even though gas prices have recently dipped in the last week. But here is, in my opinion, the "main text" of Dan Balz's article: "But the critical question is whether the damage will limit his (Bush') ability to govern effectively in the remaining 40 months of his presidency and whether he will successfully rebuild the Gulf Coast and Iraq, let alone win approval for other major initiatives on taxes and Social Security."
There are many more examples of Dan Balz and the Washington Post' piling atop Bush, and painting a picture of GOP doom ahead. Someone may need to tell Mr. Balz that Bush is not running again for office, and instead concentrate on what needs to be done to help the Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina.