Dreamin' of a Coup d'Etat? McClatchy Reporter Questions Bush's 'Hold on Power'

Is Ron Hutcheson, White House correspondent of the McClatchy Newspapers, dreaming of a coup d'etat? You'd almost think so, judging by the opening line in the litany of gloom that is his article of yesterday, entitled Another Setback for Bush.

Writes Hutcheson:
The Senate's rejection Thursday of President Bush's immigration plan was the latest in a series of embarrassments that have exposed Bush's political weakness and shaken his hold on power.
"Shaken his hold on power"? Just what does Hutcheson mean? Are we in the United States of America or a banana republic? Does Hutcheson harbor hopes of turning on CNN tomorrow morning to find Hillary addressing the nation from the Oval Office, announcing that she has seized power to save the Republic?

Hutcheson goes on to snidely claim that "the president slipped out of town for a long weekend in Maine before the Senate delivered the final blow to his immigration bill." The McClatchy-ite doesn't bother to inform readers that the purpose of the Kennebunkport trip is a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Continues Hutcheson: "In the space of a single short week, Bush was hit with more Republican defections on Iraq, more bad news from the battlefield, more subpoenas from a hostile Congress, a new assault on his signature education plan and embarrassing disclosures about his vice president."

No MSM story on an embattled Republican president would be complete without a Nixon reference, and sure enough the very next sentence reads: "He also found himself in a fight over executive privilege that begs comparisons to Richard Nixon's legal battles during the Watergate scandal."

Hutcheson even manages to find a complaisant NYU professor to proclaim:

"His bank account is empty and there's nowhere to go for more. I think his presidency is essentially over."

Giving himself the barest of fig leafs, Hutcheson offers a quote in support of the president from Charlie Black. But the reporter undercuts his credibility by describing him as a "Bush loyalist" and a "Republican lobbyist."

For good measure, Hutcheson closes on another Nixonian note:
Even if Bush wins the fight on legal grounds, it could take a toll on his already battered public reputation. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accused the president of "Nixonian stonewalling."

Is this reporting, or the self-indulgent fantasy of a member of the liberal media?

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.