A mini-Cronkite moment for true believers, courtesy of Rich Lowry:
Is President Bush still the nation's commander in chief? Yes, he continues to return the salute when boarding Marine One, but it's a role he sometimes seems on the verge of abdicating....Bush simply has failed to run his war. Historian Eliot Cohen describes how, in contrast, the best American wartime president conducted himself: "Lincoln had not merely to select his generals, but to educate, train and guide them. To this end he believed that he had to master the details of war, from the technology to the organization and movement of armies, if only to enable himself to make informed judgments about general officers."Strangely missing is any explanation for why Lowry believes Bush's failures warrant such strident criticism now. After all, he wrote the following only one month ago:
Bush has taken the opposite approach and -- for all his swagger and protectiveness of executive prerogatives -- is becoming a disturbing study in lassitude in the executive branch.
President Bush's resolve is something to behold....Six years into a turbulent presidency, Bush is determinedly un-crushed. Under the weight of a difficult war in Iraq, of regular meetings with families who have lost loved ones, of a hostile press and a vitriolic opposition, Bush has never given any indication of being run down. It is a testament to his physical and, above all, his spiritual strength.And this, just two months ago:
In person, George W. Bush is extremely forceful. He has a restless energy when he sits in a chair, and nearly leaps out of it when making certain points....He exudes an easy self-confidence....Bush's confidence goes well beyond comfort in his own skin. He exhibits a sincere, passionate, and uncompromising conviction in his principles....there's no wobble in Bush. If anything, the opposite....Never been more convinced. It's that kind of certainty that drives Bush's critics batty....ever calm in the political storm all around him, ever certain that the difficult task he has set for himself and his country is right and will be a success.Disastrous elections have a way of demolishing pretense. Might subscribers to National Review be justified in demanding refunds on issues published, say, before November 7th?