The Moose asserts that the 9/11 President has become the 5/1 President.
Like most Americans, the Moose was impressed by President Bush's leadership following 9/11. He initially united the country and took the offensive against our adversaries. Shortly thereafter, however, the President shredded national unity for crass political gain in the 2002 election and continued to pursue tax cuts for the wealthy while our military was overstretched and the deficit was out of control.
The Moose long supported the removal of Saddam Hussein. Saddam's threat to regional stability and the prospect that he would obtain weapons of mass destruction, along with his massive human rights violations, argued that he be removed, particularly after 9/11. But what the Moose could not have anticipated was the Bush administration's abysmal incompetence in both the timing of the war and the execution of a post-war plan.
Instead, what we got on May 1, 2003 was a landing on the U.SS Abraham Lincoln in the "Mission Accomplished" presidential political photo-op. It was abundantly clear that this was an effort by the Rove team to "cash in" politically on the military victory. It was unwarranted triumphing unworthy of an American president.
That was the day, though, the President might have jumped the shark.
That photo op came to represent the false triumphalism, unaccountability, hubris, arrogance and mendacity of this Administration. Incompetence and hubris in the defense of liberty are not virtues.
The White House staff even had the unmitigated gall to blame the "mission accomplished" banner on the sailors. But, then again, they never admit mistakes within this Administration's culture of responsibility.
As chaos ensued in Iraq in the coming months, we learned that there were no WMD, there were insufficient troops to control the country, there was a obscene prisoner abuse scandal, Iranian influence grew and the Sunni Triangle spiraled out of control.
And today, we learn that "nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations."
The Moose hates when that happens.
And yet, the President cannot admit even one mistake. The President prefers for us all to forget what transpired on 5/1/03 or thereafter. The arrogant incompetence of this Administration should just be overlooked. The "bring 'em on" President , after all, is one tough fellow in a fighter-jock flight suit who is accountable to no one.
Unless, of course, the American people decide that this is a 5/1 election and then George W. Bush becomes just a gentleman rancher in Crawford, Texas.