Animatronic President

by digby

Beavis weighs in on the election:

...this morning on Fox, President Bush himself echoed the attack, adding the (also familiar) hint that we don't know enough about Obama.
"I certainly don't know what he believes in. The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad," Bush said.

I don't know how convincing that line of attack is going to be coming from the party that elected this guy:

In the latest of a series of foreign policy gaffes, Texas Gov. George W. Bush failed to name three out of four world leaders when he was hit with a pop foreign affairs quiz by a reporter Wednesday.

Andy Hiller, political correspondent with WHDH-TV in Boston asked Bush to name the leaders of four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

Bush was able to give a partial response to just one: Taiwan.

''Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?'' asked Hiller. He was inquiring about Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf, who seized control of the country on Oct. 12.

''Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?'' asked Bush.

Hiller replied: ''No, it's four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.''

Bush said: ''The new Pakistani general, he's just been elected - not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's good news for the subcontinent.''

I think this is the fundamental problem the Republicans face right now. The facade they built around this callow lightweight was completely unbelievable. He was like an animatronic amusement park version of a president from the very beginning and a majority of the public knew it. The Republicans couldn't close the deal legitimately, after all. But 9/11 gave them the opportunity to reanimate him in the form of a "great leader" and it worked for a little while. (Nobody wanted to believe the country was being run by that man quoted above.)

But Bush as Winston Churchill was absurd on its face and as soon as the initial fear abated and smoke cleared, (and no WMD were found) they began to come back down to earth. It wasn't in time for the 2004 election, but it was very close. At this point, people mostly cringe when they see him, reminded of their own misjudgment. Mostly, however, I think they are embarrassed for the country and leery of voting for the party that tried to turn this unqualified doofus into someone who belonged on Mr Rushmore.

The credibility gap is so huge, it can't be bridged. I have been saying for some time now that the Republicans can read the tea leaves and they know this isn't their election, so they are teeing up the next one. They aren't going to make it easy for the Democrats --- they'll damage him or her as much as possible so that he or she can't govern effectively. But they are going to lose and they know it, and they're going to blame it all on their lost boy Bush and the maverick who tried to succeed him for not being conservative enough.

Here's how a Republican explains it:

MR. RUSSERT: Joe Scarborough, former congressman from Florida who hosts the morning show on MSNBC, "Morning Joe," offered these observations about the Republican Party, and they caught my attention. Let's listen.


MR. JOE SCARBOROUGH: They believe this is going to be a landslide of historic proportions. They will not admit it to people in the media or, or on the air, but most Republicans believe this is going to be a landslide of epic proportions, and Mitt Romney has to know that, too. And guess what? It will always be remembered as, like '64 was the Goldwater landslide. You know, this will be on John McCain's hands.

(End audiotape)

Now I don't happen to believe that it will be a landslide win. And I don't think so for this one simple reason:

MR. RUSSERT: Now, David Broder, I read in your column on Thursday you may have dissent from that. You wrote this:

"Still, McCain is the only candidate in either party with a favorable personal rating by Republicans, Democrats, independents and evangelical voters. He will be formidable."

MR. BRODER: I believe that, and I think against either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama--they're very different races, depending on which Democrat wins, but I don't see how McCain, positioned as he has been over time now, is anything less than a 46, 47 percent candidate.

I think it's pretty clear St. McCain will get a little help from his friends. But it won't be enough.

Bush also weighed in saying that he would help McCain with conservatives. Feel the magic.