Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rubes Accomplished or Accomplice Rubes?

In the slimmest, most begrudging and cronyist way possible George Bush made a cosmetic change in his White House staff in a transparent move to assuage critics. It'll never work, right?

Here's the Post top headline:
Card's Departure Signals Bush Is Heeding Critics
After five years of spurning Washington conventional wisdom, staff change shows a president more willing to defer to its expectations.
Jim VandeHei
And here's the NYT:
Joshua Brewster Bolten: Longtime Ally, Now a Top Aide
The incoming White House chief of staff appears to have the credentials and ability to soothe Congress that President Bush needs.
Salon's War Room's Tim Grieve compiles a list of yesterday's truly noteworthy news here, proving that all that White House need do is bark, snarl, slurp, and purr and bad news gets bumped from A1.

The difference between Andy Card and Josh Bolton is so slight as to be negligible, and I'm sure that Bolton will be just as willing to fall on his sword as Card if a repeat of the publicity stunt is required. But for the press to celebrate swapping out Tweedledum for Tweedledee as if it was a grand reaffirmation of the wisdom of Maximum Leader is both self-serving and self-congratulatory. (And reports that the White House is playing B-girl to the press' sailor in an effort to re-spark lover's whispers is ominous too.)

I don't believe it's an accident that after weeks of concerted slap and tickle campaign with the media the White House chose to cap the strategy with a major non-story, and if it was sadly predictable that the media would fawningly sing the praises of the non-story exactly as the White House would have them sung, it's illustrative: when two amoral institutions need each other, symbiotic co-existence is the paramount priority.


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