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Posted by on Dec 12, 2006 in At TMV | 7 comments

Which GWB Will Show Up?

I’m several years late, but I’m finally reading John Avlon’s Independent Nation.

I skipped to the last chapter and read it first, and was terribly confused in the process, as Mr. Avlon paints a picture of a consensus-seeking, cross-aisle-working, bridge-building George W., when he was Governor of Texas.

Subsequently, I had a chance to chat in person with another TMV contributor, a Texas resident, who remembers GW as Governor, and offered the following take, apparently shared by many Texans: GW was a great governor and a decent, down-to-earth guy who probably fell victim in the White House to that pesky Peter Principle, about rising to one’s own level of incompetence. (By the way, unless I missed it, Dr. Peter forgot to mention what happens when you rise to your own level of incompetence and then surround yourself with people who give really bad advice.)

Next Question: When the President finally unveils what Andrew Sullivan labels “the next installment of his ‘Five Year Plan for Iraq’� … which version of the President will show up? The bridge builder depicted by Avlon … or the obstinate “Decider� from earlier this year?

A former advisor to Father Bush leans toward the latter, while a recent Newsweek article suggests there might be at least some glimpses of the former

“In the days following the (ISG) report’s release, Bush the Decider transformed himself into Bush the Listener. Usually prickly with war critics—on the rare occasions he spoke to them at all—the president now invited them in from the cold and kept quiet.â€?

I guess we’ll find out when we find out. In the meantime, Ron Beasley links today to a worthwhile reminder about who the ultimate “Decider� should be.

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  • Gray62

    “Which GWB Will Show Up?”

    Why? None. He’s gone AWOL in his bubble again.

  • Gray62

    Btw, if your 24 hours are over, go to the Weblog Awards and vote again!

    Yes, I know that MvdG essentially said ‘fuhgedaboutit’, but do you wanna hear ‘centrists are surrendermonkeys’ for the rest of your (blog)lifes?
    Besides, TVM is only about 10% behind that hateful witch Althouse!

  • Paul in Austin

    I can only hope that the “uniter” emerges again.
    If he agrees to breakthroughs on Energy, Social Security, Tax reform and made even Iraq he might be able to snatch at least some victory from the jaws of defeat.

    He could resurrect hope for the GOP and for the rest of us.

  • Jim B

    Pete, I think GWB had to be a moderate when he was governor because the legislature was split pretty evenly. He knew that he could not try to work from only one side of the aisle. His successor, Perry, has basically gone to the right side of the aisle because the landscape in Austin has changed thanks to redistricting. Most folks don’t realize that Texas was very very democratic until the last decade or so.
    As it has gone further to the conservative side, education has gone down, property tax has gone up, and the environment has gone to pot. Go figure.

  • Paul in Austin

    Jim B,
    I see it the same way. Bush knew as soon as he was elected Gov he had to collaborate with the Dems.
    He was a uniter because he didn’t have a choice.

    Then as Prez he didn’t have those constraints and perhaps his true temperament emerged.

    Another good argument for a divided government.

    Paul in Austin

  • ZenLess

    You also have to remember that the governor of Texas is largely a ceremonial position. Most of the initiatives are generated in the legislature, so all Bush had to do was what he does best: socialize and glad hand.

    That, and approved the executions of a few score folk…

  • Krous

    Oh Good Grief, lovable idiot or not, he is still an idiot. He is also a drunken wife beater and there is police record to prove it. So he is not so “lovable” either. At this late stage in the game, I think the American public know George W.Bush as much as Avlon.

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