Bush the unhinged?
We're starting to see various "could be true, might not" stories being floated from various quarters, with one thing in common: Bush is losing it, and he's alienating Republicans while doing so. And they're not coming from DailyKos or Moveon.org.
First, in a column in the Dallas Morning News, columnist Georgie Ann Geyer reports the following:
But by all reports, President Bush is more convinced than ever of his righteousness.
Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated "I am the president!" He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of "our country's destiny."
A vivid picture, and it sounds eerily similar to this one from a few weeks back (indeed, it's possible they're describing the same event):
we're hearing that some big money players up from Texas recently paid a visit to their friend in the White House. The story goes that they got out exactly one question, and the rest of the meeting consisted of The President in an extended whine, a rant, actually, about no one understands him, the critics are all messed up, if only people would see what he's doing things would be OK...etc., etc.
This is called a "bunker mentality" and it's not attractive when a friend does it. When the friend is the President of the United States, it can be downright dangerous. Apparently the Texas friends were suitably appalled, hence the story now in circulation.
Note, however, another similarity between the two: the allegations are anonymously sourced and entirely uncorroborated.
Then there's this little doozy from the Washington Times:
The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors....
The solicitors were indeed fired, that much is true. But take this with a huge grain of salt, because it's anonymously sourced, the RNC denies it, and the Washington Times is not above little hit jobs like this on policies it doesn't like.
Are the stories true? It's impossible to tell, so unless some confirmation pops up the rational answer is "no." But a lot of people -- not all of them Bush haters -- will readily believe them because they're plausible. Bush's immigration policy isn't popular with a significant element of his base. Bush's Iraq misadventure has left him increasingly isolated and at odds with public opinion. The stories are appealing precisely because they're plausible.
But speaking as a frequent Bush critic, let's stick to provable facts. There are enough of those to work with; no sense in trafficking in rumor on top of it. Doing so is what gives rise to conspiracy theories and urban legends, and we have quite enough of those already.
Update: Mary Katharine Ham has a friend who lived the RNC donation story -- from the donor side.
Bush, politics, midtopia