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It's Hard to be W's Daddy and We're Not Leaving Iraq

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In her New York Times article, First Father: Tough Times On Sidelines, Sheryl Gay Stolberg asserts that the relationship between the first president Bush and his son is not the distant, often contentious father / son relationship that Bob Woodward and others have characterized it to be.

In fact, according to Stolberg, their relationship, especially as 41 grows older, is downright chummy, with working vacations spent together in Kennebunkport, private morning phone conversations, and the elder Bush’s propensity to confine his criticism of his offspring’s policy decisions to expressing “irritation with some of his son’s aides.”

The affection the father feels for his son is apparent as the elder Bush is often compelled to defend him from the criticism of those prying media types, American citizens, and others across the globe that question not only his son’s competency, but his sanity as well. This defense is obviously a harder task with each passing day as the senior Bush’s public emotional outbursts attest. W messes up a lot and defending him has obviously put a strain on the old man’s nerves. Poppi’s getting up in years and his emotions are more on the surface than they used to be.

Given the president’s most recent statements on the war in Iraq, and his response to that outlandish proposition floated by the democratic led Congress to have a gas tax actually be put to use to help fund the nation’s bridge repairs, Bush the elder may end up in a “nervous hospital” before the end of his son’s term.

Tax on anything oil related? Not prudent.

The president brought the revolving rationale for the Iraq war almost full circle today with a press conference before he left Washington for some quiet time with dad and the wildly animated president of France. America’s goal in Iraq is once again to create the conditions in the region that will compel western democratic principles in the Middle East to spring up like seedlings.

Bush’s resolve, or his pathology, is undoubtedly fortified by his recent congressional victory, marginalizing the FISA laws.

The cherry on top? Fredo’s not only still there, he’s in charge.

Bush said again today that Alberto Gonzales “did nothing wrong”, and for good measure, Scooter Libby has paid for his crimes too.

On the tax proposal to help ensure the public safety--ever the GOP pragmatist, Bush submitted, “before we raise taxes, which could affect economic growth, I would strongly urge the Congress to examine how they set priorities”. This ironic statement sums up the republican ideology beautifully, but apparently, never one to be outdone, Mitt Romney, who is similarly not a slouch at demonstrating what he’s made of, told an audience today that his five sons did not chose to serve in the military in active duty, as they support our nation by supporting his presidential campaign.

The GOP may have priority problems as well as being ethically challenged, but the democrats have empowered the president to drop even the appearance that he will consider the judgment of the sainted general Petraeus in September. He has honestly come out to say he does not care. The only way American troops will begin to be withdrawn from Iraq is if Congress forces it.

I hope that happens but I’m certainly not counting on it. If the democrats can’t stand up to Bush as a unified consortium on the basic issue of requiring a warrant to wiretap, how can they stand up to him on the Iraq war? This is apparently the question Bush is asking himself at this point as well, and he’s not worried.

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CD Rodgers lives in West Virginia where she works for a national poverty-focused charity. She also publishes a web site,

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