"The only show of unity we have now in the Republican Party is the belief that the President has failed the party, the American people and the presidency," says a longtime, and angry, GOP strategist.
"This presidency is in trouble," says a senior White House aide. "Even worse, I don't know if there is a way out of the trouble."
Congressional leaders journeyed to the White House before Bush left on his South American tour this week to tell the President that his legislative agenda on the Hill is dead, his latest Supreme Court nominee faces a tough confirmation fight in the Senate and he is facing open revolt within party ranks.
"The Speaker is having an increasingly difficult time holding his troops in line," says a source within the office of House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert. "Anger at the President grows exponentially with each passing day."
In meetings, leaders and strategists have suggested a number of things that Bush must do to try and save his presidency and GOP prospects in upcoming elections, including:
- Apologize to the American people, Congress and our allies for misleading them on the reasons for invading Iraq;
- Revamp the White House staff from top to bottom;
- Fire Rove.
"We keep coming back to Rove," says a GOP pollster. "He has escaped indictment, so far, but the feeling within the party is that another shoe is ready to drop and the longer he waits to jettison Rove the greater the damage. As long as Karl Rove remains at the President's side, the Bush presidency is effectively over and he is just riding out the days until the nation elects a Democrat to replace him. Even with Rove gone the damage may be irreparable."
Bush, however, has dug his heels in on Rove. When a GOP strategist suggested last weekend that the President fire Rove, Bush exploded.
"You go to hell," he screamed at the strategist. "You can leave and you can take the rest of these lily-livered motherfuckers with you!" The President then stormed out of the room and refused to meet further with any other party leaders or strategists.
Bush's escalating temper tantrums and his intransigence on political issues increase Republican worries about the long term effects on both his presidency and the party's prospects in upcoming elections.
© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue
Who is this Thompson guy anyway?