"Card's Departure Seen as a Sign President Hears Words of Critics"
-- Washington Post headline about an exhausted Andrew Card's long-expected departure as chief of staff
A few weeks ago, President Bush's spokesman dismissed talk that his warrantless wiretaps were illegal as "inside Washingtonton babble."
But the White House announcement today that the 2006 mid-term elections would proceed as scheduled suggests that Bush was listening.
In the years since the invasion of Iraq, liberal critics have contended that Bush is contemptuous of the rule of law, basic democratic principles and the difference between reality and illusion.
One liberal journalist went so far as to quote a senior Administration figure saying, ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." The comment was widely repeated in the left-wing liberal blogosphere noise machine echo chamber, where unedited posts are known to be read by foreign-born Jewish billionaire George Soros, Hollywood activist Sean Penn and others who refused to be identified.
Bush, his advisors say, has by no means changed his opinion of those he derisively calls "those asshats." But the announcement that the 2006 elections would not be canceled, despite widespread predictions of hefty Republican losses in both the House and the Senate, is the latest sign that the charges of his being isolated in a bubble, surrounded by yes-men and scornful of the Constitution do not hold up under rigorous press scrutiny.
"This should pretty much put that 'fascist' charge to bed," said Pepperdine Law School Dean Kenneth Starr, a longtime White House observer.