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Former top Bush strategist knocks Bush, "surge"

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From ABC News:

ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: In the forthcoming issue of Texas Monthly, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd writes that President Bush's "gut-level bond" with the American people "may be lost" and that "wholesale change" is needed in Iraq.

"Sending in a small contingent of troops is likely going to be seen as not helpful," Dowd writes. "He'd be much better off with the public if he said, 'This is a mess, we made mistakes, and the only way to fix it is a wholesale change.' And that could mean either a serious increase in troop strength or withdrawal."

Dowd opines that Bush's problems stem from his success in the 2002 midterm elections. ". . . when all the levers of power in Washington became Republican, creating consensus seemed to become unnecessary at the White House."....

Dowd's comments are sure to get lots of attention in Washington because of the very senior role that he played for Bush's presidential campaigns.

He was Bush's "senior strategist" in 2000 and his "chief strategist" in 2004.
Dowd is right and wrong. Bush's problem stems from an authoritarian sense of infallibility that didn't come from the 2002 elections, it started on day one when Dick Cheney was quoted as saying, and I paraphrase, rule as if we have a mandate. This may come from Cheney's days ruling the Pentagon - they are the best example of an agency, or entity even, that simply digs in its heels when criticized. They don't listen, they don't budge. They do what they want, to hell with the critics. This has been Bush's approach to policy from day one. He, Cheney and the rest of them have never understood that in a democracy you still have to share power with the congress and the people even if you win the election. And now, thank God, they're paying the price.

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