Friday, June 15, 2007

I’ve been told I’m done

The alliterative Peter Pace explained that he had refused to just retire, he made Gates fire him. Because it would be a bad message to the troops if he “voluntarily walked off the battlefield. That is unacceptable as a leadership thing, in my mind.” How does this thing called leadership thing work?: “I need to be told that I’m done. I’ve been told I’m done.” So, having made some point, now he’ll be retiring. In other words, he’d have happily stayed in the military another two years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but (and I guess this is a good message to the troops) give him anything less than the top job and he’s outta there. By the way, Pace may have convinced himself that this is a leadership thing, that he’s acting all manly and leadership-y, but one way or another he was going to be out of a job in September, so all he’s actually doing is spinning a decision made by others. If he had known the difference between those two things, maybe he’d have been a little better at his job.

This morning, Bush attended the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast. “This prayer breakfast has come a long way since it started five years ago. We could have held it in a little tiny closet. And now, as Luis tells me, it’s oversubscribed the minute it gets announced. It’s a good sign for our country, isn’t it? People want to come together in prayer.” 1) Why does he assume it’s the prayer part and not the breakfast part that is popular? Who doesn’t like huevos rancheros? 2) Yes, there is something about the last five years of your presidency that makes people want to pray, in a no-atheists-in-foxholes kind of way. Good sign for our country, though? Not so much.

This is Bush afterwards, in the White House Rose Garden, clearly uplifted by all that national Hispanic praying.

Little known fact about Rose Garden protocol: one must sieg heil the white roses, but never, ever, the pink ones.

Then he hopped to Air Force One

for a trip to the Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas, which he called “a beautiful facility full of beautiful people,” where he was amazed by an exhibition of levitation. Or maybe the Secret Service took away their jump ropes.

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