Watergate II : GOP warns Bush to clean house


Richard Moore


From Capitol Hill Blue 

The Rant 
GOP Leaders to Bush: 'Your Presidency is Effectively Over' 
Nov  4, 2005, 08:13 

A growing number of Republican leaders, party strategists
and political professional now privately tell President
George W. Bush that his presidency "is effectively over"
unless he fires embattled White House advisor Karl Rove,
apologizes to the American people for misleading the
country into war and revamps his administration from top
to bottom.

"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.

With the public face of support for Bush eroding daily
from even diehard Republicans, the President faces
mounting anger from within his party over the path that
may well lead to loss of control of Congress in the 2006
midterm elections and the White House in 2008.

"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."

At a recent White House strategy session, internal party
pollsters told the President that his approval rating with
Americans continues to slide and may be irreversible,
citing his failed Iraq war, the failed Supreme Court
nomination of Harriet Miers and his failure to deal
decisively on a number of fronts, including Hurricane
Katrina, the economy and the Valerie Plame scandal.

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,

    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.

"Right now, George W. Bush is the Republican Party's chief
liability," says a GOP strategist who has advised
Presidential campaigns for 30 years. "The entire political
future of the party and perhaps the nation now rests on
the shoulders of a President that no one - Democrat or
Republican - believes in or trusts."

© Copyright 2005 Capitol Hill Blue


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