I found this comment by former Bush speechwriter David Frum to be extremely revealing:
"I don't know that there's a lot of realism in the Republican Party. We have an economic message that is largely irrelevant to most people.
Ah yes, "realism", I guess maybe now reality matters again. Recall, it was only a little more than 4 years ago today --just a few weeks before Bush defeated Kerry-- that Ron Suskind publicized this quote from a Bush senior advisor (Rove?) that has come to define the failure of the Bush Presidency:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
By the way, Suskind's article is worth re-reading again today as we near the end of the Bush nightmare of a Presidency. A couple of things I forgot about: 1) the story involving the late Tom Lantos --where Bush confused Sweden and Switzerland but insisted that he hadn't; 2) How Biden was extremely perceptive in analyzing Bush's basic character flaws.