Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wow... WaPo draws blood

The White House's Chilling Effect

The Bush administration is constantly telling us that it can't tell us too much, for fear of chilling debate among the president and his top advisers. This argument would be a lot more persuasive if -- on the rare occasions the public is permitted a peak behind the White House curtain -- there were more evidence of something to chill.

Five years and counting, the notion that this is an insular White House headed by an incurious president isn't exactly administration-bites-dog news. But recent developments have reinforced and even broadened this image: This White House is not just reluctant to hear anything that conflicts with its pre-set conclusions -- it's also astonishingly ineffective in obtaining and processing information it wants to have.
This White House prefers its own truth to the inconvenient facts. Layer onto that a chain of command mentality and a CEO-delegator president and, when reality hits -- whether in the form of a difficult war, a killer storm or a misfiring veep -- it's not terribly surprising that the White House has a hard time adjusting. The real chilling effect is the one that runs down the spine of anyone who learns too much about the way this White House operates.

Whatever will Little Debbie do about this?


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