Rich Lowry of the National Review has some interesting takes on George W. in his face-to-face interview with him.
"He has a restless energy when he sits in a chair..."
"He exudes an easy self-confidence."
(He) "... asks what the correct expression is..."
(He) "...makes fun of himself."
"Bush’s confidence goes well beyond comfort in his own skin."
"He exhibits a sincere, passionate, and uncompromising conviction in his principles."
"He is arguably losing a war in Iraq that could destroy his hopes for the Middle East and sink his party’s hope in the midterm elections." (Did Lowry wink when he wrote this line?)
"But there’s no wobble in Bush. If anything, the opposite."
And there it is, in a nutshell -- Bush's unshakeable, what-me-worry, head-in-the-sand, don't-confuse-me-with-the-facts, everything-is-black-and-white mindset and Lowry's unswerving admiration for it. It's as if Bush's boyish pluck and obstinacy was some kind of virtue, an icon of American patriotic fervor worthy of a kind of Republican mythology of manhood and doing the right thing.
Here is Bush in his own words:
“Let me just first tell you that I’ve never been more convinced that the decisions I made are the right decisions. I firmly believe — I’m oftentimes asked about, well, you’re stubborn and all this. If you believe in a strategy, in Washington, D.C. you’ve got to stick to that strategy, see. People want you to change. It’s tactics that shift, but the strategic vision has not, and will not, shift.”
Lowry emphasizes it by repeating and italicizing never more convinced. Lowry then reports that Bush memorializes his obdurate thinking by claiming that it is "essential to meaningful governance." Lowry suggest that it is this kind of thinking that "drives Bush's critics batty." No kidding.
Lowry's National Review piece goes on to emphasize that when Bush talks about "principles" these days, he really is talking about THE WAR ON TERROR. Lowry has that right. That's about all Bush is thinking about these days -- THE WAR ON TERROR. 9/11 was Bush's saving grace, and he has exploited it to his every partisan advantage. It energized his presidency in ways he could only dream about before. Had it not happened, he likely would have been a one-term President, having accomplished nothing other than cutting taxes for his wealthy friends.
But it is THE WAR ON TERROR that has concretized his thinking about things in his your-with-us-or-with-the-terrorists' bunker mentality. It consumes him in ways most Americans can't imagine. And as Bush's legacy has fallen apart, it eats at him even more. He can do nothing else other than sink deeper and deeper into his one-track world where there are no grays, no complicated issues, no compromises, and no ifs, ands, or buts.
Rich Lowry merely helps reinforce Bush's simplicity and reaction with his puffery.