Nice to see that Bush/Cheney has gone from being described as the Imperial Presidency to the Imperiled Presidency… goes a small ways toward righting the course of events.
I hope, one day, that W wakes up sufficiently self-conscious and self-reflective to comprehend the scale on which he’s screwed the pooch. The sooner, the better, 'cause he’s in good shape… he could live with the shame of self-knowledge for decades… and that would be the only justice the inept ass will see in this world. Maybe he’ll read this author’s article as well as the book. Might get him started on the right path.
[quote=“Washington Post”]Why Winston Wouldn’t Stand For W
President Bush’s favorite role model is, famously, Jesus, but Winston Churchill is close behind. The president admires the wartime British prime minister so much that he keeps what he calls “a stern-looking bust” of Churchill in the Oval Office. “He watches my every move,” Bush jokes. These days, Churchill would probably not care for much of what he sees.
I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about Churchill while working on my book “Troublesome Young Men,” a history of the small group of Conservative members of Parliament who defied British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler, forced Chamberlain to resign in May 1940 and helped make Churchill his successor. I thought my audience would be largely limited to World War II buffs, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the president has been reading my book. He hasn’t let me know what he thinks about it, but it’s a safe bet that he’s identifying with the book’s portrayal of Churchill, not Chamberlain. But I think Bush’s hero would be bemused, to say the least, by the president’s wrapping himself in the Churchillian cloak. Indeed, the more you understand the historical record, the more the parallels leap out – but they’re between Bush and Chamberlain, not Bush and Churchill.
Like Bush and unlike Churchill, Chamberlain came to office with almost no understanding of foreign affairs or experience in dealing with international leaders. Nonetheless, he was convinced that he alone could bring Hitler and Benito Mussolini to heel. He surrounded himself with like-minded advisers and refused to heed anyone who told him otherwise.
In the months leading up to World War II, Chamberlain and his men saw little need to build up a strong coalition of European allies with which to confront Nazi Germany – ignoring appeals from Churchill and others to fashion a “Grand Alliance” of nations to thwart the threat that Hitler posed to the continent.
Unlike Bush and Chamberlain, Churchill was never in favor of his country going it alone. Throughout the 1930s, while urging Britain to rearm, he also strongly supported using the newborn League of Nations – the forerunner to today’s United Nations – to provide one-for-all-and-all-for-one security to smaller countries. After the League failed to stop fascism’s march, Churchill was adamant that, to beat Hitler, Britain must form a true partnership with France and even reach agreement with the despised Soviet Union, neither of which Chamberlain was willing to do.
Like Bush, Chamberlain also laid claim to unprecedented executive authority, evading the checks and balances that are supposed to constrain the office of prime minister. He scorned dissenting views, both inside and outside government. When Chamberlain arranged his face-to-face meetings with Hitler in 1938 that ended in the catastrophic Munich conference, he did so without consulting his cabinet, which, under the British system, is responsible for making policy. He also bypassed the House of Commons, leading Harold Macmillan, a future Tory prime minister who was then an anti-appeasement MP, to complain that Chamberlain was treating Parliament “like a Reichstag, to meet only to hear the orations and to register the decrees of the government of the day.”
As was true of Bush and the Republicans before the 2006 midterm elections, Chamberlain and his Tories had a large majority in the Commons, and, as Macmillan noted, the prime minister tended to treat Parliament like a lapdog legislature, existing only to do his bidding. “I secretly feel he hates the House of Commons,” wrote one of Chamberlain’s most fervent parliamentary supporters. “Certainly he has a deep contempt for Parliamentary interference…”