But the Current Occupant manages to couple this U-turn habit with a stubborn hubris that makes them long-overdue as well as a condescendingly dismissive attitude towards those who try to point out the error of his ways.
So folks, as we all await anxiously the release of the ISG report, let me tell you What To Think.
Bush has never hesitated to abandon previously held positions, even (especially?) when they were held with seeming certitude that he would never abandon them. Here’s some quick examples, many from this excellent list:
CHIP Program (Texas Governor)
Patient Bill of Rights (Texas Governor)
Protecting Social Security Surplus
Clean Air Standards for Power Plant Emissions
Storage of Nuclear Waste at Yucca Mountain
Assault Weapons Ban
McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform
Creation of Homeland Security Department
Creation of a 9/11 Investigation Commission
Testifying before 9/11 Commission
Rice Testifying before 9/11 Commission
Giving 9/11 Commission deadline extension
Creation of WMD Investigation Commission
Finding WMD’s in Iraq
Iraq connection to 9/11
Winning the War on Terror
Friendship with Enron CEO Ken Lay
Need to Capture Bin Ladn
Power of Intelligence Chief to control intelligence budgets
UN Approval of Iraq Invasion
Federal Government regulation of marriage
“Jawboning” OPEC to lower oil prices
Staying the course in Iraq
Warrants for Wiretapping
So one thing seems certain: Bush will almost certainly reverse course on Iraq. If I’m wrong, there are plenty of folks who can cry “I Told You So.” And my guess is that Bush will go into his “Stem Cell Decidin’” mode: he’s getting lots of advice from the best people, and will soon tell the press he is going to make a Decision, and he’ll go on national TV and announce that he has no intention of reversing course and anyone who says he does is a dirty liar, and then he’ll announce a series of steps that, taken together, amount to reversing the course.
We’ll see what happens. The move might even revive his flagging popularity. It's hard to believe -- as much as one might want to -- that a President's approval ratings could be so low for so long. But you never know.
And that, my friends, is What to Think.