Thursday, October 20, 2005

Mistakes are in the eye of the beholder

Peggy Noonan writes in today's Opinion Journal that the President should treat his current political crisis as he treated his family crisis from 20 years ago. One part of her column really stuck out for me, though:
The president is like anyone else: He can look back at the last few years and see that he's made mistakes. Who hasn't? Mistakes of judgment, mistakes of approach. Some of the mistakes in the president's case would have grown out of human miscalculation. Others perhaps grew out of vanity, of a largeness of ego. It's not hard to make a list. There were mistakes of judgment, such as Social Security. Mr. Bush decided to reform the bedrock entitlement of modern America in even though, while most thought reform important, few thought it urgent. Why would he do this? And in the middle of a war and an uncertain economic climate? I'm George Bush and I only do big things!
Her thesis is that the President, in the interest of saving his political family, needs to take a deep, hard look inside and question his mistakes and adjust. But that assumes that the President does or would view Noonan's examples as mistakes. He likely doesn't, which means Nonan's entire argument is for naught. Sometimes mistakes are in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, I don't think that beholder is the President.

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