What a victory for our Mennonite lad from Temecula, California, right? Floyd Landis, that is. That come-back kid must be an inspiration to you, Bush, now that virtually the whole world has written you off as a loser. I hope you don't take his victory the wrong way, though, and see it as a validation of that favorite--and mindless--Bush adage: Stay the course. I guess in a bicycle race it's a bit different than in international relations, where you sometimes have to modify your game plan in the light of new realities. Even then, you could argue that Landis changed his game plan after that disastrous day. Still not a good example for you to follow, Bush: he went on the attack.
So I wonder now, do you have any new game plans up your sleeve? You could yet surprise us all. Not likely, though. You'd need to do some serious rethinking, and I understand that's not your strong point. I do have a few suggestions for you, if you'll bear with me. They could be helpful:
1) Fire your Rumsfeld. That act alone could send a signal that you're ready to revise your thinking on Iraq. Oh, and follow the firing up with some actual revised thinking, including a willingness to listen to those with other views about how to resolve this dreadful mess you have created. They might just have a usefully new perspective.
2) Close down Guantanamo. Bring those against whom there is significant evidence to public trial, with adequate provision for defense. Find ways to release the others with proper safeguards for their humanitarian treatment. Tell the world you're, um, embarrassed to have been overzealous in your pursuit of terrorists and may have possibly made some mistakes along the way, and reassure the international community of America's commitment to established rules of civilized behavior.
3) Announce a serious nationwide initiative to counter global warming, and the intention to lead the world in funding green research and developing new industries that will serve to protect the panet rather than exploit it,
4) Open channels of international communication you have previously blocked. (Your Rice's visit this morning to Lebanon BEFORE going to Israel and meeting with the parliamentary leader who has close ties with Hezbollah is a good start in this direction: an important signal--assuming it's more than an empty gesture--that the US is not uncritically on one side of this conflict.) Find ways to address the root causes of terrorism as well as its symptoms. Show some understanding that your way is not always the right or the exclusive one; that you're willing and ready to listen to someone other than your small circle of advisors.
5) Hire some qualified and gifted scientists to provide you with sane, trustworthy information on such topics as climate change, evolution, and stem cell research. Listen to the established, factual data they present you with.
6) Start insisting on integrity in politics, even amongst your Republicans. Make a public statement of your intention to tolerate no irregularities in election technology or management, and to maintain a healthy separation between government, campaign funding, and corporate lobbyists. Kiss your Rove goodbye, hand him his pink slip, and bring in a person who values honesty and civility of debate above election victory.
7) Make a point of rewarding competence and efficiency rather than loyalty. Exercise some discretion and skepticism when consulting your gut, which has proved notoriously unreliable on several occasions in the past. Get some objective help when evaluating performance.
Oh, well, Bush, just a few ideas on which to base a comeback. Call me a dreamer, but I think at least one or two of them are promising. They might help polish your image in America and the world at large.