The problem wasn’t just Iraq.
It didn’t even start with Iraq.
It was bigger than Iraq.
In fact, it was everything George W. Bush touched, from the very early flop on energy policy to the walking fiasco named Alberto Gonzales. Even adding the tragicomedy of Hurricane Katrina doesn’t come close to describing the governmental catastrophe of the Bush administration. The collapse of the Bush presidency is a broadly acknowledged fact. Everyone who’s anyone, from politicians to comedians, has taken shots at this ever-growing target. By any fair assessment, much of the past seven years has been disastrous. The challenge is to understand why.
Few analysts have stepped aside, abandoning easy hits and quick gibes, and analyzed the totality of the Bush Administration. Now, bestselling author Thomas Oliphant does just that. With his keen, experienced eye, he asks the simplest of questions: “How could some of the smartest, most experienced and politically savvy people in Washington screw up so badly?”
After all, this was the team led by a man with an MBA. They came to Washington with the mission to run the government in an orderly, businesslike manner. Instead, chaos has ensued. How did this happen?
From domestic policy to international goofs, from soaring energy prices to the health care crisis---Thomas Oliphant tackles it all, closely inspecting the initial projections and promises of Bush and his key senior officials, and the ways in which they lost control of these well-publicized and overconfident plans. By comparing their rhetoric to their dismal record, Oliphant provides a historic analysis of the Bush administration---showing how a system so seemingly competent and mechanized could fail so miserably, and with such frequency.
In the wake of the Republican loss of Congress and unmet promises for future change, and as the presidential campaign to choose Bush’s successor heats up, Oliphant provides a rigorous examination of what went wrong and what this means for the next administration. Utter Incompetents is at its heart a searching look at the George W. Bush administration, its policies, and the legacy that it will leave behind on January 20, 2009.
It is also the substantive backdrop for the next president.