Throwing Rice

I quite agree with this observation by Ed Fitzgerald:

I think this is own major difference between George W. Bush and his father. Both obviously value loyalty to an extreme degree, but Bush Senior, being a more accomplished man himself, also has an awareness of, and respect for, competency and the abilities needed to get a job done. Bush Junior, never having had the need to complete anything himself, always having been rescued from the jams he gets into by his Poppy and Poppy’s friends and connections, clearly has no way of making an independent judgement of competency and capability, and therefore seems to rely almost totally on loyalty as his primary indication of worth. If true, this explains why we’re hearing that Bush himself is running the anti-Clarke campaign, since Clarke’s disloyalty must be punished.

Ed is riffing off an excellent piece by Steve Gilliard considering Condoleeza Rice’s competency. It is pretty clear to me that Bush has no means of evaluating competency and would thus tend to depend on narrow judgments of loyalty. He is sounding more and more Nixonian. Policymaking shaped by personal vendetta? Chilling. Not only does it explain running the campaign against Clarke personally but for me it resurrects the speculation that it was personal for him against Saddam Hussein.