Joe Klein in Tomorrow’s TIME: Bush ‘Clearly Unfit to Lead’

By: E&P Staff

In the upcoming issue of Time magazine, out Friday, columnist Joe Klein considers what he calls the Bush administration?s ?epic collapse.? He concludes with a statement that may make some wonder if he is hinting that the president ought to be impeached.

Klein claims, in referring to the president, that he has ?tried to be respectful of the man and the office? but now he recognizes that the ?defining sins? of his administration ?are congenital: they?re part of his personality. They?re not likely to change. And it is increasingly difficult to imagine yet another two years of slow bleed with a leader so clearly unfit to lead.?

Earlier in the column, Klein hits Bush’s “adolescent petulance” and “indifference to reality in Iraq” and charges that his “hyper-partisanship” amounts to “a travesty of governance.” He declares that the three major Bush problems of the year ?precisely illuminate the three qualities that make this Administration one of the worst in American history: arrogance (the surge), incompetence (Walter Reed) and cynicism (the U.S. Attorneys).”

Klein considers Attorneygate, compared to the others, to be ?a relatively minor matter.? Still, it is an area where Karl Rove ?has corrupted a policy area ? like national security?that should be off-limits to political operators.?

[UPDATE: Posting his column tonight on the Time blog Swampland, Klein notes that despite not being able to imagine two more years with an “unfit” president: “NO! I am not hinting at impeachment. There are no ‘high crimes’ here. Just a really bad presidency. In fact, I consider impeachment talk counterproductive and slightly nutso.”]

Meanwhile, in a profile in the same issue, Ana Marie Cox urges ?Don?t Laugh at Al Franken.?

He is running for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota and ?at the moment,? she declares, ?Franken is well positioned to become the state?s Democratic nominee? — although the latest poll, she says, shows him losing to incumbent Norm Coleman in the general election by 10%.

The Minnesota GOP has called Franken an op-researcher?s ?dream,? she notes. They claim he has been hostile, ?at times crude? and that ?he?s got an anger issue.? While the Republicans admit most of his comments have been merely for fun, ?Franken will need to convince voters,? she writes, ?that his past remarks were ?just jokes? and that he is more than ?just? a comedian.?

For E&P Editor Greg Mitchell’s latest column on the fallout from Sen. John McCain’s much-ridiculed trip to a Baghdad market last weekend,

click here.

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