A look at Bush's reversals
President Bush's decision Tuesday to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify publicly before the commission investigating the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks reversed earlier White House insistence that she would only appear privately.
Some previous Bush reversals in the face of criticism:
[They then list five other times Bush "gave in" to public criticism, including his opposition to the Department of Homeland Security, and his opposition to various investigations.]
The obvious tone of this article, which is presented as straight news rather than opinion, is "Bush is a stubborn fool who resists doing the obviously right thing until shamed into it." That is, admittedly, one way of looking at it. Or you can believe that he's simply open to compromise and willing to have his mind changed. Or you can believe, like Michael Novak in the Corner, that these are brilliant political maneuvers:
Look. We have seen this move before. Everybody rages that Bush is doing the wrong thing, he has to do X. Senator Daschle says he has to do X.
Republicans say he has to do X. The whole press says he is stupid for not doing X. Still, Bush refuses. And refuses. And refuses. Then, after everybody else has spoken, Bush suddenly says, O.K., we'll do X. Then, with the attention of the whole world upon him, and with everybody committed to X, he steps forward and goes right through the hole the attackers opened up for him. He does X, and knocks them dead.
In football, this play is called the mousetrap. The guard pulls out and moves toward the end, and the opposing players rush in on the attack. Suddenly the ball is handed off to a runner heading right for the spot the attackers had just vacated.
It looks like CNN still hasn't caught on.