If anyone has the right to say, "I told you so," about George W. Bush, it's Molly Ivins.
Ms. Ivins, a freelance columnist who until a few years ago labored for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, told us all about Dubya. A few weeks ago, I dug out a copy of her prophetically funny book Shrub.
It was like reading history written before it happened. We were warned. We didn't listen and now we're suffering.
The book was written in the late 1990s and updated right after Bush announced his run for president.
If ever there as a lens into the mind The Hero of Baghdad, this is it.
I think I've figured out why he does what he does. That doesn't make our leader's actions any less scary, but it does peel back some of the mystery of why he does what he does.
Ivins, who had covered Bush for decades in Texas, tells of some of his past escapades in that state as an oilman, a sports impresario and a politician.
A pattern emerges.
Bush tends to get himself into trouble financially and then needs to be rescued. It happened to his oil company and his time as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
Young George got into the oil business with Arbusto Energy in 1978. Arbusto is Spanish for Bush, according to Young W.. According to Cassell's Spanish Dictionary, however, the only translation is "shrub," hence the name of the book, Ivins says.
Arbusto became Bush Oil when daddy Bush became vice president. Hmmmm.
In any case, young W. didn't do so well and his daddy's pals bailed him out. Same deal with the Rangers. Daddy Bush's pals made sure George did well and the team also did well. Taxpayers in Arlington, however, ponied up to build the Ballpark at Arlington.
Everyone says George W. is a stand-up guy. He's a guy who pays his political debts.
So it should come as no surprise that Bush is paying his political debts, sticking by former (thank heaven) Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney through thick and thin.
Bush is a great guy, according to Ivins. He really cries with the families of the U.S. military killed in Iraq. He cries with them while his underlings do the dirty work.
That's the way things ran in Texas.
We shouldn't have been surprised that things run the same way in Washington.
Molly tried to tell us.
We just didn't listen.
And we're paying the price.