Remember when it seemed like there was some kind of force field around Bush? Like Rove had completely mastered the political game, Cheney ran the geopolitical scene like a puppetmaster, Rumsfeld bestrode the Pentagon, and Congress was packed with courtiers?

It was hard to bring to mind, watching Bush give his speech the other night. He was small, diminished in every way, even by the pedestrian background of the camera shot in the presidential library. We’ve come a long way from that aircraft carrier.

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In this, the Bush Era’s ugly denouement, it seems symbolic somehow that he just got his ass handed to him by a National Academy of Sciences panel.

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