Five years ago today, a president costumed in a flight suit gave a speech declaring mission over, beneath a banner that simply said "Mission Accomplished". That is probably the defining image of his presidency, and not just because this was a photo-op that backfired. George W. Bush's presidency has been all about image. Bush has never sought to govern, or even to solve problems. Bush was the permanent campaigner, and campaigning is all about selling an image of yourself.
When Bush gives a press conference or holds a public event, the surrounds are always dressed with slogans of some such. "No Child Left Behind". "Securing our Economy". "Strengthening Social Security". Beyond that, he used federal documents as campaign propaganda. The 2001 tax rebates had a note serving as a campaign and GOP ad for George W. Bush. Beyond that, Bush does not govern. John J. Diiulio resigned in disgust when he discovered that Bush was more concerned with looking like he was helping the poor with his "Faith Based Initiatives" rather than actually helping the poor. That he treated matters of war and peace the same way is disgusting. I cannot really continue this post. Maybe I can collect my thoughts tomorrow.