Notes: George W. Bush -- You either love him or hate him. The "uniter not a divider" has successfully divided the nation. If you love him you think he has great resolve, that he sets a goal and never waivers from it. You see his black-and-white mental set as a plus.

But, if you're not a fan of Dubya -- obviously, I'm not -- you see his black-and-white mental set as a liability, one that seeks over-simplified, bumper-sticker solutions. You see his touted resolve as pigheaded stubbornness devoid of the agility needed for crafty, subtle shifts necessary to meet the enormously complex, ever-changing world.

Dubya says he hates "process" and cares only about results. He's a guy who thinks the ends always justify the means. No matter that the premise for toppling Iraq because of W.M.D.s turns out to be absolutely wrong and that some 17,000 Iraqis are estimated to have died and more than 600 Americans. He simply changes the reason he committed America to the war. The public, however, seems to be noticing that they were lied to.

Bob Woodward writes in his new book that Dubya secretly asked for war plans for Iraq during the Afghan War under the influence of Dick Cheney (UIC). Woodward claims that Dubya pulled Rumsfeld into a small office off the situation room and told him to get the plans made. This was so clandestine, that according to Woodward, even Condoleezza Rice was not fully informed. General Tommy Franks, in the midst of directing the Afghan War, supposedly let loose a string of obscenities when told to prepare another war plan. The reason for the secrecy, according to Woodward, was that Dubya didn't want to appear to the American public as eager for war.

Though I opposed most of his policies as Texas governor, I sort of liked Dubya. I've had Texas friends who've met and liked him. On his being handed the election by a partisan Supreme Court, I assured a friend of mine who was worried about Dubya that he's a practical politician who seeks the middle ground. I was either very wrong in my perception of his Texas performance or he's changed dramatically now that he's president. He has, as we all know, fallen under the spell of a cabal of neoconservative ideologues. I'm surprised that Karl Rove let this happen, though I've read that he believes that a fervent active base -- in this case far right -- is a political asset. Now, he's letting Dubya divide us religiously with his nutty pronouncements that freedom is a gift from the Almighty that is his calling to bring to the world -- shades of "little brown brother" meets Elmer Gantry. Pat Buchanan ironically calls this "democratic imperialism," an oxymoron -- we overthrow you and then tell you to have a certain type of government. Dubya's divisiveness may cost him the election, something I didn't think was possible a year ago
. 04.18.04