Matt Towery

The deceptively simple truth about all of this is that while most Americans aren't wild about the Iraq venture, it's not something that dominates their lives and thoughts.

More accurately, it wouldn't cause them dark dreams if the president would stop picking at this geopolitical scab on his face before it becomes a gaping wound.

Though I've written it perhaps to excess, I'm compelled to try again: Americans, more than anything, seem to yearn for a captivating set of policy initiatives to curb the power and scope of government. Something that throws them back to the heady days and ways of Ronald Reagan.

Perhaps the Bush White House could stage a historic popular comeback if it could muster the imagination and moxie required to offer this vision to the nation.

Thanks to their myopic obsession with fighting the insular wars of the Washington, D.C. "Beltway," the Bush White House has been suckered into believing that a lack of public support for the Iraq war is the sole reason for what is starting to be widely viewed as a complete meltdown at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A few weeks back, I chided Vice President Dick Cheney's staff for dragging their feet in dealing with what was essentially a minor shooting mishap. Even so, I didn't suggest that they or their boss hold daily press briefings on the medical condition of his wounded hunting buddy. 

I'm sure the president doesn't watch "The West Wing." Nor does he read newspapers, by his own admission. I'm also reasonably certain his advisers don't crib their strategy from a television program produced by a liberal Democrat.

So it's quite a coincidence that the pretend president and the real one seem to be operating in parallel trajectories of political suicide.

Just as remarkable is the American media's ability to keep the scattered successes of Iraqi insurgents at the forefront of our society's attention, while effectively minimizing the good news of a vigorous economy, safety on our own soil and many positive developments in other parts of the world.

The press is scoring at will, to quote the sports phrase. To cite another one, George W. Bush is getting an assist on each of their goals.

Every day, with each new speech or press conference on Iraq, he voluntarily digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole. The media simply reports on his descent. Soon he may dig himself through to the other side of the globe and pull his party mates in Congress through with him.

Sorry, but I can't help but say it again: This man needs better advice. And though I may be bleating the same sour note, I now have thousands of polling interviews that provide indisputable evidence that those from the region of his greatest support and success feel much the same way. 

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery