Petraeus is Bush’s “New Jesus”

James Fallows:

The New Jesus is the guy the boss has just brought in to solve the problems that the slackers and idiots already on the staff cannot handle. Of course sooner or later the New Jesus himself turns into a slacker or idiot, and the search for the next Jesus begins.

As has been widely noted, Gen. David Petraeus is getting the full New Jesus treatment. It’s underway to an extent I can barely remember happening before. OK, maybe one exception: When Coach Joe Gibbs was brought back to “save” the Washington Redskins three years ago, under their lamentable owner, Dan Snyder. The subsequent travails of Coach Gibbs illustrate the standard New Jesus cycle.

Petraeus is a serious man, but the expectations being heaped on him are simply laughable, and it’s worth noting the proportions this phenomenon has taken on.

At his press conference last week, President Bush essentially answered every question about Iraq with the word “Petraeus.” Actually, the word the President used was “David” — before recovering himself and remembering to give his last name or say “General Petraeus.” (Perhaps Bush realized that a president does no favor to an “independent” commander by portraying him in public as a buddy?)

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Filed under Fred Kagan:an idiot running a war, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Politics

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