With approval ratings below 30 percent, President Bush faces dwindling support for his Iraq policy. But the latest defection may be the most painful yet: Barney, President Bush’s seven year old Scottish Terrier, has withdrawn his support for the war. According to highly placed White House sources, Barney has been dubious about the Iraq mission for some time, but agreed to wait until the so-called surge had been given a chance to show results. However, Barney was unimpressed with today’s congressional testimony by General David Petraeus. “As a canine,” Barney said, “I have a pretty high standard for sitting up and begging, and General Petraeus leaves much to be desired in this department. Now Alberto Gonzales, there was a lapdog!”
Like all of Bush’s inner circle, Barney has been consistently loyal to President Bush throughout his presidency, with one notable exception. In 2006, during the run up to the last midterm elections, Barney broke with the President by speaking out publicly against a proposed law in Georgia that would have banned butt sniffing. Though the law received broad Republican support, Barney denounced it as a draconian intrusion into the doghouses of America. “When butt sniffing is criminalized,” Barney said at the time, “only criminals will sniff butts.” The law was eventually struck down.
For Bush, who once told Bob Woodward that he would not withdraw from Iraq “even if Laura (Bush) and Barney are the only ones supporting me,” the development leaves him more isolated than ever. “Well, as long as I’ve still got Laura I guess that’s good enough,” the President said. Sitting beside him, the First Lady coughed politely behind her hand.
Photo: Barney, Iraq War Skeptic, May 13, 2004.