Bush has “full confidence” in Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank and designer of much of the ideological justification for the Iraq war. Wolfowitz is under a cloud because he put his girlfriend in a top job and set her (excessive) salary, not to mention his nose-thumbing at the world community.

This is the latest in a long line of Bush’s “confidence” tricks.

Bush also has full confidence in Alberto Gonzales, the torture-justifier and U.S.-attorney firer. Is there an echo?

Bush also had full confidence in Michael Brown, the FEMA official partly responsible for the disastrous federal response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster (“Great job, Brownie”) — right up to the day “Brownie” resigned due to the nationwide horror at his pitiful performance.

Bush also had full confidence in Donald Rumsfeld (remember him?) right up to the very day Bush asked for Rumsfeld’s resignation. Even many Republicans were shocked when Bush dumped Rumsfeld mere weeks after the 2006 elections — they felt that if he was going to fire Rumsfeld, he should have done it before Election Day so Republican candidates could have stopped trying to defend Rumsfeld. Do you sense a pattern?

Bush (and Cheney) had full confidence in “Scooter” Libby, especially since he “fell on his sword” for them by refusing to implicate Cheney in his illegal cover-up.

Bush also had full confidence in Tom DeLay, another incompetent, arrogant political operative who masqueraded as a leader.

There are really two patterns here. One pattern is the PR spin of Bush proclaiming “full confidence” until reality and public opinion force him to act otherwise. The other pattern is of incompetent appointees, kept on till their incompetence is clear for all to see.

On the other hand, if someone in Bush’s administration threatens to exhibit competence, they get forced out and attacked. Richard Clarke is just one example of this kind of punishment for actually trying to do your job using some kind of common sense.

In the court of public opinion, Bush is guilty of bad judgment. Bad human judgment for picking incompetent appointees. Bad political judgment for wasting his dwindling credibility trying to prop up these incompetents. Bad presidential judgment for surrounding himself with incompetence, corruption, and right-wing ideological fanatics.

This says loads, too, about his other choices. Cheney as VP. Rove. Bolton. Rice. The Iraq war. Medicare drug coverage with holes big enough to drive a tank through. Unilateral, preemptive, military action — shoot first, ask questions later. Unilateral withdrawal from international treaties. Ignoring and denying global warming. Pompous pronouncements of all kinds.

We can have full confidence that Bush will be wrong about people, wrong about policy, wrong about diplomacy, wrong about military strategy, wrong about protecting the American people from disaster and terrorism, wrong about what supporting the troops really means, wrong about just about everything.

Of course, there is always the eternal question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Bush’s bad people or bad policies? Bush’s blunders or bad advisors? Full confidence or arrogance? Which is cause and which effect?

No matter. The solution is the same — unity against the ultra-right, ending the right-wing stranglehold on government, and building progressive people’s movements for peace, against corruption and sleaze, for workers’ rights and social justice, and even for simple competence.

We need a big scrap pile. Gonzalez is a bum; throw him out. Wolfowitz is a bum; throw him out too. Pile them on top of Rumsfeld, Brown, Bolton, DeLay, “Randy” Cunningham, Libby, Ken Lay, all the defeated Republican senators and representatives, including Katherine Harris and Rick Santorum, and the rest of the incompetent buffoons.

As Michael Douglas says in the movie “The American President”: “We have serious problems, and we need serious people to solve them.”

Marc Brodine (marcbrodine @ inlandnet.com) is chair of the Washington State Communist Party.