Well, great. Just great. The President and his huge freaking personal White House staff can’t even request a simple absentee ballot properly, so guess who is taking Air Force One out for a spin just so he can vote in the local primary in Crawford, Texas?

Bush hasn’t missed a GOP contest since he started voting in Crawford in March 2002. An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, indicated Saturday that White House staff had slipped up on the paperwork for requesting a mail-in ballot this time.

And how much is this going to cost out of my pocket and yours? Who the hell knows, because the White House refuses to publish costs for these little jaunts.

But when you consider the cost of fuel, staffing, security, overtime costs, food, overhead and everything else that goes into this hastily thrown-together little jaunt…and you add in the additional cost of a trip to the Gulf region for some CYA — also hastily arranged — so it’s not all about the fact that George Bush is too much of a dumbass to follow-up with his staff about his absentee ballot request…well, that’s a whole lot of cash, isn’t it?

Especially when you think about it in terms of what it would have cost had Bush filled out his little form and sent it in: some minimal postage and a few minutes to mark the ballot and put it back in the envelope.

The cost of continually failing to pay attention to the details? Astronomical. And who is paying for these failures — repeatedly? The American public.

Look, I know Bush has a lot on his plate, what with the abysmal Katrina response and the fact that even Republicans in Congress are calling him a "failure of leadership," and the blossoming civil war potential in Iraq, along with the fact that he and his Republican leadership cronies in Congress and lots of members of his own Administration staff are under investigation currently for corruption, bribery, espionage and lots of other criminal activity. Then there’s the whole blossoming federal deficit, the Dubai ports deal, and the fact that Bill Kristol just called him incompetent.

But this is one little, tiny thing — and you are telling me that the President and his enormous staff of minions couldn’t fill out a form, put a 39 cent stamp on it and stick it in the mail? And because Bush and his staff can’t do even the simplest thing properly, we end up footing the bill — to the tune of a buttload of cash — just to fly him to his vacation home for the day so he can vote?

Here’s an idea: how about since Bush screwed up, he has to pay for the trip out of his own pocket?

(Hat tip to reader Punaise for the heads up on this. Via Salon.)