Skip to comments.Keep All This in Perspective, Folks (Rush on Pres MTP appearance)
Posted on 02/09/2004 5:23:11 PM PST by jmstein7
I really feel for President Bush here. I really, really do. Ever since this Meet the Press appearance yesterday, no matter where you go, everybody is beating up George Bush. Conservatives are beating him up, because he wasn't conservative enough or he wasn't on offense enough, he was too defensive, and the liberals are beating him up because he looked bad, looked nervous, what have you. I can relate to this. Now, in my own small way, and it's one of the things about television that I've always actually resented.
I've been on TV, every time, every time, including my own show for four years, every time I've been on TV, I have had people, "You should have said that, and you should have said this, why didn't you think of that?" Nobody was ever totally satisfied, and especially when the TV appearance is over and I thought, "Man, this was good, this was good." You know, there's everybody has their strengths and everybody has their weaknesses, and I know the White House asked for this, so you would have assumed that they had something really powerful to say. I got so many e-mails today. One of them is, there are a whole lot of more I-wish-he-had-saids than, boy, what he said was great. And I said, boy, I've been there, I've been there, I've gotten those e-mails myself. You idiot, why didn't you say this, or you clown, why didn't you say that. Somebody sent me a list. This is just a brief example. The question about tax cuts. "Can we afford tax cuts," Russert asked. The answer should have been we need the tax cuts to increase tax revenues. Sure, yeah, great answer. But we didn't get it. Cutting taxes increases, yeah, we didn't get it, but another question, for example, there are those who second-guess 9-11, did we connect enough dots. Well, the same folks second-guessed Iraqi Freedom, did we connect too many dots. We dealt with this on Friday. The President could have said it's easy to second-guess but my job is to lead, to protect, and I have to first-guess, not second-guess, and the dots I connected were, he invaded two countries; Saddam used weapons of mass destruction; he saber-rattled, those are all dots that we agreed on, those are things he could have said and didn't say.
There's something beyond all of this, and I realize that the context in which people looked at this yesterday, I'm sure many of you did too, is within the presidential campaign. And that's not the context in which I'm looking at this, and I talked about this late last week, it might have been Thursday, it might have been Friday, I'm not sure which, but what bothers me, or the context to me is: the guys that are going after the bad guys are the guys being attacked. The bad guys are getting a pass, and Bush is being attacked for an appearance on television. And I think it's a dangerous road to travel here, folks, to start getting into this. I mean, sure we'd be singing a different tune if everybody thought it was a great performance and I understand the presidential election is a presidential election, but let's face it, it's nine months from now, and this, just like what happens on the Democratic campaign trail on the specific basis in January, is not going to be an issue in November. Neither is this particular appearance on Meet the Press yesterday.
Instead, there seems to be something else happening in the country, and that is the good guys are the bad guys. The good guys are the bad guys. Bush, and he did say this yesterday. This is one thing he did point out, he says, look it, I am well, these are my words, but he said the same thing: there's one guy taking the threat to this world seriously. And that's George W. Bush. Last week I pointed out we had this terrorist explosion in Moscow. We've had this Pakistani nuclear scientist admit to selling secrets. We had Libya give up its nukes and its weapons of mass destruction. Would any of this be happening had we not done what we did in Iraq? Bush didn't say it specifically like this, but I don't think the president, in an interview like this, is going to sit there and beat his chest, either. If he did we'd be thinking he's Bill Clinton. If he's up there saying, well, did I this and I did that why don't you appreciate this and what are you getting on my case for, would sound defensive and whining and I think he's got a job to keep the morale of the intelligence agencies up. He's not going to join the chorus of dumping on Tenet; he's not going to join the chorus of dumping on the intelligence, not publicly. Who knows what he's doing privately. There's always stuff going on that we don't know about. But he's not going to join the chorus just to make people happy. He's not going to do that, start beating up his own team just to satisfy some visceral requests and desires that viewers to a TV interview have. There are things going on here that are much more important and much larger than how the president came off in this interview. Yeah, I wish it had been better, but I'm telling you, there's something that bothers me more. I'm not trying to excuse it or rationalize it or anything of the sort. I'm just saying there's something about all this that bothers me a little more.
We can have talk or we can have conviction. The president has a lot of conviction and he's got his conviction. If you had to boil down what's the most important - what's the single most important thing in this country today, if you're going to vote for president today, what is the single most important issue on which your vote is going to hinge, is it not national security? Is it not national security? Is it not the continuing war on terrorism? Are you going to not vote for Bush because of what David Kay said about weapons of mass destruction? Yeah, the Democrats won't, but the Democrats were never going to vote for Bush in the first place. The Democrats were never going to like Bush in the first place, which is why I never liked the new tone. The Democrats are never going to think Bush is a great guy which is why I never liked his domestic agenda because I think it was designed to make Democrats like him. It was Nixonian. It isn't going to work. They don't want to like anybody. They want to defeat people.
That's what we ought to be like. But, the fact of the matter is, all this other stuff, yeah, it's important, what's happening with the budget and the deficit and the future outlay, yeah, it's important, but that stuff may not even be relevant if we don't deal with the thing that's the single greatest threat to our existence and right now. The single, and there is a threat to our existence but it's not the deficit and it's not the Medicare bill and it's not immigration (although you can make a close case for immigration if we don't get it under control), but there is a threat to our existence out there and it's not going away. It may be battered; it may have been on the run, may be on the run, and yet we're beating up the people, we're trying to take down the people who are making the number one issue the country faces their number one issue in governing. That's what this administration is truly all about. And it's disconcerting to me, it's not the first time that this kind of thing has happened. I mean the Democrats start the Vietnam War, and we hound Richard Nixon out of office for it. The Democrats start the Vietnam War, and John Kerry is now the latest hero. We're bringing back Vietnam, and we're going to judge somebody's ability to be president on the basis of Vietnam. We're going to ignore somebody's ability to be president based on an appearance on Meet the Press. This is what concerns me.
Now, you can sit there and you can complain to me all day if you want about the president on Meet the Press and I'll listen to you, and you can sit there and say I'll probably agree with a lot of what you say. But at the same time, folks, we're going to look into some of the other things I think are a little larger here. We're also going to take a little look at John Kerry today. For all the things this guy said he wasn't going to do he's starting to do them. Now he's saying that going to the National Guard is no different than dodging the draft. He said this over the weekend. So not only is he hoping and seeking to denigrate Bush, he's hoping and seeking to denigrate the Guard. Talk about a morale builder. Yeah. Yeah, this is something presidents can't afford to do. Presidents cannot afford to sit there and defeat purposely the morale of people whose job it is to defend and protect the country, on the front lines. So I think it's just important to keep all this stuff in perspective. You know, too often, whether it's a Meet the Press interview or whether it's anything else, way too many people seem to forget that September 11th happened. You know, last night I was channel surfing around and I had not seen the Disney version of Pearl Harbor, but since I now have HDTV, I'm flipping around, I never used to watch the networks. I just couldn't care less about sitcoms and CSI: Miami, CSI: Baghdad, CSI: SUV, whatever it is, but since there's HD, I'm flipping around because the networks are in HD and I saw this movie, and I'm thinking: look at what happened and there's Roosevelt being portrayed as a damned hero; Roosevelt is portrayed as an icon; Roosevelt is the greatest guy on the face of the earth; Roosevelt stands up with polio when his cabinet says it couldn't be done, we can't beat the Japanese, so Roosevelt says stands up with no help, with polio, gets out of his wheelchair and says, "Don't tell me it can't be done." So they're portraying this guy as a hero and an icon, and here's Bush doing the same thing. We've got our own version of Pearl Harbor here and we're going after the guy who is defending the country and trying to defend the country, trying to take this guy down to shreds for a whole host of reasons it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
In the meantime, finally the Wall Street Journal today has an editorial on, well, I found at it at Opinionjournal.com, I assume it's in the newspaper, on getting to the bottom of the corruption of the oil-for-food program, hello Kofi Annan. You know, some of the people that ran the oil-for-food program are on the Iraqi oil bribe list. Well, we've told you this many, many moons ago, a little Indian lingo there. So I want to try to keep all this in perspective and don't accuse me of trying to cover up for Bush's whatever kind of performance you want to label it as. Because this was the thought I had while watching it. And turns out there's somebody has similar thoughts today in, what is it, oh, yeah, American Spectator, "The War on the War on Terror, is what it's entitled.
Anyway, I got to take a break here, folks, a little long in the opening segment. And this is another thing. Here's Trent Lott on TV right now. I don't even know what he's talking about but I'll tell you what seeing him reminds me of. This computer flap, Democrats, Senate judiciary committee staffers, all these memos in the computer system about virtually how to sabotage the nomination process, the whole Democratic nomination process, all these memos are in there. And somehow these memos, not all of them, by the way, have been leaked, by computer glitch or whatever, thievery, however it happened ended up with some Republican staffers. And so one of Bill Frist's lead guys on the committee resigned as sort of a carrot to the Democrats - hey, just forget about this, we'll get rid of a guy here for you. What's lost here is the content of these memos. Everybody is you all upset about how they ended up in Republican hands. I'll guarantee you this, if it had been Republicans trying to sabotage Democrat efforts and somehow the Democrats got hold of them, there wouldn't be any question about how the memos were gotten, all the subject would be was the contents of the memos, what it ought to be now. If you want to talk about Bush on TV and so forth, let's talk about some of the Republicans in the Senate who don't have the chutzpah to stand up to the people in the Senate who are dealing them dirty as well. At least somebody is standing up to the people that intend to do us harm, at least on the international front, which is the most important one.
President Bush is the good guy. Let's remember this as we "critque" his interviews. We, of all folks, do not need to feed the media beast.
That's all I'm saying.
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