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The double binds of George W. Bush
Townhall.com ^ | July 19, 2004 | Rich Lowry

Posted on 07/19/2004 4:15:02 PM PDT by livesbygrace

Sometimes a political figure becomes so hated that he can't do anything right in the eyes of his enemies. President Bush has achieved this rare and exalted status. His critics are so blinded by animus that the internal consistency of their attacks on him no longer matters. For them, Bush is the double-bind president.

If he stumbles over his words, he is an embarrassing idiot. If he manages to cut taxes or wage a war against Saddam Hussein with bipartisan support, he is a manipulative genius.

If he hasn't been able to capture Osama bin Laden, he is endangering U.S. security. If he catches bin Laden, it is only a ploy to influence the elections.

If he ignores U.N. resolutions, he is a dangerous unilateralist. If he takes U.N. resolutions on Iraq seriously, he is a dangerous unilateralist. If he doesn't get France to agree to his Iraq policy, he is ignoring important international actors. If he supports multiparty talks on North Korea, he is not doing enough to ignore important international actors.

If he bombed Iraq, he should have bombed Saudi Arabia instead, and if he had bombed Saudi Arabia, he should have bombed Iran, and if he had bombed all three, he shouldn't have bombed anyone at all. If he imposes a U.S. occupation on Iraq, he is fomenting Iraqi resistance by making the United States seem an imperial power. If he ends the U.S. occupation, he is cutting and running.

If he warns of a terror attack, he is playing alarmist politics. If he doesn't warn of a terror attack, he is dangerously asleep at the switch. If he says we're safer, he's lying, and if he doesn't say we're safer, he's implicitly admitting that he has failed in his core duty as commander in chief.

If he adopts a doctrine of pre-emption, he is unacceptably remaking American national-security policy. If the United States suffers a terror attack on his watch, he should have pre-empted it. If he signs a far-reaching anti-terror law, he is abridging civil liberties. If the United States suffers another terror attack on his watch, he should have had a more vigorous anti-terror law.

Bush's economy hasn't created new jobs. If it has created new jobs, they aren't well-paying jobs. If they are well-paying jobs, there is still income inequality in America.

If Bush opposes a prescription-drug benefit for the elderly, he's miserly. If he supports a prescription-drug benefit for the elderly, he's lining the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies. If he restrains government spending, he's heartless. If he supports government spending, he's bankrupting the nation and robbing from future generations.

If he opposes campaign-finance reform, he's a tool of corporate interests. If he signs campaign-finance reform, he's abridging the First Amendment rights of Michael Moore (whose ads for "Fahrenheit 9/11" might run afoul of the law).

If he accuses John Kerry of flip-flopping, he is merely highlighting one of the Massachusetts senator's strengths -- his nuance and thoughtfulness. If he flip-flops on nation-building or testifying before the 9/11 commission, he proves his own ill-intentions, cluelessness, or both.

If he doesn't admit a mistake, he is bullheaded and detached from reality. If he admits a mistake, he is damning his own governance in shocking fashion.

If he sticks with Dick Cheney, he is saddling himself with an unpopular vice president, giving Democrats who can't wait to run against Cheney a political advantage. If he drops Cheney, he is admitting that the Democratic attacks against his vice president have hit home, thus giving Democrats who have made those charges a political advantage.

If he loses in November, the voice of the American people has spoken a devastating verdict on his presidency. If he wins, he stole the election.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ememies; presidentbush; richlowry
I have never heard it stated better.
1 posted on 07/19/2004 4:15:03 PM PDT by livesbygrace
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To: livesbygrace

What would happen if Putin offered 40,000 soldiers for Iraq? Apparently, one several financial blogs this is considered likely.


2 posted on 07/19/2004 4:17:32 PM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd

???


3 posted on 07/19/2004 4:19:13 PM PDT by Dog
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To: livesbygrace

Very nice.


4 posted on 07/19/2004 4:20:03 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The Fourth Estate is a Fifth Column)
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To: livesbygrace

Of course there are those on the Left who would bitch with thier throats cut...


5 posted on 07/19/2004 4:26:34 PM PDT by Bean Counter
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To: livesbygrace

If this doesn't sum it up in a (very big) nutshell, I don't know what does.


6 posted on 07/19/2004 4:26:46 PM PDT by ChocChipCookie (If we had some eggs, we could have bacon and eggs if we had some bacon. --unknown Freeper)
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To: livesbygrace

Yes. Kudos to Lowry. He nails every one of the insane reactions to this good and brave man. I forget, did he address the fact that GW has been unable to change the "tone" in Washington? As if he could.


7 posted on 07/19/2004 4:31:58 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: shrinkermd
What would happen if Putin offered 40,000 soldiers for Iraq? Apparently, one several financial blogs this is considered likely.
I would love to see that happen. I would love to see a Moscow-Washinton-Dheli axis to counter the emerging Euro-state and that other rising world hyper-power, Birkina Faso.
8 posted on 07/19/2004 4:39:37 PM PDT by Asclepius (protectionists would outsource our dignity and prosperity in return for illusory job security)
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To: Bahbah
This tendency has never been more pronounced than with the exertions of the Bush-haters that Lowry details so well here. But what exactly is this tendency of changing the goalposts so that you can remain on the same side of an argument which you are determined not to let go. Take for example, the reactions of partisans to the failures of the "War on Poverty." It went from we will lift the poor out of poverty by giving them a hand up. Who would argue with the propriety of that idea if it worked? It didn't. Charles Murray documented this in his great book Losing Ground. There was no way they were going to roll back these programs. They just kept finding more and more obscure reasons why there were still poor people who were not succeeding.

I think this habit became internalized and has grown to an absurd degree. It manifests mainly but not exclusively on the left.

9 posted on 07/19/2004 4:41:35 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: NutCrackerBoy

"I think this habit became internalized and has grown to an absurd degree. It manifests mainly but not exclusively on the left."

Excellent insight. Obviously, I agree with it.


10 posted on 07/19/2004 4:43:01 PM PDT by Bahbah
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To: NutCrackerBoy

Great article.

I heard Krauthammer on FoxNews Panel a few weeks ago say that the Dems were constantly moving the goal posts, just as you noted.


11 posted on 07/19/2004 4:48:24 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: Asclepius

Birkina Faso? Facist Berkley?


12 posted on 07/19/2004 4:54:59 PM PDT by Dead Dog (Expose the Media to Light, Expose the Media to Market Forces.)
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To: dawn53
By the way, George W. Bush himself may be a hardball campaigner in some respects, but I distinctly remember during the 2000 Presidential debates, more than once he complimented actions of the Clinton Administration. There was nothing resembling the torrential criticism of the nine Dwarves we endured in 2004.

To be fair, I've recently heard some Democrat partisans compliment Bush Administration on the wisdom of transferring Iraqi sovereignty early. Kudos for intellectual honesty.

13 posted on 07/19/2004 4:57:17 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: livesbygrace

bttt


14 posted on 07/19/2004 5:04:51 PM PDT by Right_in_Virginia
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Yes, there are nutburgers on the right as well as the left, for whom nothing is good enough to satisfy, because their reason for being is to be dissatisfied. It's the struggle that counts. If they actually got what they wanted, they would gape and sputter and not know what to do with themselves. They would have to come up with a new complaint.

This article really hits the nail on the head, BTW.

15 posted on 07/19/2004 5:40:49 PM PDT by wimpycat ("The road to the promised land runs past Sinai."-C.S. Lewis)
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To: livesbygrace
So, basically.....

"He's damned if he do, he's damned if he don't."

16 posted on 07/19/2004 6:09:53 PM PDT by atomicpossum (I give up! Entropy, you win!)
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To: shrinkermd
What would happen if Putin offered 40,000 soldiers for Iraq? Apparently, one several financial blogs this is considered likely.

The level of anti-Americanism that I read and hear, from editorials and comedians in Russia, makes me think that Russia intends to stay in the French fold. Putin may be doing a Chiraq, waiting for a formal request so he can make a big show of saying "Nee-kahg-dah!".

Check out Mikhail Zadornov sometime.

17 posted on 07/19/2004 6:21:35 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: livesbygrace

Lowry has the problem down cold. The Dems are reduced to saying that whatever Bush did, he should have done the opposite. What a program...not. Actually if you hear Kerry lately, he'll go into some sort of jeremiad about the state of the nation that Bush has led us into, but if asked about what policy decisions he'd make, most of his answers echo what Bush is doing. Kerry, naturally, wants to have it both ways. He's trying to strike a stance where he appears to be opposite of Bush, but at the same time he knows that the Dems programs are utter crap and that Bush is mostly right about national security and the economy. The Dem rank and file are too dimwitted to see what Kerry is doing.


18 posted on 07/19/2004 6:40:59 PM PDT by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: Dog

I heard the same thing about the Russians.

Just can't remember where. I'm thinking it was on Fox News.


19 posted on 07/20/2004 12:37:00 AM PDT by texasflower (in the event of the rapture.......the Bush White House will be unmanned)
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To: livesbygrace
Outstanding!

9 Legislative Days Left Until The AWB Expires

20 posted on 07/20/2004 12:39:09 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: livesbygrace; dennisw; SJackson; MeekOneGOP; B4Ranch; TrueBeliever9; Geist Krieger; JohnHuang2; ...

"If he loses in November, the voice of the American people has spoken a devastating verdict on his presidency. If he wins, he stole the election."

_______________________________

Thanks for the ping, Geist!

_______________________________

This is the corner Democrats want to paint Dubya into for this election - READ IT for insight on just how thd Dems distort, twist, and reconstruct the truth according to their corrupt agendas of bringing communism to power in the United States. (Ann Coulter would love this if anybody knows how to ping her.)

21 posted on 07/21/2004 7:08:51 AM PDT by Happy2BMe (Ronald Reagan to Islamic Terrorism: YOU CAN RUN - BUT YOU CAN'T HIDE!)
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To: livesbygrace

Now, Joe Wilson's exposed lying is not reported or "ho hum". Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger stealing classified documents and destroying them is not a crime, but leaking that he did it to the press at such and such a time is... Henry Waxman even suggested an investigation concerning the "leaker" and the timing and not the theft of classified documents. So, now the press is downplaying this crime as a political attack by the Republicans and that the whole thing is no big deal. Berger is saying that theft of classified documents regarding national security was an "honest mistake". (Well then, so was what Martha Stewart did) Say that loud enough and long enough and the average American will think it was no big deal...


22 posted on 07/21/2004 7:34:18 AM PDT by KriegerGeist ("Only one life to live and soon it is past, and only what was done for Jesus Christ shall last")
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To: livesbygrace

Yep, got this right. Heard it on Rush yesterday as well.

That's why I change my tagline with each post "....it is all George W. Bush's fault!"

for example, "Sandy Berger stuffing his socks is all George W. Bush's fault!"


23 posted on 07/21/2004 7:44:31 AM PDT by mondoman (The Left's animas toward's George Bush, is all George W. Bush's fault!)
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To: livesbygrace

Again, I agree with the position espoused in this article. However, couldn't the same be said about us on the Right (especially FReepers) and our animas towards the Clinton Administration and the Democrats?

Makes one think, doesn't it?!


24 posted on 07/21/2004 8:15:35 AM PDT by mondoman (The Left's animas toward's George Bush, is all George W. Bush's fault!)
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To: livesbygrace

Outstanding article. It seems to me that it would become obvious at some point that the liberals are simply nuts that try to bitch their way into office. I guess not.


25 posted on 07/21/2004 8:21:21 AM PDT by Jaysun (You can fool some of the people some of the time and thatís usually sufficient for Democrats.)
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To: Happy2BMe; livesbygrace
Texas Democrats are quickly becoming an endangered species.

The Texas Dodocrat:

Remap could create an endangered species -
Texas' white Democratic Reps struggle for survival

Texas Redistricting starts a National Trend !:


26 posted on 07/21/2004 10:22:50 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: livesbygrace; Happy2BMe


Hear the Donkey Bray
(RealPlayer)



[Expletive deleted] !!!


27 posted on 08/06/2004 2:30:46 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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