Skip to comments.Fight Back, Mr. President: Shouldn't the president defend his honor?
Posted on 11/04/2005 1:55:54 PM PST by jmc1969
Last week, I suggested that the Bush administration's second-term bear market had bottomed out. Since then, we've been pummeled by polls showing Bush in continued decline. Perhaps my bullish call on Bush was a bit early. Or perhaps it was wrong. Which is it?
That's up to the Bush administration. Over the next few months, the Bush team will put this bad year behind them, and regain their footing. Or it will be a long 39 months--a very long 39 months--for Bush and his supporters.
How to recover? Begin by facing reality.
The Miers episode did more damage than one might have expected. It raised doubts about Bush's judgment, on top of the Katrina-related doubts about White House competence, which have lingered. But Miers, and Katrina, are over. Now the task is to get Samuel Alito confirmed--using his confirmation process not just to get credit for a fine pick, but to make the case for judicial restraint and constitutionalism, and to lay the groundwork for additional winning battles on behalf of conservative appellate and (maybe) Supreme Court nominees.
The failed Social Security reform effort did real harm, too. The political capital expended, and the depressing effect of the wet-blanket-like message of imminent generational doom, undercut the credit Bush should have received for a strong economy. Now Social Security is over, and Bush can return the focus to economic growth. He can campaign on making the tax cuts permanent--and he can explore some of the broader, pro-family, pro-human-capital policy proposals suggested elsewhere in this issue by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, and by John D. Mueller.
And the administration paid a price for its virtual silence on Iraq during the spring and much of the summer. Now the administration seems to understand not just that they have to do everything they can to win in Iraq--but also that they must make, and remake, the case for the war. Do they also realize that they have to aggressively--not to say indignantly--confront the "Bush lied" charge now emanating from leaders in the Democratic party?
Last Tuesday, Harry Reid took to the floor of the Senate and asserted that the Bush administration had "manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions." This is a serious charge; if it were true, it might well be an indictable offense. But it is, in reality, a slander. Shouldn't the president defend his honor?
After all, the bipartisan Silberman-Robb commission found no evidence of political manufacture and manipulation of intelligence. The administration's weak and disorganized attempts to respond to Joe Wilson's misrepresentations put the lie to the existence of any campaign to "destroy" opponents of the war. In fact, the administration has done amazingly little to confront, and discredit, attacks from antiwar Democrats. It was a shock last week when White House spokesman Scott McClellan emerged for a few moments from his defensive crouch to point out that Clinton administration officials and Senate Democrats also believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
Will he, and others in the administration, return to this theme? Will they call the now antiwar Democrats on their disreputable rewriting of history? Incidentally, are the Democrats ready to defend the proposition that we should have left Saddam in power? Is it okay with them if Zarqawi drives us out of Iraq? Will the administration challenge them as to what their alternative is? Will the administration take the time to put spokesmen forward, and recruit surrogates, to make the case for victory? Or do they enjoy being punching bags at the White House?
Bush has been in a similar position before. We forget how much trouble he seemed to be in early in 2004. Then Kerry was nominated, and the Bush team focused the country on the real choices before it. In the contrast, Bush did fine. Bush once again needs to fight for support for his policies and to draw a contrast between his policies and those of his opponents. If you do not defend yourself against your critics, your political standing is going to erode. Bush owes it to himself, to his supporters, to the soldiers fighting in Iraq, and to the country to fight back.
Reagan was no mental giant and he used the bully pulpit well.
OK. I'd agree that the RNC could use some money to fund an ad campaign in support of the war. But how effective are ads put out by political national committees? What are your indications that such ads are necessary? Is it current polling numbers? Do you really believe them? With regard to the intensity of the Whitehouse, what is your gouge? Certainly Bush hasn't indicated he has lost his intensity. His most recent speeches regarding the War on Terror have been some of his best yet. What can the Whitehouse do to show it remains deeply committed to both the War on Terror, and the men and women in the military who are fighting it? As a military person myself, I have no doubt about either Bush's commitment or his concern for my welfare.
You have no idea what a pain in the ass it is to bring VIPs into a combat zone. Our men and women in Iraq have MUCH more important things to do than support a Presidential PR campaign. Bush knows that. He is letting the military do its job. He is not using it as a weapon against the media. The media is doing a good enough job of tearing itself down.
You are wrong. He won by promising to do the total opposite to what he is doing now since he ran as a proponent of "limited government".
Bush won two elections for POTUS because he ran right of two Marxists--the lunatic Gore and the traitor Kerry.
Bush was the lesser of two evils. In your words, "doing EXACTLY what he is doing now" is NOT how Bush got elected. Bush ran on promises on doing exactly the OPPOSITE of what he is doing now--he is the biggest socialist spender in world history. This is NOT how he got elected. The White House website has had the same biography of Bush for some time now. It says that:
President Bush served for 6 years as the 46th Governor of the State of Texas, where he earned a reputation for bipartisanship and as a compassionate conservative who shaped public policy based on the principles of limited government
. I don't think Bush has even mentioned the words "limited government" since Inaugural Day 2001. If he would, he would be laughed off the stage. Bush ran as a conservative, but has managed as a fiscal liberal. Yes, he is fighting a war on terror, but is managing that politically correct. He promised to go after nations that harbor terrorists, yet he knows Iran is building the IEDs for Iraq and has given a free pass to Iran as well as to Syria, a nation that lets terrorists freely uses its borders.
You are 100% wrong. Yes, we are better off with Bush than Gore or Kerry, but Bush has been no friend to conservatives but the best friend liberals EVER had.
One more point: you are also wrong about Bush and Alito. Alito is NOT Bush's pick, but Alito is the pick of true conservatives. Bush picked Miers. The true conservatives who voiced extreme outrage at Bush over the Miers pick are the ones who gave us Sam Alito. Bush does not get credit for nominating him. The true conservatives who held Bush accountable and showed outrage against Bush are the ones who get credit for Sam Alito.
We know we must watch every move Bush makes and be ready to launch into response mode. The only way to have things go our way is to guide Bush along the way, as we did with the Miers rejection and the Alito pick. Never let our hatred of the RATs get in the way of Republican accountability, clear thinking about conservative agenda, limited government and the core principles our nation was founded on.
I am convinced that HE is convinced that God called upon him to lead the WOT, and if the idiots out there in the Blogosphere, and the few thousand watching MSNBC don't get it, he's got bigger fish to fry.
The President repeated over and over after 9-11 that the WOT would last for many years. He knew patience would wear thin, and the war would drag him down.
I will say that those around him in his administration could do a better job of carrying the water, especially Scott McClellan who is no help whatever.
Hire Dennis Miller.
Buried in the State Dept. Wasted talent, IMHO.
Yes, he is. That is why I have never voted for him.
Could it all be explained...GWB is not a politician...he is just serving the people and doing what he thinks is right...and for the most part I agree. I have met the boy and he is good people...The American people will in the future agree as well... We had a congress that was wishy washy bunch of fools in the congress in the 70's that caused about 5 million folks to die. Hopefully that won't happen again in the ME..
I am not really interested in Bush defending himself but he has thousands of americans in harms way fighting for this country and HE ordered them there !!!! Its time for him to get off his a.. and defend this country from the liars who are giving aid and comfort to the enemy ,and he can start by putting that sleezbag Wilson and his Mata Hari wife in their place
President Bush with a few exceptions has not done a particularly good job of getting his message out. He will never get a fair break in the so-called MSM and the dems will never, ever give him credit for anything but will only attack. His supporters in talk radio and on the net have been by far the most vocal and effective in defending his positions and in getting in some licks against his enemies but their reach is still small compared to the leftist media. Bush needs to get out and go over the heads of the enemy media and speak directly to the people. Why he does this so infrequently is a mystery to me. At least half the battle is getting the message out. When he does do this he isn't half bad and sometimes is even semi-inspiring. He needs to hammer away on the war, the economy and the court nomination and not let up.
One thing the leftists do is never let up. They are nothing if not persistent. Kind of like rust - they never stop eating away at their enemies.
Reagan was adept at presentation, no question about it. True he didn't have the full spectrum of technical understanding of America, but he had the spirit. I personally think he saved the country. None of the Dems have anything like the American spirit. Bush has part of it, but everybody is different, so we shouldn't even be looking for another Reagan. In any case, we need to look toward '08. Somebody should be showing the attributes needed. Any day now. I hope.
It is. Now please state your "facts" regarding those insurgents "pouring" over the border. Specifically, are there more coming over now than a year ago? And who are they? Also, you neglected to answer whether the Syrian and Iranian governments are more or less stable than they were even one year ago. Did Syria leave Lebanon because it is becoming stronger or weaker? Is Iran gaining or losing support in the international community.
"Please provide your facts that Bush's approval rating is skyrocketing, which is what you seem to believe, or want to believe."
This is clear evidence you are spending too much time listening to the mainstream media. You've resorted to making things up to support your weak position. I never said anything about Bush's approval rating rising. But if you are looking for evidence of how his approval rating is shifting, I'd suggest you refer to RasmussenReports. They keep a daily tracking poll using consistent demographics. Today his approval rating is 43%. On election day it was 52%. During 2004 his approval ranged from 57% to 43%. So far in 2005 it has ranged from 54% to 40%. I guess I'm missing the dramatic freefall in his approval ratings.
"You clearly know nothing about interpersonal skills since your posts are filled with personal attacks."
You seem unable to tell the difference between statements of fact and "personal attacks". There are many things about which I am ignorant. That is a fact. You happen to be ignorant about many of the topics we are discussing. That is also a statement of fact. Calling a spade a spade isn't a personal attack. It is speaking the truth.
My thoughts, exactly. A "Reagan" comes around once in a generation, or maybe once in a century. We'll never see another Ronald Reagan in our lifetimes, I'm pretty sure. But I do hope for someone to emerge who can actually articulate what this country has stood for since its founding. I'd really like to see a campaign in '08 where the Republican refuses to be sucked into a bidding contest with the Democrat -- who can give away the most goodies to the American people. I'd like to see the campaign in '08 be over the spirit and substance of this nation, and what our role in the world is. I'd like to see an articulation of what it means that our nation is built upon *liberty*, and a serious discussion about what liberty is. I'd like to see the Republcian candidate cram it down the throat of their opponent that the Democrats don't stand for liberty, but for selfishness and license (which to the uneducated looks like "liberty"). I'd really like to see the '08 election campaign be a re-education of the American people about true American ideals. A faint hope, but a hope none the less.
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