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.
Hmmm! Now that's a possibility. I hope so. We shall see.
All will be made clear in the next few months. Chess, not checkers.
Bush must attack, and defend his honor, and the whole Administration must attack with him. This is an honorable and just man, and an honorable and just war. Bush has allowed the craven and the dishonorable to have the stage long enough.
Be Seeing You,
As much as I worry about our good President when he travels to foreign countries, why shouldn't he have gone to Argentina. And to those that say he shouldn't have gone...after 9/11, did these people say we should all stay home and cower in corners??? Our President is a courageous man. God bless our President!!
Latest polls show a majority NOW doubt his honesty and integrity, thanks to the constant "Bush lied" mantra from the MSM and the misrepresentation of the CIA leak nonsense.
It angers and disgusts me that the TRUTH is not being put out there by the White House and Republicans to counteract this campaign of misinformation.
I feel like they almost deserve to be smeared.
The media MAKES UP how poor Bush is doing.
Okay, I just had to check in ... my kids have colds, I just started a job,, my husband is totally stressed out about a job interview process, and now, the minute I log on to FR, suddenly "only I" can find the freaking saline solution to clean out my daughter's nose.
To make a long story short, I can't really read through the whole thread, and I regret that.
But after reading (as much as I could have of) this article, all I can say is: Reports of the demise of the George Bush presidency have been greatly exaggerated.
People are behind him. I truly believe the conservative base is backing him 100%--Judge Alito is smart and qualified.
Okay, gotta go. I just received the evil eye and apparently I am the only person in the house who can find a box of Kleenex.
'night, all. :)
I have never once heard a WH official say V. Plame was NOT covert - The WH / RNC allow this false premise to be set over and over - Show me once where any one with the WH has ever said "Plame was not covert, she was not outed by anyone" -
Furthermore with regard to Iraq, we will have to agree to disagree on this one - I see the WH staff along with the RNC and U.S. Senators routinely allowing false premise after false premise to be set by the MSM - They never set the premise correct before answering a question. They allow the false premise to be established (as fact) and then speak from there. This does terrible damage to the "truth".
As for the "no WMD's" line of attack by the MSM / DEM's - I have hardly ever heard the WH nor RNC take this on ...head on. State the fact that at least now we know (for certain) and we moved on Iraq for a dozen other reasons along side the perceived possible threat of WMD's. Attack those who charge "WMD'S were the sole reason we went to war in Iraq" - Call them out, call them liars and let the American public know that is not the case. The WH and RNC have refused to do this.
With all due respect ... and I know you're a long-time freeper.
And yeah, there has been a bit of stumbling on the Miers nomination, which was just piled on top of the whole media-created Katrina disaster.
So it does make people question. But I think with this Alito nomination, he has rallied people.
Who knows, in the end. You're right, that the Reps let the Dems criticize them too much.
And I do believe that the President is a very honorable and loyal man.
Maybe the Reps are just too scared of the media, in the end.
Okay, I do have to go, just wanted to say that I appreciated your post and I am not at all sure what is the best strategy to help the president.
....and just how many people were polled, I wonder?? I belong to 3 Republican Clubs and a County Executive Committee (with over 100 members). EVERY person who supported and voted for George W Bush, continues to support him......and, if it was possible, we'd vote for him again!!! The media plants seeds and the gullible swallow them.
I'm waiting to see the polls that say ANYTHING else.
I'm skeptical too, but where are they?
Even FOX News is talking about the President's numbers being in the crapper.
And his trustworthiness..which was his strongest point NOW being negative is really sad.
I blame it on the fact Bush won't defend himself and neither will the wimpy Republicans in Congress.
Lately, Fox news has "jumped on the bandwagon". They now have Weasle Clark, Bob Beckel, Marvin Kalb and Martin Frost as commentators....in addition to Geraldine Ferraro and Susan Estrich. Marvin Kalb!!!!!!!!! Fox keeps it up and they'll lose the audience that made them successful.
The President has to deal with 'real' and critical issues. He can't/won't waste our tax dollars with the whining 1st graders who keep calling him names. Don't know about you, but, I voted for G W Bush because I trusted him. I still trust him. And, I will not take advice or be influenced by Carl Levin, Kennedy,Reid, Schumer, Kerry or the liberal media on who is trustworthy. Now if they want to advise on how to be disingenuous, divide the country, make negative statements, embolden our enemies and be paid for many years while accomplishing nothing....I'd listen cause they seem to be experts in these areas.
Yes! FOX confuses me sometimes.
John Gibson enfuriated me the other night by using a Dem talking point to introduce a segment about the Libby CIA leak trial.
But before I could email him my objection, he had an even more powerful segement totally ripping the Dems and their phony "Bush Lied" accusations about the Iraq war.
It was amazing.
Chiller, I absolutely agree with you. This fight has been incessant for five years, and I'm sure it's taking a toll. All the more reason to keep W up in prayer. And also to get rid of McClellan. I'd love to see Ann Coulter get the White House spokesperson job. It won't happen, but I can dream....
Rejecting the Kyoto treaty
Replacng the head of the Civil Rights Comision
Refusing to join the World Court
Refusing to accept the Clinton EPA's aresenic levels
ANWR passed through the budget bill
Lots more is available.
I could go on for hours.
Correct. The war on terror will continue past the end of Bush's term, and we cannot afford to let some appeasing Democrat take over in '09. As I said earlier, Bush needs to somewhat be in "campaign" mode, in order to bolster support for his foreign policy, even more than Iraq itself.
Yet somehow, my home page says my first election where I cast a vote was in 1968.
Can a sperm cells cast a vote? I know illegal aliens and convicted felons are voting, but are sperm cells now voting also?
I don't care what your home page says. I know what you confessed to in the Miers wars.
Yes, and I applaud all those.
It is too bad those are outweighed by so much other stuff, especially on the fiscal side, but those were positive moves. We need far more of those and far less of what we have gotten out of this president's tenure. Way too much liberal, leftist moves, and thus the mini-rebellion over his Miers pick.
I hope the rebellion over Miers that forced his hand to pick Alito shocked him and he now realizes conservatives voted him into power and Congress into the majority. The RATs are waging a jihad against the USA and the Republicans; Bush needs to wake up and start the counter attacks and lead this CONSERVATIVE nation forward.
This whole "Bush Lied" and "no WMDs" nonsense is infuriating. I'm sure Bush believes that history will vindicate him, but that's fine if you're expecting vindication 5 or 10 years from now; but for now, his inability or unwillingness to take the naysayers to task makes it look to the great center of the electorate like perhaps his position and policies are indefensible.
What was that? I am not 24. Where did you see that?
Maybe in metric years... :-)
Stupid article. A President "fight back" sounds to the bulk of the pulbic as a President with something to hid". Instead of feebling pretending to defend the President by regurgitating all the Democrat Talking point lies, Kristol should be using his position and column to help the attack that utter stupidty of the Demos actions this week, little Billy makes yet another one of his childish, hnadwringing "Oh fight back Mr President." whines.
Hey whine all the time Choirs, why don't YOU fight back FOR once instead of piling on Buss? I, for one, am competely sick of these RINO handwringers like Kirstol.
I often wish I were 24, especially when I go to beach and see the latest bikini fashions.
However, I was born in 1951. Thank gosh my stunningly beautiful Latina wife is a hell of a lot younger than me or I would daydream about being 24 a lot more often.
When did the Ronald Reagan's Conservative Movement get taken over by a bunch of whiners? Why should Bush waste any time going to war for a party that spends 9/10ths of it's time whining about him instead of fighting with him?
Bush gives a couple dozen speeches a week. How much coverage even by supposedly "Conservative" media do you ever hear? Maybe Conservatives should spend less time whining about "Why doesn't Bush fight back" and spend more time fighting. Waiting for the Media to suddenly love Conservatives is a waste of time. How about you quit hoping and start helping us destroy it instead?
I think most of us are completely sick of listening to the dozens of threads started by people who think whining about Bush excuses them from actually having to do things. It does NOT. All it does is make most of us wonder who's side they REALLY are on. Claiming to be a Bush supporter then posting nothing by 100% hyper hysteric whiny threads is NOT helping.
Excerpt from my home page:
A crucial lesson was learned in the Harriet Miers/Sam Alito episode. True conservatives rose up and voiced extreme outrage at such a weak pick by President Bush. Should Sam Alito be confirmed, the credit for nominating him belongs to the true conservative activists who forced Bush's hand to withdraw Miers and name Alito. If confirmed, true conservative activists will have changed the course of US history. Cheering on Bush and the Republcans like blind fan club members does not help the conservative cause, it helps the radical left's cause. Voicing outrage and criticizing President Bush and the Republicans is the BEST way we can help in reclaiming this nation from the far left.
We both want the same thing, but we disagree on tactics. The only way to move the nation to the right is to do what we did with Miers--rise up and rebel against Republican liberalism, bad picks, and liberal agenda. Criticism against the Republicans' liberal moves gains us far more yardage than supporting liberal, RINO agenda, which actually helps the RATs' cause.
I heartily disagree with you.
John Gibson is awesome. He has been done a great job of getting out the truth about the Dims and Joe Wilson. John is very patriotic! I cheer when listening to his 'My Word' segment.
The Whitehouse policy (and I believe it is a correct policy) is to not comment on an active investigation. It is a bit like the military policy of "We can neither confirm nor deny...." Of course, that policy only works if it is applied consistently. As soon as you confirm or deny once, your "silence" is no longer credible. In the end, the truth on this investigation is now known. Plame obviously was not covert. The only people who deny this are the lying media.
With regard to Iraq...both the WH and the RNC have repeatedly pointed out what the President repeatedly says. They repeatedly point out exactly what you demand they point out. But again, everytime they do, the media overwhelms the truth with a constant barrage of "we went to war over WMD's".
The bottomline is, neither the WH or the RNC can overwhelm the huge media effort against them. No WH can. Remember Tet? Fortunately, with the internet the American public can now take matters into its own hands. The liberal media no longer has a monopoly on disseminating information. Viewership of every news show but those on Fox is in a freefall. Every single liberal newspaper is in full decline. The last weapon of the liberal media is phony poll data, but word is getting out that the polls are based on biased data. Soon, they will have nothing left. The American public will eventually defeat what no government agency or political party can. The American public will bring an end the lying, liberal media dynasty.
All media polls are worthless and designed to generate news. Go to www.rasmussenreports.com. They poll regularly (in some cases daily). They don't shift their demographics to fit their agenda.
EXACTLY what I've been saying for a couple of years now. He needs to debunk these BS charges... It may be too late now, too many of our fellow Americans believe all of the BS being spewed by the left... After all, if these charges aren't answered by the inept GOP leadership - Cheney, Frist, Hastert, etc, why wouldn't most non-politically savvy Americans believe these lies? What a DISGRACE!
If Bush doesn't want to fight for himself and his policies, why should I care?
Well now, that is just plain 'ol nonsensical bunk.
The White House has the power of the pulpit. George Bush can make news and get the word out whenever he wants to. What do we get? We get happy ass BS about various topics at his news conference, radio address, a veritable mish-mash of unimportant banter. Senator Frist was on Sean Hannity's radio show Thursday and you know how that time was spent? Discussing the how $35 billion in "cuts" was such a bid deal, when in reality, it is no cut at all but a real increase in spending. A few other minutes were spent on the bird flu--why did't Frist spend time ripping the RATs to shreds for all the crap we got out of them the last week? How often do you see Hastert on TV? If at all, does he raise eyebrows with a conservative point? What about Hagel? Every time I see him on TV, he has nothing but Marxist liberal crap to jawbone about? Back to Bush, when was the last time that Bush got on a TV show? Ever? When Bush is at a news conference, when was the last time we heard something where we said, "Yea man!" It is always stuff the the RATs seem to want to hear.
Think for a second. What if Bush and the GOP Senators and Congressmen would have the emotion of the RATs in their speeches and TV appearances pounding the table for the conservative cause? Bush's poll ratings would be much higher.
We get silence!
We get hiding in the corner while the RATs dominate the airwaves. Just like the invasion of our borders where Bush sits by and does nothing while our national sovereignty gets sapped away, the RATs go on TV and scream their cause, but Bush and the other Republicans are nowhere to be seen.
Silence is not golden in politics. Silence is corrosive rust that eats away at your message and eats away at your popularity and eats away at whatever respect one has for you. Your statement that the WH and the GOP can't counter the MSM is not true. They can't because they don't try. They choose to be silent and turn the cheek the other way and say "slap me on the other cheek after you kick me in the groin but spit on me first."
While I can go along with the "official WH" policy of not talking about a current investigation - Where you are off on this Plame situation is....I have not seen ONE GOP talking head ever suggest she "wasn't" covert - While the WH may not be able to talk about certain events they most certainly can put people out there (at arm's length) from the WH who will take the lead in the fight -
This has not happened. At all with regard to Mrs. Plame / Wilson.
I'm not at all sure there has to be a point person as long as there are enough others to speak up. I also wish the Party would be m,ore vocal in their support but if you look back on his appointments, after all was said ans done he has not done badly and as far as the SC is concerned he is doing very well. He still has 3 years left and much can happen.
Oh, I see your back from the dark side. What's wrong, is the caterwauling over at the DU to much even for you?
I was in and out of my work truck all day, I heard part of that but not all.......
Yeah I don't understand him at all.
Um hmmmm. The media falls all over itself covering Bush's speeches and then offers accurate summations of them in subsequent articles. Where have you been for the last 5 years? Do you really think the Whitehouse controls our media? You are dreaming.
"when was the last time that Bush got on a TV show? Ever? When Bush is at a news conference, when was the last time we heard something where we said, "Yea man!""
You obviously missed his last press conference from the Rose Garden. The live thread on this site was full of comments similar to "Yea man!". This is obviously going to come as a bit of a shock to you, but pleasing "Dont_Tread_On_Me_888" doesn't appear to be at the top of the Whitehouse agenda. Meanwhile, Bush maintains the support of over 85% of Republican voters. Perhaps those voters are wise enough to realize that REPUBLICANS DO NOT CONTROL THE MEDIA ESTABLISHMENT. What part of that fact is beyond your understanding. The reason why a 10 second comment from Harry Reid leads nightly news shows while a 30 minute speech by our President gets no coverage, is because the media has an agenda. That you don't seem to understand that says all that needs to be said about your powers of perception. Perhaps that is why the Whitehouse has chosen to ignore your rants.
Who do you mean by "GOP talking head"? I have seen several political commentators make that fact very clear.
Why doesn't the RNC run ads of democrats saying Saddam had WMD? Run them in every state.
The only thing lacking is your grip on reality. What good is speaking from a pulpit when nobody hears your message. Go to WWW.Whitehouse.Gov and you will find a full list of every one of Bush's speeches. You can read them in their entirety. Than do a quick google search to find out how the press covered them. Ronald Reagan had just as many problems getting his message out as Bush. His second term was plagued with similar whining from all sides. Among other things, one of the problems both presidents have had to deal with is a bunch of weak kneed "supporters" whose first instinct is to whine when all the planets in the universe don't line up according to their desires.
Much like the game of football, it is won with the men upfront otherwise known as the offensive and defensive lines. If your team is blessed with speed and physical play on either side, you are going to win alot of games.
With Team Bush, "his Line", aka communications staff, is awful. McCleanen, the Press Secreatary, has always been awful and refuses to call a spade, a spade when the press gives him crap. And I have never been impressed with any of the others that come out and speak for the President. i despise the Clintons and the Rats like most here, but at least they have people that come out with force and defend their people. True, it's mostly lies, but at least they know how to do it. We don't have to lie as we have the truth and with just a little bit of flare, would be enough to stop the bleeding
Someone needs to leave a memo on the President's desk that telss him the "new tone" in DC was never there and will never be there. Their is no use in the using that playbook and it is time to shak up the staff and put people in their that will fight for him. It's sickening to see the pounding he is taking because no one from his staff or Congress for that matter (other than Peter King from NY) will come out and go on offense.
Again, you don't see the obvious. Reid, like all RATs, makes bold and startling statements. Reid, like all RATs, rakes Bush and the Republicans over the coals. The MSM likes that.
Here is what the MSM does not like--bland, politically correct, neutral, appeasing everybody blabber that is boring--the hallmark of Bush and the Republicans. Also, why should the MSM broadcast a Bush or a Republican quote when they are just liberal "appeasing to the RATs" banter? The MSM figures if they want to listen to liberal banter, they would rather have Manslaughter Kennedy or Scumbag deliver the speech or quote on national TV.
The RATs speak with passion (and hatred) and the MSM loves that. The Republicans talk and act like bland liberals and the MSM hates that.
You don't know much about marketing or advertising do you? Neither does Bush or the Republicans. They do not know how to market their agenda. They should get some Madison Avenue experts and spend some BIG bucks to teach these bland Mr. Nice Guys how to advertise their message properly. The Republicans do not know how to market themselves. If the Republicans or Bush were on the Apprentice, Donald Trump would surely fire them after the first round.
The RATs are waging a war against the Republicans. The Republicans are not fighting back. That is why the MSM ignores them, and why the poll numbers are sinking, and why our hopes to keep the RATs out of the White House and the majority are sinking also.
Really!?!? I guess that explains why similar comments by the likes of Tom Delay are repeated in their entirety on nightly newscasts. What's that? You say you don't remember Delay's comments being broadcast on network news? Maybe that is because the only coverage the media will give Delay is when he is indicted on phony charges. You really do have no understanding of how our media works do you? You really do believe the media would give Republicans equal time if only Republicans would utter "bold and startling statements" slamming democrats and liberal causes.
You really are out of touch with reality.
OK. I read it again. So you are saying you believe the media (which is over 85% democrat) only gives the democrats so much coverage because the democrats are more interesting? It has nothing to do with the media's liberal agenda? It is simply because Republicans are boring. If the Republicans were just more interesting the media would fall all over itself giving Republican causes equal and fair coverage. I got it now. In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear how out of touch you really are. You really do have NO IDEA what motivates our media establishment.
I suppose it is that same boring Republican message that has resulted in a Republican President, House and Senate and a majority of Republican governors. Despite the lack of the all important media support. Maybe the majority of Americans don't rely on the media to form their perceptions of what is important. Too bad you don't.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.