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.
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.
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