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Goldberg: Give Bush a break
Townhall ^ | Sept. 1, 2006 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 09/01/2006 8:39:33 PM PDT by FairOpinion

Lord knows I have my problems with President Bush. He taps the federal coffers like a monkey smacking the bar for another cocaine pellet in an addiction study. Some of his sentences give me the same sensation as falling backward in one of those "trust" exercises, in which you just have to hope things work out. Yes, the Iraq invasion has gone badly, and to deny this is to suggest that Bush meant for things to turn out this way, which is even crueler than saying he failed to get it right.

But you know what? It's time to cut the guy some slack.

Of course, I will get hippo-choking amounts of e-mail from Bush-haters telling me that all I ever do is cut Bush slack. But these folks grade on the curve. By their standards, anything short of demanding that a half-starved badger be sewn into his belly flunks.

Besides, the Bush-bashers have lost credibility. The most delicious example came this week when it was finally revealed that Colin Powell's oak-necked majordomo Richard Armitage - and not some star-chamber neocon - "outed" Valerie Plame, the spousal prop of Washington's biggest ham, Joe Wilson. Now it turns out that instead of "Bush blows CIA agent's cover to silence a brave dissenter" - as Wilson practices saying into the mirror every morning - the story is, "One Bush enemy inadvertently taken out by another's friendly fire."

And then there's Hurricane Katrina. Yes, the federal government could have responded better. And of course there were real tragedies involved in that disaster. But you know what? Bad stuff happens during disasters, which is why we don't call them tickle-parties.

The anti-Bush chorus, including enormous segments of the mainstream media, sees Katrina as nothing more than a good stick for beating on Piñata Bush's "competence." The hypocrisy is astounding because the media did such an abysmal job covering the reality of New Orleans (contrary to reports, there were no bands of rapists, no disproportionate deaths of poor blacks, nothing close to 10,000 dead, etc.). It seems indisputable that Katrina highlighted the tragedy of New Orleans rather than create it. Long before Katrina, New Orleans was a dysfunctional city in a state with famously corrupt and incompetent leadership, many of whose residents think that it is the job of the federal government to make everyone whole.

The Mississippi coast was hit harder by Katrina than New Orleans was. And although New Orleans' levee failure was a unique problem - one the local leadership ignored for decades - the devastation in Mississippi was in many respects more severe. And you know what? Mississippi has the same federal government as Louisiana, and reconstruction there is going gangbusters while, after more than $120 billion in federal spending, New Orleans remains a basket case. Here's a wacky idea: Maybe it's not all Bush's fault.

Then, of course, there's the war on terror. Democrats love to note that Bush hasn't caught Osama bin Laden yet, as if this is the most vital metric for success. Yes, it'd be nice to catch bin Laden - no doubt Ramsey Clark, the top legal gun for both LBJ and Saddam Hussein, will be looking for a new client soon. But even nicer than catching bin Laden is not having thousands of dead Americans in New York, Washington and L.A. Contrary to all expert predictions, there hasn't been a successful attack on the homeland since 9/11. Indeed, the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly contains a long, exhaustively reported cover story by James Fallows about how the U.S. is, in fact, winning the war on terror, thanks largely to Bush's policies (though Fallows works hard not to credit Bush).

Political dissatisfaction with the president rests entirely on Iraq and overall Bush fatigue. The rest amounts to little more than Iraq-motivated brickbats gussied up to look like freestanding complaints. That's how hate works: It looks for more excuses to hate in the same way that fire looks for more stuff to burn.

That's why Bush's Democratic critics flit about like bilious butterflies, exploiting each superficial or transient problem just long enough to score some points in the polls, then moving on. Bush's Medicare plan was an egregious corporate giveaway, they cried, until seniors overwhelmingly reported that they like it. And the Patriot Act? Can anyone even remember what the Democrats were whining about? I think it had something to do with libraries that were never searched.

Look, things could obviously be a lot better. But they could be a lot worse too. John Kerry could be president.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bush; bushbashing; democrats; iraq; jonahgoldberg; katrina; waronterror; wot
He is making excellent points.

He doesn't address the people on the right also criticizing Bush, but considering all the constant bashing he receives from the left, it's time for people on the right to appreciate all President Bush has done to keep us safe and "give him a break".

1 posted on 09/01/2006 8:39:34 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion

That's how hate works: It looks for more excuses to hate in the same way that fire looks for more stuff to burn.

The democrats to a T.


2 posted on 09/01/2006 8:43:35 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: FairOpinion
...the Iraq invasion has gone badly....

But that we have Iran surrounded.

3 posted on 09/01/2006 8:57:55 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: FairOpinion

"And you know what? Mississippi has the same federal government as Louisiana, and reconstruction there is going gangbusters while, after more than $120 billion in federal spending, New Orleans remains a basket case. Here's a wacky idea: Maybe it's not all Bush's fault."

Jonah Goldberg for President! Point by point, he makes more sense in this piece than the whole blasted meed-yah put together.


4 posted on 09/01/2006 9:01:11 PM PDT by Rightfootforward
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To: FairOpinion
If you don't hate Bush for selling us out to the Mexicans and not having the cojones to nuke Mecca, you're a Bushbot.

Nothing positive or helpful can be expected from the left, and upon an ever shrinking portion of the "right" falls the burden of supporting the war and the chain of command, to include the C-in-C.

There's a lot of negativity out there to be countered.

5 posted on 09/01/2006 9:01:47 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 (Coming to you live from Hesco City)
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To: FairOpinion
He doesn't address the people on the right also criticizing Bush, but considering all the constant bashing he receives from the left, it's time for people on the right to appreciate all President Bush has done to keep us safe and "give him a break".

Not Bad. However, let's not sit on complacency/political correctness & how can we forgive ANY pol that allows this inept immigration policy to survive - for the good of the New World Order.

6 posted on 09/01/2006 9:08:19 PM PDT by Digger
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To: FairOpinion
Democrats love to note that Bush hasn't caught Osama bin Laden yet, as if this is the most vital metric for success.

Yet if/when we catch bin Laden, the libs will be palpably disappointed. You can bank on it. The day we bag Osama, the Left's collective body language will say, loud and clear, "we are not happy campers".

7 posted on 09/01/2006 9:10:34 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Just like when we got Zarqawi, the MSM buried the news in a day.


8 posted on 09/01/2006 9:12:11 PM PDT by FairOpinion (Dem Foreign Policy: SURRENDER to our enemies. Real conservatives don't help Dems get elected.)
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To: FairOpinion
"Yes, the Iraq invasion has gone badly..."

Actually, the invasion went very well. The occupation has been difficult, but I believe the insurgents are at the ends of their ropes. The fact that they have concentrated their forces in Baghdad appears to be a sort of "last stand" for the insurgents. Plus, they don't care if they lose 100 or more insurgents just to kill one American. This is a fanatical enemy that needs to be destroyed.

9 posted on 09/01/2006 9:53:28 PM PDT by Left2Right ("Democracy isn't perfect, but other governments are so much worse")
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To: FairOpinion
"it's time for people on the right to appreciate all President Bush has done to keep us safe and "give him a break!"

Amen to that!

10 posted on 09/01/2006 9:56:13 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: FairOpinion
Yes, the Iraq invasion has gone badly, and to deny this is to suggest that Bush meant for things to turn out this way, which is even crueler than saying he failed to get it right.

Sorry, Jonah, false dichotomy - there was no possible outcome to the Iraq invasion that could not be described as "bad." This particular one is considerably less bad than most of the alternatives and any of the reasonable ones. As for this being Bush's "meant" outcome, no, it is not, it is not even an outcome, it is an ongoing and dynamic process that was crafted by many more decision-makers than one George W. Bush. And that is how it ought to be.

11 posted on 09/01/2006 10:10:55 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: FairOpinion

It burns me he never gets credit for the economy. When Slick was Pres, that's all we heard.


12 posted on 09/01/2006 10:44:42 PM PDT by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: FairOpinion

Fine commentary but too many animal metaphors. Next time get that morning shave before you sit down to write! ;)


13 posted on 09/02/2006 5:51:06 AM PDT by Graymatter (TV-free and clean for 3 years, 2 months.)
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To: FairOpinion

He taps the bars like a monkey looking for a cocaine pellet in an addiction study???

Who wrote this: Ross Perot.


14 posted on 09/02/2006 6:44:10 AM PDT by sully777 (You have flies in your eyes--Catch-22)
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To: FairOpinion

Seen from france BUSH is great!
Can't see any other leaders today really making a tough job against the new totalitarian/barbarian threat on developed societies.
Extremists are always playing the worst game.It's enough to see our far-right nationalist(J.M.Lepen,far right,met S.HUSSEIN several times as a fellow) and far left with the same anti-israelian and anti-american ,anti-capitalism,anti-free-trade... mantra


15 posted on 09/02/2006 6:45:19 AM PDT by Ulysse (FRENCH FOR BUSH)
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To: Rightfootforward

I was listening to FOX News on my Sirius radio the otherday when Shepherd Smith, or William La Jeunesse were rporing from Biloxi, Mississippi and one of them was telling about the hospital that had been destroyed by Katrina. Instead of waiting for the government to come in and rebuilt it. The doctors did it themselves


16 posted on 09/02/2006 7:05:08 AM PDT by Kaslin (No matter what the left says. G.W. Bush will be remembered as the best president of this century)
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To: Kaslin

rsporing =reporting


17 posted on 09/02/2006 7:05:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (No matter what the left says. G.W. Bush will be remembered as the best president of this century)
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To: Yardstick

When we catch Bin Laden, the Left will simply move the goalpost to something else, or claim the GWOT is over, so we can go back to 9/10, or it really wasn't Bush who did it, but something else, while wanting to ensure Bin Laden gets humane treatment, or any combination of the above. These people are fecklessly and egregiously shameless.


18 posted on 09/02/2006 7:06:46 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: FairOpinion

19 posted on 09/02/2006 7:13:03 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Alas Babylon!

Yep, well we learned a lot about liberals during the Cold War. They were never really on board in that effort, and in the end seemed a little bummed that we won. Gorbechev is given the credit and Reagan (along with most other anti-communists) is dissed. It would be perfectly in-character for them to cop a similar thing with the WOT. In fact, that's precisely what we're seeing. It's like Rush says, liberals are liberals.


20 posted on 09/02/2006 8:18:30 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Ulysse
Seen from france BUSH is great!

It's sure good to hear this from a French person -- but there are still very few like you, aren't there? Or has it begun to dawn on France that Bush's war on terror isn't just unfounded warmongering? Maybe Europe is beginning to see how prescient Bush was back in 2001/2002 when he decided to ramp up the effort against Islamic terror. Has opinion of Bush improved any over the past few years? France and America have a common enemy again, which I would expect to have a smoothing effect on our relationship.

21 posted on 09/02/2006 8:31:10 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Kaslin

"..rporing from Biloxi, Mississippi and one of them was telling about the hospital that had been destroyed by Katrina. Instead of waiting for the government to come in and rebuilt it. The doctors did it themselves."

The people of Mississippi really are something. They act and think in completely different ways than their neighbors in New Orleans. They've also had the good sense to put strong Republican leaders in office. Leaders who have outshone the dims in LA in every conceivable way.

The real story of Katrina lies right in the middle of those differences. Or possibly right in front of it.


22 posted on 09/02/2006 1:14:58 PM PDT by Rightfootforward
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To: Yardstick

Hello,
france is hitting rock bottom and political and ideological atmosphere is more and more nasty.
Politicians are fighting each other with poor arguments as presidential elections are coming in 2007.
The only consensual point from the far right to the far left is the simplist and dishonest critic of USA and ISRAEL and in the background the multicultural chorus and muslim world appeasement.
The few french conservatives and free thinking intellectuals see USA with GWBUSH as the actual main leader of the free and civilized world.
Thank you


23 posted on 09/03/2006 3:16:00 AM PDT by Ulysse (FRENCH FOR BUSH)
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To: theFIRMbss

LOL


24 posted on 09/04/2006 8:22:57 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: FairOpinion
Give Bush a break

Oh. You said "break". Nevermind.

25 posted on 09/04/2006 8:30:14 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: FairOpinion
Political dissatisfaction with the president rests entirely on Iraq and overall Bush fatigue..

Perhaps so, but for many of us, his policy on the BORDER/AMNESTY for illegals does not sit well at all.

I will go as far as saying that he has handled this issued POORLY at best. He could have had his amnesty had he been smart enough to see the need for consistency and had secured the border FIRST... then... He could have dealt with the illegas here. Leaving the border wide open - unprotected - is something that many of us won't ACCEPT. Least of all from a Republican president. Now the congress is coming back we better get ready to keep fighting for this one.

Oh, do you want me to be constructive? ok. The presiden should show LEADERSHIP in securing the border FIRST, FIRST, FIRST...the rest later.

2- Fight like hell for the war in Iraq (he is doing it, Rumsfeld and Cheney are doinng it too...in great fashion. my advice CONTINUE DOING THIS. Continue talking about the fact that we have not had any attacks since 9/11. Continue defending the Patriot Act. I mean if we can not take credit for something positive like this... we are in trouble.

Fight like hell and do not flinch... or show weackness or lack of resolved or the MSM will eat him alive.

ok now. you caN flame all you want.. I can handle it. :) - FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

26 posted on 09/04/2006 8:47:26 AM PDT by ElPatriota (Let's not forget, we are all still friends despite our differences)
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