Skip to comments.What Makes the Bush Haters So Mad?
Posted on 09/15/2003 8:50:07 PM PDT by Marcus Alonzo Hanna
What Makes The Bush Haters So Mad? First, it was how he got the job. Now it's how much he's doing with it
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Bill Moyers may have his politics, but his deferential demeanor and almost avuncular television style made him the Mr. Rogers of American politics. So when he leaves his neighborhood to go to a "Take Back America" rally and denounces George W. Bush's "government of, by and for the ruling corporate class," leading a "right-wing wrecking crew" engaged in "a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States way of governing," you know that something is going on.
That something is the unhinging of the Democratic Party. Democrats are seized with a loathing for President Bush a contempt and disdain giving way to a hatred that is near pathological unlike any since they had Richard Nixon to kick around. An otherwise reasonable man, Julian Bond of the N.A.A.C.P., speaks of Bush's staffing his Administration with "the Taliban wing of American politics." Harold Meyerson, editor at large of The American Prospect, devotes a 3,000-word article to explaining why Bush is the most dangerous President in all of American history his only rival being Jefferson Davis.
The puzzle is where this depth of feeling comes from. Bush's manner is not particularly aggressive. He has been involved in no great scandals, Watergate or otherwise. He is, indeed, not the kind of politician who radiates heat. Yet his every word and gesture generate heat a fury and bitterness that animate the Democratic primary electorate and explain precisely why Howard Dean has had such an explosive rise. More than any other candidate, Dean has understood the depth of this primal anti-Bush feeling and has tapped into it.
Whence the anger? It begins of course with the "stolen" election of 2000 and the perception of Bush's illegitimacy. But that is only half the story. An illegitimate President winning a stolen election would be tolerable if he were just a figurehead, a placeholder, the kind of weak, moderate Republican that Democrats (and indeed many Republicans) thought George Bush would be, judging from his undistinguished record and tepid 2000 campaign. Bush's great crime is that he is the illegitimate President who became consequential revolutionizing American foreign policy, reshaping economic policy and dominating the political scene ever since his emergence as the post-9/11 war President.
Before that, Bush could be written off as an accident, a transitional figure, a kind of four-year Gerald Ford. And then came 9/11. Bush took charge, declared war, and sent the country into battle twice, each time bringing down enemy regimes with stunning swiftness. In Afghanistan, Bush rode a popular tide; Iraq, however, was a singular act of presidential will.
That will, like it or not, has remade American foreign policy. The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy is the subtitle of a new book by two not very sympathetic scholars, Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay. The book is titled America Unbound. The story of the past two years could just as well be titled Bush Unbound. The President's unilateral assertion of U.S. power has redefined America's role in the world. Here was Bush breaking every liberal idol: the ABM Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, deference to the U.N., subservience to the "international community." It was an astonishing performance that left the world reeling and the Democrats seething. The pretender had not just seized the throne. He was acting like a king. Nay, an emperor.
On the domestic front, more shock. Democrats understand that the Bush tax cuts make structural changes that will long outlive him. Like the Reagan cuts, they will starve the government of revenue for years to come. Add to that the Patriot Act and its (perceived) assault on fundamental American civil liberties, and Bush the Usurper becomes more than just consequential. He becomes demonic.
The current complaint is that Bush is a deceiver, misleading the country into a war, after which there turned out to be no weapons of mass destruction. But it is hard to credit the deception charge when every intelligence agency on the planet thought Iraq had these weapons and, indeed, when the weapons there still remain unaccounted for. Moreover, this is a post-facto rationale. Sure, the aftermath of the Iraq war has made it easier to frontally attack Bush. But the loathing long predates it. It started in Florida and has been deepening ever since Bush seized the post-9/11 moment to change the direction of the country and make himself a President of note.
Which is why the Democratic candidates are scrambling desperately to out-Dean Dean. Their constituency is seized with a fever, and will nominate whichever candidate feeds it best. Political fevers are a dangerous thing, however. The Democrats last came down with one in 1972--and lost 49 states.
I just hope that they keep on "misunderestimating" President Bush. I don't agree with a lot of the things he's done, but he's a lot better than the alternatives.
During the eight years of Clinton, liberals slept easy knowing that their president would maintain their fictions, such as the US being on board with the international BS like Kyoto and ICC. They thought that the mandateless W would be obligated to continue those fictions, i.e. "long-established doctrine."
But it had required amazingly disciplined cowardice on the part of Clinton, in the face of terrorist attacks during his tenure, to completely avoid betraying the liberals trust. So that was a bit of a house of cards.
That the country as a whole approved of Clinton job performance further lulled the liberals to blissful sleep. The American people had been pleased that things seemed to be going so well, but they never bought the lying doctrine. With Rush, Drudge, 9/11 fallout, FoxNews, FR on their side, and the bully pulpit, W and Rove were able to have the political cover to jettison all that BS effectively.
The liberals are very angry to be jarred out of such a pleasant sleep.
Those on the right side of the political aisle more often base their political views on ideas such as individual rights, limited government, and separation of powers. As a result, those on the right are more likely to view those on the left as mistaken or misguided than evil.
A person on the right can generally live with those on the left without feeling the need to shout them down or convert them to their cause, as the conflict from his perspective is one of competing ideas and ideologies. A genuine leftist feels he must convert or destroy the other side as part of a great moral struggle.
|The President's unilateral assertion of U.S. power has redefined America's role in the world. Here was Bush breaking every liberal idol: the ABM Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, deference to the U.N., subservience to the "international community." It was an astonishing performance that left the world reeling and the Democrats seething.
Like the Al Quata.
Nope. Can't have those hated neocons. No siree.
Be sure to check for neocons under your bed before you go to sleep. You never know. I mean, one just may be hiding under there.
You just never know. So be afraid. Be very afraid.
I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year. There will be 11 raving liberals (my spouse, my sibs and their spouses, their spawn and their spouses) here with just 2 sane people (my mother and myself). I am readying the hidden tape recorders. I will post to you what they say when they are on their own... :)