Skip to comments.A day in the life of President Bush (photos): 3/27/02
Posted on 03/27/2002 4:57:55 PM PST by rintense
President Bush signed the controversial Campaign Finance Reform bill today as Mitch McConnell immediately filed suit against it. Bush later headed to South Carolina where he spoke to Emergency First Responders in Greenville. He also stopped in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology where he watched drills demostrating response to terror attacks. Enjoy your daily dose of Dubya!
Political observers often muse over the apparent incongruence of Bush's sustained popularity even in the face of setbacks -- real or perceived -- in the political arena.
Sure his handling of the War on Terror has been commendable, they admit, but what about the sinking of the Pickering nomination? What about the defeat of his stimulus package, of ANWR oil exploration and other key elements of his agenda?
'How, O how, on earth could Bush remain so popular despite such a string of "defeats"?', his sourpuss enemies mope in frustration.
Back in January, when Enron burst onto the scene, foes of the President were dancing and doing cartwheels. The belligerents, punch-drunk with 'triumph', were confident Enron would torpedo the Bush administration, as surely as Watergate did Nixon's. A hailstorm of grand jury subpoenas, indictments and 'smoking guns' would bury the Bush legacy; heck, the sleaze from Houston might even make Clinton look ethical by comparison -- or so they fervently believed.
In the media, all hell broke loose. Like a pack of hungry Jackals, the presstitutes seized the Enron debacle with demented zeal, sinking their fangs into every delicious jot and tittle of what, they hoped, was Watergate redux.
The Democrats, like sharks, smelled blood in the water. The airwaves were bursting with torrents of innuendo and rumor. From the unabated sludge of ugly media gossip, dirt and hearsay, you'd get the impression Bush was Enron's CEO himself, directing the destruction of documents at Arthur Andersen from the Oval Office.
Democrats went on a rampage. "White House cover-up! White House cover-up!", they howled. Rep. Henry Waxman was handing out hourly press releases like cotton candy at a carnival, larded with every conceivable allegation -- hinting darkly that Bush's days were numbered.
Anyday now, anyday now -- you just wait and see. The presstitutes swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Yet, after wasting millions of tax dollars persuing the President; after thousands of hours collecting testimony, rummaging through documents, combing minutes of meetings, looking for dirt, what did Bush-haters finally come up with?
A big, fat Nada, that's what.
Rather than embarrassing the President, they only made fools of themselves -- on live television, to boot. Rather than knocking Bush down a notch or two, Democrats plunged headlong into a free-fall. Bush's enemies, bursting with bitterness and rage, went for the jugular, but ended up blindly shooting themselves, instead.
Democrats were incensed even further as poll after poll showed a President still riding a wave of undiminished popularity, even as his spit-angry enemies suffered a backlash.
Nothing else seemed to work, either. Daschle's second-guessing of the war boomeranged; the "Shadow government" grousing and grumbling bombed; the Democrat garment rending and teeth gnashing over looming deficits came-a-cropper; the Time Magazine libel alleging Bush kept New Yorkers in the dark in the face of a brewing nuclear terrorist threat was exposed as a sham and a lie -- a damnable lie.
But Democrats, even after their myriad of blunders, aren't yet hoisting the white flag. No, not quite. Their animosity and spite towards the President is just as searing today as it's ever been. Their flubs and stumbles only fuel it.
Indeed, with the economy fading as an issue and elections looming, a veritable siege mentality now grips the Democrat ranks. The sans souci giggling and twitter of January's Enron euphoria has now given way to trepidation and panic.
Fearing they're headed for a shellacing in the fall, Daschle et al have escalated their dirty war on the White House, bottlenecking, thwarting, choking, shackling the Bush agenda at every turn.
Stoking Democrat ire even further, President Bush has effectively neutralized a slew of hot-button issues Democrats traditionally use to inflame their base and frighten them to the voting booth. Even Social Security, once called the Third Rail of politics, lacks the walloping punch of yesteryear. It's no longer the bugaboo it used to be.
In short, the Democrat strategy (per the Carville memo) of carving out a niche on domestic issues, leaving War and foreign affairs to Bush has turned into a miserable failure. The war's smashing success has essentially back-burnered their issues. The new upsurge in confidence on the economy has, for Democrats, only made matters worse -- infinitely worse, in fact.
Against this backdrop, with Enron having fallen off the radar screen, enter Campaign finance "reform", a glaring euphemism if there ever was one.
Basically, Democrats thought they were calling the President's 'bluff'. Surely, surely, Bush would never sign it, they reasoned. A veto would send shock waves across America, spark a withering backlash in the press and hogtie Bush to Enron for the rest of his days. Bush would be beaten to within an inch of his political life. Democrats would reap the windfall.
Nope, no way would he sign it.
Democrats believed this issue was a win-win. 'We've boxed him in this time, haven't we'?, they probably chortled among themselves.
Stick a fork in him, he's done.
Democrats could smell victory, at long last.
Instead, Machiavelli was spinning in his grave.
The White House announcement of Bush's intentions sent shock waves, alright -- across Democrat cloakrooms and their media outlets.
For Democrats savoring the chance of running on Enron, Bush had just gummed up the works -- big time. They thought they were playing Bush for a fool, he checkmated them instead. Bush's signature scrambles their plans -- and their brains, too. Democrats are now left with nothing to run on in the fall.
That's the politics -- but is this the right thing to do? Bush has qualms over certain aspects of Shays-Meehan on constitutional grounds -- he's said so publically. But isn't he, therefore, by signing this document, plainly violating his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States"?
If that's the standard, then every president in our history was guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors -- and, therefore, worthy of impeachment. Presidents, from time in memoral, have knowingly put their John Hancock on bills of dubious constitutionality.
With President Reagan, it was the so-called Boland Amendment, which hamstrung his policy of aiding the Freedom Fighters then battling the Communist Sandistas in Nicaraqua. It was a flagrant breach of a President's constitutional powers to conduct foreign affairs.
He signed it reluctantly, but never vetted its constitutionality in court, a decision which drew fire from many conservatives. Democrats later used the Boland Amendment to hammer Reagan in the Iran-Contra affair.
But was the Gipper, by signing the Boland Amendment, openly violating his oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" -- and, therefore, worthy of impeachment? Of course not.
The federal budget is another illustration of this principle. Arguably, most of what's in there is unconstitutional -- on its face. You don't need to be a lawyer to know this. Yet budgets get signed year in and year out.
So what's the basic rationale for signing CFR, you ask? More than likely, Bush is convinced the best way to kill it to sign it. The myriad of lawsuits and challenges will test its constitutionality in the courtroom, before a mostly conservative judiciary. Bush wants the matter settled, once and for all. As he sees it, a veto settles nothing, and may only invite trouble down the road; a future (more liberal) Congress could send up an even more brazen version a future (more liberal) President might be willing to sign. And if, in the interim, the courts' ideological balance tilts leftward, CFR might enjoy better odds for survival.
On the other hand, the popular notion that Bush opted to sign for fear of sparking a backlash is pure hokem. Outside the Beltway, CFR isn't even a blimp on the radar screen. In polls, less than 2% even care about this issue.
With the public's attention riveted firmly on the war, the President could veto CFR with little, if any, downside risk. In short, the theory that Bush is a coward, frankly, doesn't square with the facts.
Sure, McCainiacs will scream bloody murder, the presstitutes will have a field day, but so what? Bush got pounded over Enron day after day, week after week, yet his polls didn't budge.
This issue, notwithstanding the gobs of ink and airtime, doesn't resonate -- not with real people.
Let's face it, folks. Bush is a good man, a decent man. No, he's not perfect. But who is? There isn't a politician on this earth whom I will agree 100% of time. Sooner or later, there are bound to be letdowns and disappointments. It goes with the turf.
Bear in mind that George W. Bush isn't merely head of some think tank on policy wonk avenue in Washington D.C. He isn't President of the American Conservative Union or the Heritage Foundation, much as I admire both institutions profoundly. And he isn't just President of American conservatives -- he is President of all the people.
As U.S. President, his constituency is infinitely broader, encompassing all of the citizens of this great and wonderful free republic of ours. Writing a position paper is one thing, but Bush will be judged by results from his actions -- by policy, not words.
Bush is a serious man, as well as a shrewd politician who plays the hand he's been dealt -- a squeaker election, a razor-thin House majority and a Senate in the clutches of leftist militant hardliners.
But is Bush conservative? I'll let you be the judge.
On foreign affairs, Bush is arguably one of the most conservative Presidents in American history. In his first year, alone, he unceremoniously dumped the Kyoto protocol, catching flack from every conceivable direction. Day after day after day, he was pummelled, lambasted and thrashed in the press as an enemy of the environment -- public enemy number 1, in fact.
But Bush never relented, he never backed down. He made no apologies, he stood firmly by his decision.
Also in his first year, he jettisoned the Cold-War era Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Again he was hammered mercilessly, here and abroad.
As President, one of his first acts was to scrap, by executive order, all taxpayer-funded overseas "family planning" promoting abortion. The screams and howls of protests bellowing from radical feminists and surrogates in the media were deafening.
Again, Bush made no apologies.
On Taiwan, there is no question where Bush stands, and mainland China knows it. On North Korea, Bush rightly condemns it as a rogue state, as part of an 'axis of evil', in which he includes Iran and Iraq.
After a midair collision involving an American EP-3 surveillance plane and a Chinese jet fighter, Bush in short order secured the release of our crewmen and brought them home safely -- all without an apology and all without igniting WWWIII.
Bush has pushed hard for a National Missile Defense, even against protestations and caterwauling over "unilateralism" from NATO "allies".
Bush's record in Afghanistan and the War on Terror speaks for itself.
Regarding a U.N. global tax, Bush said 'forgeddaboutit'!
On the home front, President Bush told the ABA 'hasta la vista, baby'. No pack of left-wing lawyers will vet Bush appointments to the bench, not if he has any say in the matter. Speaking of which, his judicial nominations have, with few exceptions, been solidly conservative.
By the stroke of a pen, he repealed a host of last minute Clinton EOs, including egregious OHSA regulations.
On energy, he's campaigned to reduce America's dependency on foreign -- particularly mideast -- oil, pushing for more nuclear plant production, off-shore oil drilling, and ANWR oil exploration.
On Social Security, Bush is for partial privatization -- a gutsy stance critics said would cost him the elections.
On public assistance, he's offered faith-based alternatives to traditional welfare, in line with his 'Compassionate Conservative' philosphy.
On taxes, his campaign-style, criss-crossing the heartland moved Congress to pass a $1.35 trillion, across-the-board tax cut for working families. Getting a tax cut -- any tax cut -- through this Congress wasn't exactly a piece of cake. Democrats weren't quite beating a path to the White House door to hand Bush tax relief legislation he could sign. Daschle et al pulled every conceivable, cynical parliamentary maneuver to delay -- and ultimately kill -- its chances in the Senate.
His decision on stem-cell research earned him plaudits from pro-lifers, and rightly so.
On national defense, Bush proposes the largest boost in military spending since the Gipper. For the men and women who serve, he's delivered a promised -- and much-needed -- pay raise, lifting morale.
I could go on, but suffice it is to say that's not the record of a shilly-shally, dithering "moderate". Not by any stretch.
At the same time, this is a President who knows compromise isn't always a dirty word. Better to get half a loaf than no loaf at all. Progress often comes in bite sizes.
It's called politics, the art of the possible. He is a master tactician, but he never loses sight of the big picture -- his ultimate vision.
Some contend we should look at the glass as only half-empty -- weigh only the wrong decisions he makes in the balance, and ignore the right ones. Right decisions -- decisions we agree with -- don't count. In evaluating his record, only decisions and policy choices we disagree with count.
In Bush's case, however, this standard means ignoring an overwhelmingly conservative record. Shrugging off his list of impressive achievements is cutting off our nose to spite our face.
But, most important of all, George W. Bush has restored honor, dignity and trust to the office he holds, a solemn promise he made repeatedly in the campaign.
One of the most astonishing things about this President -- one that borders on enigma -- is the maturity he displayed so far beyond his modest years in politics. It's what drives his opponents up the wall, and leads them to underestimate the man, again and again.
Conventional wisdom says George W. Bush is impossible: No one with so little political experience could ever rise to such stunning heights of success so quickly in so demanding a job. Yet, where many Presidents before him stumbled, George W. Bush excels in ways transcending all explanation.
In this sense, Bush restored our faith and confidence, not just in the office of President, but in ourselves as Americans. From the depths of national trauma and anguish on September 11, Bush helped rekindle our 'can-do' spirit; we were soon back on our feet again.
He made us feel prouder than ever to be Americans.
Indeed, Bush is uniquely suited for these times. George W. Bush is our War President.
Ultimately, history will judge him not by campaign finance "reform" or the Dow Jones Industrial average nor the size of the deficit.
He will be judged by success in the War on Terror. Period.
And judging from his stellar performance thus far, this President is headed for greatness.
My two cents.....
Oh my gosh....ya think McCain thinks like this? Do ya think he felt relief that 9/11 helped halt the petition drive? I feel for ya - cause I do not trust that mean little ill tempered photo hog. However....Lugar, my Senator, doesn't exactly make me want to jump and shout hoooooooray. But my congressman, Dan Burton, the originator of 'scumbag' as applied to billy clinton, will always hold a special place of honor in my heart.
Darn that not-yet-implemented spell-checker. ;)
So what's the basic rationale for signing CFR, you ask?Exactly. That's it in a nutshell.
More than likely, Bush is convinced the best way to kill it to sign it.
GREAT analysis, JohnHuang2! Your work needs a MUCH wider audience. (No offense, Dosers.)BRAVO!!!
This needs to be published, John. Seriously.
JH2, that was just marvelous!! And thank you for putting it so eloquently on this thread there we love to get together every night and remark on how much different and wonderful things are after the last 8 years!!
Thank you rintense for the great service you perform each night for all of us! This thread grew like topsy tonight, didn't it?
am going to print it out with your permission to share with my extended family over Easter, if this is ok with you.
Not only do you have my permission, I'm flattered beyond words =^)
At the ranch? Good! They need a refreshing...
We're so very fortunate to have this wonderful man as our President.
The SCOTUS isn't likely to deem the entire CFR law unconstitutional, but it is likely to void the parts that are. That's because it has a duty to interpret the intent of the Congress in accordance with the Constitution. That which can be implemented in concert with the Constitution, it must let stand so as to avoid usurping the powers of the Legislative Branch. What's left will be acceptable to GWB and to the rest of us.
Personally, I like the fact that individuals can contribute twice as much as before since those that can are far more likely to be conservative than not.
As for the unconstituional parts of the CFR, Congress will have to try again to come up with a Constitutional way to implement what they want. That "ain't gonna' happen" so we don't need to worry about it.
Rintense, thanks again for your hard and tireless work posting the daily dose threads. I'm sorry they've been hijacked and disrupted so much lately, but "this too shall pass."
I am KIDDING!!!! PICTURES! WE NEED PICTURES!!!!!!!! (that is, after all, what this thread is about....contrary to our latest canine-friend thinks)
Excellent "two-cents" JH2!
It should be required reading for all the Bush-bashers and Bush-haters here on FreeRepublic. I think most conservatives want to support President Bush in the snse of political unity, not political unanimity. The again, it serves no good purpose to draw a line in the sand on every issue. Such rigid thinking is counter productive and serves no good purpose, except to get liberals elected to office.
For so many FReepers, who claim to have supported Bush against Gore and now dump him after just 14 months in office, I seriously doubt they actually supported his candidacy at all.
sense of political unity, not political unanimity. Then again, it serves no good...
But all is well in my world again ..
Wonders never cease..........
The pictures are great. Keep up the good work, Rintense!
hehehe, thanks! =^)
I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one that has respect for President Bush.
Thanks, I think I'll do that...
Very well said, my friend. That's the bottom line. Faith and Trust. Thanks again.
hehe..even a very, very liberal Uncle of mine grudgingly acknowledges Bush's job performance is exceptional =^)
But a post like that one -- you can put anywhere you like.
That was one damn fine post. Thank-you, sir.