The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901 Message #1662616
Posted By: Amos
05-Feb-06 - 11:04 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
The one thing Bush always had going for him – and it served him well in two elections – was that he came across as someone who said what he meant and meant what he said.
These days, if you don't like what he says, you can stay tuned and, in a few days, he might say something totally different.
For instance, the administration claims it doesn't need congressional permission or new legislation to engage in domestic spying. But according to The Washington Post, Justice Department lawyers drafted legislation in 2003 that – along with strengthening the USA Patriot Act – would have provided a legal justification for the administration's eavesdropping program.
During his first presidential campaign, Bush projected the image of someone who'd be just as happy if he lost the race and had to go back to the ranch in Crawford. Now, with the domestic spying fiasco, he's projecting a different image – of someone who is not only hungry for the power of the executive branch, but nibbling on the legislative and judicial.
Bush gives a speech talking about how Border Patrol agents should lay off hardworking immigrants trying to support their families and instead focus on smugglers and other hardened criminals. Then he stands before an assembly of Border Patrol agents insisting that we're a nation of laws and anyone who wants to immigrate here must do so legally.
All this has me scratching my head and wondering: "Dude, where's my president?" Can't the guy make up his mind as to what he really believes, instead of trying to please everyone?
It's no wonder that, according to several recent polls, the number of Americans who still consider Bush honest and trustworthy has fallen to below 40 percent.
What many Americans do consider Bush to be is stubborn. In fact, an AP/Ipsos poll conducted in November found that 82 percent of respondents used that word to describe him.
I like my presidents to be steadfast. I'm no fan of flip-flopping, which is why Al Gore and John Kerry gave me the creeps.
But I also want people who know when a product isn't selling – like the Harriet Miers nomination or Bush's plan to offer at least a temporary amnesty to illegal immigrants – and then are willing to go in another direction.
During his speech, Bush showed again why that's so hard for him to do. After promising that he would seek Congress' advice, he was careful to draw a distinction between "responsible criticism" and "defeatism."
"Hindsight alone is not wisdom," he said. "And second-guessing is not a strategy."
Maybe not. But a leader who learns from his mistakes is so much more appealing than one who has difficulty choking out an acknowledgment that he ever erred.
Maybe Bush needs a personal trainer to show him how to digest crow.
(From today;s San Diego Union-Tribune)