Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Mystery of George W. Bush. How can he be one of the most courageous of presidents have been so short-sighted in defending his policies?

bush sept 11
It is indeed a mystery. The decision to go to Iraq was the right one. Striking at the source of the pestilential terrorism by taking down the Middle East’s prime tyrant served notice to the world that we will not take attacks such as 9/11 lying down. The fact is that we are winning in Iraq despite what the mainstream media seek to portray, that our economy is growing at 3.4 percent despite all that Katrina has mustered. But try as I might I cannot fathom why George W. Bush has, until now, refused to fight not only in his own defense but for his reputation and honor—especially when those who assail him in the Senate once supported his position and are unwilling to stand up for it now.

Why has Bush been so derelict as to allow his own ratings to tumble before the un-answered onslaught? It mystifies me—in the same way as does his weird refusal to veto legislation to-date, becoming the only president in history serving a full term without having cast a veto (the only competitor having been James Garfield who had a very good reason: he was assassinated after only one year). Why should it be necessary to tell him now that to salvage the effectiveness of his presidency he should do three things. First, he should defend Iraq. (Here I revert to the benefit of one who has lived a long time. In World War II we heard repeatedly from two generals who became folk-heroes: Dwight D. Eisenhower in the European theatre and Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific. Once he was invested with the first campaign in North Africa, a campaign that, incidentally didn’t go all that well against Rommel, a day didn’t pass but Eisenhower didn’t sketch out his determination to win. The media was put to torturous use by Eisenhower and his general staff. We knew them all by first name: Omar (Omar Bradley), Courtney (Courtney Hodges), George (George S. Patton). Don’t tell me the media is unsupportive now; I realize this but we do not know the identity of the commanding generals who wage the war in Iraq).

Second, he must tout the economy. Who’s the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers? Hint: he just became head of the Fed. Even Nixon knew how to do it better than Bush. We knew Arthur Burns and what Arthur Burns had to say before he became head of the Fed. We knew Herb Stein and what Stein had to say as head of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. LBJ had Charlie Schultze who faced the media almost every day. We all understand that the Secretary of the Treasury, Snow, is not up to it for whatever reason he was appointed. But there are crisp spokesmen. Why doesn’t Bush find them? Is it because of that exaggerated deference to the president his staff has that no one can say anything without fearing to top the president? Is that nonsense responsible for this malaise?

Third, he has to come to grips with immigration. This issue is burning in the heartland and the Bushites are fleeing from the consequences while failing to present any reasonable argument for allowing the borders to stay porous. Where’s this gaunt lawyer he’s named to be head of Homeland Security, Mike Cherdorf? You know who I mean: the guy who looks like an advance man for a famine. He’s entirely too lawyerly, filled with needless qualifications anyhow to be an effective spokesman. Too bad Bernie Kerik turned out to be a public adulterer—you know, the Kojak-style, bullet-domed cop who served Giulianni well. He’s the kind who ought to pacify the public wish to get tough on illegal immigration. Well, I’ve ranted enough. But understand I don’t take any of it back!


  1. and telling Bush. I'm stumped and disappointed.

  2. So-Called "Austin Mayor"November 17, 2005 at 2:28 PM

    There is only a mystery if you accept the faulty premise that George "No Vietnam for me, thanks" Bush is courageous.

    Mr. Bush's two methods of dealing with adversity are bullying and finger-pointing.

    After his administration's complete failure in preparing for and responding to Katrina, the American people will no longer accept Mr. Bush's instinct to pass the buck. That has resulted in his free-falling poll results.

    And now that Mr. Bush's approval ratings plummeted and Mr. Bush is no longer in a position to bully his opponents, he and his handlers are all out of ideas.

    Nope, no mystery here.

  3. It's the Purple Fingers that are getting pointed Austin, and they'll prevail if the Senate doesn't go wobbly and follow Sen McCain,

    Anyone reading the amendment gets the sense that the Senate's foremost objective is the draw-down of American troops. What it should have said is that America's first goal in Iraq is not to withdraw troops, but to win the war. All other policy decisions we make should support, and be subordinate to, the successful completion of our mission.

    Bush certainly not passing any bucks on Iraq. His whole legacy is based on what happens. He can't avoid it.

    It's the pro-War Dems, virtually the whole leadership, who I once wholeheartedly supported in the face of Bush's criticisms of Nation Building who have done the about face.

    History will judge.

  4. ...if the Senators don't go wobbly, and instead follow Sen McCain.

    McCain said exactly the right things and he's getting little coverage for it.

    Odd when you consider otherwise he's the MSM favorite Senator. When he gets it right, he really gets it right.

  5. And looks like Speaker Hastert will make the whole house tell us which side are they on Austin,

    This will split the Democrats beyond repair. The Democratic party will not survive this debate.