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?
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 Easts 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 honorespecially 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 mein 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 didnt go all that well against Rommel, a day didnt pass but Eisenhower didnt 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). Dont 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. Whos the Chairman of the Presidents 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 Presidents 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 doesnt 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. Wheres this gaunt lawyer hes 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. Hes entirely too lawyerly, filled with needless qualifications anyhow to be an effective spokesman. Too bad Bernie Kerik turned out to be a public adultereryou know, the Kojak-style, bullet-domed cop who served Giulianni well. Hes the kind who ought to pacify the public wish to get tough on illegal immigration. Well, Ive ranted enough. But understand I dont take any of it back!