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Setting the Bar

For the last seven plus years, democrats have refused to give President Bush credit for any of his work. Keep the nation safe from a follow-up to 9-11? Coincidence. Establish a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, and in so doing place a physical check to the aggression of Iran's Islamic radicals and take out one of the more disgusting dictators of our time? Blame him for every death as if War is normally fought without cost or pain, and ignore the clear evidence and decisions which authorized the war. Democrats have blamed Bush for things he might have done better, along with things he could never have done better and for which no prior President was blamed, and yet they consistently refuse to grant credit for any of the many accomplishments during Bush's terms. Democrats have paid no attention to Bush's unprecedented work in fighting AIDS and Malaria, and in developing African countries' infrastructure. Most Americans have never heard of PEPFAR, or that two of every three sub-Saharan African countries are governed by democratic elections, an accomplishment considered impossible by most just a few years ago. In addition to a number of clear successes, George W. Bush is also notable for being the first president in more than a decade to attempt to proactively address the Social Security crisis which will begin to hit in less than 3 years from now, and for trying to create a realistic solution to border control (Bush spent more on border security than any prior president) and immigration reform. While reasonable people may and do disagree on whether a specific action should be praised, the deliberate denigration of every action by President Bush is dishonorable, and portends problems for President Obama.

It is no secret that I consider President Bush to be one of our better presidents, easily the best of the last three men to hold that office. So I understand that many who read this article will disagree with my appraisal of W. It is not to establish his reputation that I write today, however - Time will give us the judgment in better context. It is, rather, an admonition to the democrats that they may find their tactics used against one enemy, may as effectively disable their own chosen leader. After the 2002 elections, in particular, the republicans held power to a degree remarkably similar to what the democrats expect to enjoy this coming January. But it will now be their lot to try to defend their claims and keep their promises, some promises being especially hard to make real given the wild and exaggerated standards used in their speeches and campaigning. It's one thing to note that some voters expected Obama's administration to pay their mortgage for them and give them money, but quite another to consider how these people will react once they realize they have been lied to by the democrats.

Barack Obama has backed off a lot of his promises, wiping them from his website and choosing far more restraint in post-election comments than he ever showed during the campaign. It's increasingly obvious that Obama is dialing back expectations before he takes office, though it is absurd to imagine that the voters will forget everything he promises, just because he cannot possibly do what he said he would do. But they're trying hard to spin things in the most positive light - the grudging admission that raising taxes on the people who provide jobs and doling out money to people who do not even pay taxes would both be very poor plans, is being touted as 'leadership' by his team, in hopes that folks will ignore that the inability to keep these basic promises means either that Obama was so naïve that he did not understand how the office works, or that he was so dishonest that he figured no one would hold him accountable for the lies. It's quite a double-standard: Bush is blamed for 'lies' which were never false or else were never intended to be misleading, while Obama is praised for clearly false and misleading statements used to win the election. The bar for expectations and standards in the Obama Administration is being set, and it seems quite a low bar indeed.


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Comments (70)

When Barack Obama utters th... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

When Barack Obama utters the phrase "I'm the Decider" I'll slit my wrists.

Adrian, if it is written fo... (Below threshold)

Adrian, if it is written for him, he will say it.

DJ, I am really excited and will be for the next two years. Everyone who actually followed the candidates knew that Obama could not keep his promises. Now I will watch as one after another falls by the wayside. While taxes go up. While hand outs go up, etc. I also expect another terrorist catastrophe just to test what a weenie Obama is. He knows how to give a speech. To the lefties, that is all they need. Now europe will love them. ww

The MSM is already on "Spin... (Below threshold)

The MSM is already on "Spin Cycle"...been that way since the election. Get used to it. It will be going on for the next 4 years.

Oh please.The man ha... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Oh please.
The man has not been sworn in yet.
What conservatives fail to remember is that, after the Gore concession of 2000, most Democrats and liberals tried to reconcile themselves to the Bush presidency. Yes, there was lingering resentment, but, in the aftermath of 9/11, almost ALL Americans, of every political stripe, rallied around the Administration. Almost everybody in the country supported the Afghanistan action, and most still do.
It was only when the calls for war in Iraq started to smell fishy did liberals slowly begin to come to their senses. You may say that the reasons enumerated for going to war in Iraq were not lies or were not meant to be lies; I see it differently. I'm old enough to remember the lies told about Vietnam and Watergate -- I don't necessarily swallow any story the Government tells me when it tries to sell me a war.
So most of the "Bush Derangement Syndrome" was brought about by Bush himself. You know, it's truly amazing that in late November 2008, a sentient being could look around himself and see the economy in shambles, our international reputation in tatters, our Treasury empty, our government staffed by the worst kind of political hacks, and still say "Bush was a good president."
Whatever you are smoking, it's probably illegal to sell it.

I don't know if history wil... (Below threshold)

I don't know if history will ever come around to giving Bush any credit, but he certainly has my respect. I strongly disagree with many of the things he did as president, but it's time to give Bush a break.

Obama supporters remembering the promises he made and holding him accountable...forget it! It's not about substance with that bunch. It's about the tingle in their legs...

Bush inherited a dot com bu... (Below threshold)

Bush inherited a dot com bubble burst, then 911 caused a catastrophic hit on the economy. He promised to lower taxes and create millions of jobs. He did just that, the economy grew for 7 years, with remarkably low unemployment. Now the dems are inheriting a big hit on the economy and are promising to create 2 plus million jobs by spending as much as 7 billion dollars to get people back to work. But the dem talking heads also say that Bush drove the economy into the ground with unsound policies while President. Personally I don't buy it. What is happening now has many fathers. I think the dems are trying to fix the economy with all these new give aways because they want the give aways, not because they think they will fix anything. And my hunch is that they won't.

I really love this President, I think his intentions have always been honorable. He has been a man of few words, but every word had his honor behind it. He has done or tried to do what he campaigned on, he extended his hand time and again, never complained at the rentless press and democratic party who tried to undermine him at every turn. Obama has big shoes to fill and he has been mostly words that change with every breath.

It's to be hoped t... (Below threshold)

It's to be hoped that Obama will protect this country with even a fraction of the steadfast integrity Bush has shown.

>The bar for expectation... (Below threshold)

>The bar for expectations and standards in the Obama Administration is being set, and it seems quite a low bar indeed.

This is brilliant. It minimizes Zero's potential failures. Plus, anything good that accidentally happens is a bonus.

Sorry Bruce, I'm calling BS... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Sorry Bruce, I'm calling BS.

I saved this from 'Ace of Spades HQ', and I have tried to edit, but there is simply too much meat here, so apologies for that.

In a nutshell.....RE: "So most of the 'Bush Derangement Syndrome' was brought about by Bush himself."

Hah. My sweet posterior, it was.


One of the most common charges leveled by liberals against Bush is that he has "divided" the country after 9-11. According to this argument, the country was "united" immediately after 9-11 (in fact, they say the whole world was united as well, but let's put that aside for now), but that Bush's Krazy Kowboy Konservatism has undone that unity.

For this theory to make sense, it needs to be the case that an "original understanding" was forged in the aftermath of 9-11, from which Bush and the conservatives, rather than the liberals, walked away. For the argument to be valid, it needs to be true that after 9-11 we reached some Grand Compromise that liberals have remained true to, but which conservatives have betrayed.

Is that true?

After 9-11, did the nation forge an "original understanding" that was fairly liberal, fairly conservative, or a good compromise of both??

After 9-11, did the nation rally around cherished liberal notions such as strong-form, if not absolute, enforcement of civil rights restrictions on law-enforcement activities or passivity, deference, and negotiation as our primary foreign-policy tools??

Was that the deal this national collectively struck in that horrible week after the disaster, with bodies still cooking in the ground, which Bush has betrayed by his subsequent actions??

That doesn't jibe very well with my recollection. I remember one reporter or liberal after another announcing that "we all now understood" that the passivity and "carefully calibrated counter-attacks" of the Clinton years would have to be discarded. I remember Howard Finemann saying specifically on Hardball that the ACLU and Muslim advocacy groups "understood" that there would have to be more aggressive, and sometimes more intrusive, law-enforcement scrutiny of potential Muslim terrorists, and that racial profiling was definitely on the table as a possibility at the very least.

In short, I remember the liberals crossing the ideological aisle to agree with, and acquiesce to, conservatives. I don't remember conservatives becoming more liberal in order to achieve a compromise. My memory is that liberals became hawkish on both law-enforcement and foreign policy -- or at least posed as being such -- and thus joined with conservatives, who had as rule been hawkish on both for years.

We did reach an Original Understanding, all right -- one that was almost completely conservative in outlook.


So: Who walked away from that Grand Original Understanding we all forged after 9-11?

It is the liberals who have reconsidered; it is the liberals who have decided that their immediate reaction was too driven by emotion, anger, and fear; it is the liberals who have walked back the cat from their post-9/11 acceptance of a conservative -- yes, conservative -- law-enforcement policy and foreign policy. (And it is the Congress AS A WHOLE that voted overwhelmingly to go into Iraq at this time, and liberals who got squeamish at the first whiff of gunpowder and "rethought their position". Me.)

Now, they have the right to reconsider. If they now think that they overestimated the danger posed by terrorism, or if they now think that such dangers are not as great as the danger posed by overagressive law enforcement or military action, they have the right to retract their original acquiesence in the post-9/11 Original Understanding.

But they do not have the right to lie about who, precisely, is splitting away from whom. They are splitting away from that Original Understanding. Conservatives are merely honoring it.

They have decided to "divide the country" by walking away from the original understanding. They may have reconsidered, they may have reevaluated, they may have repriortized, but they cannot blame Bush for merely holding to the original understanding we nearly universally embraced after 9-11.


But honesty does demand that they forthrightly admit that it is they who are "dividing the country," because it is they who abandoned the understanding reached after 9-11.


Tell it like is, brother Ace.

The media and Democrats wil... (Below threshold)

The media and Democrats will go out of their way to protect Barack Obama from any and all scrutiny, and they will make him a success, regardless of whether his policies work or not. There is no way this president will fail, or will be subjected to criticism. You're crazy if you think he will get even 1/10th of the treatment that George W. Bush got.

Your really had to go to Af... (Below threshold)

Your really had to go to Africa to find a foreign nation that loved Bush, and we're not even allies with many countries in that region. Most nation's want us to be like them, liberal and not exert our military.

But I do not believe that Obama will have it easy if he screws up. This is America's first black president. Ask any African American, once you screw up you don't get another chance in America. You'll be labeled a token and be pushed out of the inner circle.

Andrew X,Call BS all... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Andrew X,
Call BS all you want. I'm not talking about Howard Fineman or the ACLU or Muslim advocacy groups. I'm talking about ordinary people with liberal viewpoints and liberal voting histories, like me. I've voted Dem for every presidential election since 1972, but there was no stronger supporter of military action in Afghanistan than me. But we smelled a rat when the drumbeat for invading Iraq grew louder and louder. Seemed like "Gulf of Tonkin" to me.
"Wait a minute," we thought. "If Bush will lie to us about WMDs and mushroom clouds, what else is he lying about?" And as it turns out, he was lying about nearly everything, from the need for Gitmo to formulating energy policy to his own competence.
So spare me the talk about an Original Understanding. Liberals don't march in lockstep to signals from Fineman, as conservatives apparently do to Limbaugh. Bush has failed. It's as plain as the nose on your face, and it's pathetic to see you guys make excuse after excuse, while accusing our new president of "breaking his promises" BEFORE he's inaugurated!

In keeping with his wish th... (Below threshold)

In keeping with his wish that terrorists be unleashed on San Francisco to kill people he hates, Willie now ups the ante. You are "excited" about wishing for a terrorist attack just so you can crow that Obama is a "weeine?"

Willie you've now plumbed the depths of your hatred and sickness. You should be banned from this site after that comment.

Bruce, while you have every... (Below threshold)

Bruce, while you have every right to argue your opinion on the Iraq front of the war, DJ's post was not based on only the foreign policy aspect of Bush's presidency. DJ spoke of the whole of his presidency and the immediate vitriol that spewed from the left for everything he did, tried or said. Things like NAFTA, SS, domestic spending, immigration, Fannie/Freddie, etc. This list is long and the left's apoplexy is completely reactive and irrational.

OysterI assume you... (Below threshold)


I assume you would then agree that the pre-Obama as president apoplexy from the right is also "reactive and irrational"?

Oyster,I understand ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I understand that Mr. Drummond's post was about more than Iraq. However, my point was that that was where Bush lost any support from the left he may have gained from the reaction to 9/11.
Liberals would always have opposed privatization of SS. We would have naturally opposed many Republican policies, as opposition parties do. But Bush handed us ammunition when his deceit on Iraq was revealed. Face it: he lied us into a war, and 4,000 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis are dead as a result. While I personally don't go so far as to accuse Bush of being a "War Criminal", there is a case to be made that an unprovoked invasion of a country that was not a threat to us can be considered a war crime. Thus the anger, which you deem "irrational", is in fact entirely justified.
The other stuff, like Katrina, the politicization of DoJ, failure to regulate the financial system adequately, putting foxes in charge of the national chickenhouses, exploding domestic spending in an attempt to "buy" votes, favoring ideology over science, pandering to religious extremists, etc., just further fan the flames. But it started with Iraq.
Sorry I wasn't more clear.

JFO again brings the gift o... (Below threshold)

JFO again brings the gift of nothingness to the table of adult debate. To be expected.

Bruce, how did you come to represent all the liberal viewpoint with you "we" collective?

GW, in the absence of emotion, further down the road will be judged historically as a great president. He had no precident to follow. He had no one nation to go after. He and his staff had to literally put together and execute our protection by the hour. Afganistan was key for payback. Iraq is key for geo political stability. All the left hears is the WMD's even though they discount the many, many other sources of the same credible information. That is where BDS originated.

Liberals even give their own liberal representatives in the house and senate a pass for being stupid. Even though both intelligience committees had the same access to the info as GW.

Let's face it. The liberal left hated GW from the start. Now you liberals want to change the goal posts and say "give Obama a chance" even though he has a seal on his podium that says Office of The Presedent Elect. That is strange, but yet you will and do give it a pass. But talking with a Mission Accomplished banner over your head, unforgivable.

In a nutshell, save your desperate explainations and accusations Brucy. We were there every step of the way also. We know what went down and by who. You lefties are known liars who believe in the power of the judges not the people. Pathetic lot. Every one. Not democrats, just liberal lefties. ww

Conservative blog catches B... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Conservative blog catches BDS:

'We saw the utter failure of "compassionate conservatism."

Now we are seeing the complete failure of "George W. Bush Capitalism."'

[ . . . ]


Arian, you haven't even com... (Below threshold)

Arian, you haven't even come close to seeing failure. Wait a few months. ww

I have been saying that Oba... (Below threshold)

I have been saying that Obama would betray someone- us or them. If he governs centrist, he betrays his base. This appears to be what's happening.

Thus for the last twenty years he lied to those who made him what he is.

Let's hear anyone talk about it, though.

I'd like to see a list of those issues which Obama has abandoned.

Same with the congressional... (Below threshold)

Same with the congressional reps. They promised a lot in 2006 but all they accomplished was lowering their approval record to an all time low. ww

Bruce, are you then saying ... (Below threshold)

Bruce, are you then saying that Clinton and his entire administration lied to us throughout the 90s and especially in 98 when we bombed the bejebus out of Iraq? Because if 2 people tell you the same story, you can't accuse just one of them of lying to you.

The real shame is that by now, everyone knows the reasons we went to war, but there are millions of people like you either too stupid to understand them or too dishonest to admit they were sound reasons. That doesn't include the people who rationally disagreed with those reasons, just people like you unhinged enough to keep spouting this bullshit about the President lying us into a war.

Bruce, the point of Ace's p... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Bruce, the point of Ace's post is that in aftertmath of 9/11, there was virtual universal agreement that the policies of the past decades had failed, be it responding to terror in a judicial manner rather than a military one (the WTC '93 attack a specific example), be it allowing a corrupt status quo to continue in the Middle East, be it simply looking at terror as an irritant rather than a potentially existential threat.

Ace notes that in the aftermath of 9/11, there was a large majority consensus that the attack was in fact an act of war and that we had to respond accordingly. Subsequently, a year later, the Bush admin hinted, hinted mind you, that they did not need Congressional authorization to go into Iraq. There was a firestorm reaction (understandably), and the admin said, "Fine, put it to Congress." Congress has its OWN Intel, Military, and Foreign Affairs committees, its OWN research branch, and is chock full of poeple who will tell us all how smart they are. And they came to the same conlcusions that the admin did, by 75% to 25%. And no one has EVER credibly accused anyone of lying to Congress during that time. Allowing the meme that WMD's were a lie by Bush rather than the consensus of the Bush Administration, the Clinton administration, the UN, and multiple foreign Intel agencies is one of the greatest political catastrophes of the Bush era.

So Ace is pointing that there was strong consensus on these issues. The 25% that did not agree then successfully argued their point over the years as the war dragged on, (they were wrong, but they argued well, and Bush helped them in some ways, and the media carried their water big time) and grew their numbers, and the consensus collapsed.

Ace and I agree that they are within their rights to do so, though they are wrong, and the victory we have one will show that in time.

What we object to, passionately, is the absolute lie that this consensus never existed at all, or was a much more "liberal" one in nature than it was, a fantasy in whole cloth, and that the Bush administration changed the game in some way that sacrified this precious "post 9/11 unity". They did not. Their opponents either changed their mind, or were in the minority to start with.

And that post 9/11 unity is also being remembered rosier than it was. I was on the National Mall (observing) a large "anti-respond-in-Afghan" rally in late September of 2001. I saw the infestation (no better word) in our acadamies all that Fall, including the phantasmagorical allegation that we were waging a "racist war", when our enemies were the proud fascists, etc. So a great many people were prepared to accuse President Bush of everything under the sun before HE was even inaugurated. (Gee, why's THAT seem familiar all of a sudden?)

Bravo Andrew. Very well put... (Below threshold)

Bravo Andrew. Very well put. That is exactly what went down. The old liberal changing of the goal posts during the game. They are doing it now with Obama and his "change" promise. ww

I intend to give a Presiden... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

I intend to give a President Obama all the credit and respect that Democrats have given President Bush. While I consider Bush mediocre, he did not deserve the venom that has poured forth from Democrats for the last eight years. Liberals and their media allies are in charge as of January 20th. I will hold them to the impossible standard to which they have held Republicans.

I certainly apologise if I ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I certainly apologise if I seem to be claiming to speak for "all liberals." I speak, of course, only for myself.
Cherry-picking intelligence tidbits, emphasizing those that support a casus belli, and ignoring those that do not, is what happened here. The Congress was spoon-fed intelligence that the Administration wanted them to know, while exculpatory information was left out or downplayed. There were many intelligence professionals who disagreed with the spin that was being placed on intelligence from Iraq. Their voices were not heard. Meanwhile, sources like Chalabi and "Curveball" were taken as Gospel, not only by the Administration, but by the "Liberal Media" you guys are always complaining about.
Now, y'all may not call that "lying", but I do. So I guess we'll have to disagree on that.
Q. How many legs does a dog have?
A. Four.
Q. If you call his tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
A. Four. Calling his tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
While there were some who reflexively jumped on a "hateamerica" bandwagon regarding Afghanistan, they were a TINY minority. The consensus was, indeed, almost unanimous that the Taliban had to be dealt with. So, as someone who was paying attention, I just don't get where you guys claim that "liberals hated Bush from the start." On the contrary, we wanted to trust him after 9/11. He betrayed that trust. The anger is only natural.
By the way, I haven't called anyone here "stupid" and have addressed everyone with respect. I would appreciate the same courtesy. We can play it another way if you wish.

Calling a tail doesn't make... (Below threshold)

Calling a tail doesn't make it a leg, which you should keep in mind the next time you refer to someone making an informed decision you don't agree with a lie.

I never called you stupid: I said the only people still making your tired accusations years after rational people should know better were either stupid or dishonst. Well, I guess we know how you rate yourself on that score now.

RE: "I just don't get where... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

RE: "I just don't get where you guys claim that "liberals hated Bush from the start." On the contrary, we wanted to trust him after 9/11."

I hear ya. I also hear Barney Frank and Co blaming Fannie Mac almost entirely on "deregulation and non-state actors", themselves innocent as lambs.

I hear both. I ain't buying it.

Liberals started hating Bush in 1999. I was at his inauguration. I saw it in front of me. And they didn't "want to trust him" in late 2001, they just kept their heads down because they were politically savvy enough to know that publicly despising him at that moment in time would be counter-productive to their cause. Ace's and others entire point is that Bush did nothing in 2002 and 2003 that was out of line with a general and widespread post-9/11 consensus. His opponents simply went back to their re-booted defaults as soon as the time was ripe.

I could go off on a riff about how the fact that we have NOT been attacked since is proof that Bush magnified the threat, and if we HAD been, it would be all our incompetent Presidents fault, blah blah blah, blather blather blather. We all know the drill. So does Bush.

But it is the fact that we have not been attacked that even allows Bush's opposition to conduct themselves the way they do. (That is a political environment statement, not one of legality.)

So it is no win situation for Mr. Bush.

Gear up. That 'no win' deal is one Mr. Obama will become quite acquainted with. Hope he can meet it with the serenity and aplomb of the White House's current resident.

This list is long and th... (Below threshold)

This list is long and the left's apoplexy is completely reactive and irrational.

Hmm, I seem to recall someone thinking that terms like "apoplexy" were "strong language" worthy of being banned.

Like so many hypocritical stances from the right, not so much anymore, I guess.

Oops, correct <a href="http... (Below threshold)

Oops, correct link.

Complain all you want. Your... (Below threshold)

Complain all you want. Your guy failed. Obama will be in for the next four years - and the odds of him failing on as grand scale as the current numbskull is unlikely. No one could be as disasterous for this country and the world as Bush has been - and he will go down in history as one of the worst. Sorry. Just the facts.

Hansel -No one can... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Hansel -

No one can hold a candle to Jimmy Carter. Dubya doesn't even come close.

I'd like to say Carter got better when he left office, but he didn't.

Now, imagine Mr. Bush spending the next two decades going around sniping and bitching about a current President's foreign and economic policies, and proclaiming his own superior wisdom and morality. Now you start to see....

Bush was better than Carter, wiser, and would never dream of being so graceless and crass.

Not the facts at all, Hanse... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Not the facts at all, Hansel, just your wicked little fantasy.

Tens of millions of Iraqis and Afghans are free becayse of President Bush.

America has not seen another 9-11 in more than 7 years, because of W.

The continent of Africa is healthier and more stable than at any prior time in its history, thanks to President Bush.

Those are facts, while your little hate-obsession is going to be recognized as the moral version of an episode of flatulence. Like Reagan, BUsh was lied about and falsely smeared while in office, but his reputation will grow and shjine as time passes, until the time comes when few will publicly admit they ever saw him as anything but the success he is.

Your idol gets the stage now, and it will be hard indeed for Obama to match up even in pretense to what Bush did in substance.

Pre-emptive strike - Anyon... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Pre-emptive strike - Anyone inclined to defend Mr. Carter would do well to read Obama-voter Christopher Hitchen's take. Not only is it dead-on, it is downright hysterical in it's richly delivered evisceration.


Tens of millions of Iraq... (Below threshold)

Tens of millions of Iraqis and Afghans are free becayse of President Bush.

And 1 million are dead. And 4,000 Americans are dead. And 100,000 Americans are wounded. And let's not forget all those "free" Iraqi women.

America has not seen another 9-11 in more than 7 years, because of W.

You could have said the same of Clinton (regarding the WTC bombing) in 2000. But I bet you didn't. And did you hear about any bombings in London or Madrid? Oh, they're not "America". Doesn't count.

I bet life is so much easier for you when you cherry-pick individual and isolated facts, and then generalize the world based on them, to the exclusion of everything else. Who needs Nelson Mandela to energize democracy in Africa when you have George Bush?

Brian, the latest lefty est... (Below threshold)

Brian, the latest lefty estimate is one trillion now isn't it? I mean you goes bring these numbers up as if they are based on something. Did you know that 93% of liberal have STD's. See how easy it is.

Oh yeah! And Brucy: Where the hell were you living in 2000 and most of 2001. You are either lying or being dishonest. The left hated GW with the MSM and pounced on him any chance they got. Every speech GW gave, the MSM and liberal thinkers said this has to be the speech of a lifetime, etc. Man, talk about cherry picking. Oh yea! I guess the senate interrigience committee chairs and ranking members did not have the same intelligience? Is that what you are saying? Pathetic in the least but most expected. ww

Perhaps you guys are right ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Perhaps you guys are right that many liberals hated Bush since 1999. As you correctly pointed out, I started out here speaking of "we liberals" and have no right to speak for anyone else.
I can only say that I, as an individual concerned citizen, born and raised an FDR-revering card carrying liberal, did indeed give Bush my wholehearted support in the Afghanistan endeavor. Many like-minded people that I spoke with at the time did so as well. But as I watched the Sunday morning shows, etc., and heard the drumbeat for invading Iraq I grew suspicious. Again, the "Tonkin undertones" were too loud. Shades of the Domino Theory and all that.
When the invasion happened and WMDs were never found, and then our soldiers began to die in what seemed an unplanned, incompetent fiasco, my suspicion turned to anger and frustration. AFTER THAT, Bush could do nothing right in my book. And indeed, the litany of his abuses of power, gross incompetence, cronyism, and disregard for the Constitution is long indeed. The country has suffered greatly as a result of his embarrassing mix of bumbling and swagger.
In my opinion, Bush is no Truman, who was reviled on leaving office and whose reputation has since been rehabilitated. He reminds me more of Ulysses S. Grant, who left office in a cloud of scandal and is remembered all these years later as a truly sorry President.
Oh, and Mr. Brainy 435? I am neither stupid nor dishonest, and consider myself a rational person open to persuasion. Can you say the same? Or is everyone who holds opinions contrary to yours stupid and dishonest? Heck, maybe it's just me.

Willie: Who do you t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Who do you think briefs the House and Senate Intelligence chairs?
(Hint: They work for the President.)

Also, Willie, The to... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Also, Willie,
The tone of your comments suggest a bully-type personality. Did you used to beat up a kid named Bruce in Middle School or something, calling him "Brucy" first in an attempt to belittle him?
Or perhaps it was you who was the bully's victim, and your anonymity here allows you to indulge your schoolboy revenge fantasy.
Which is it, Willie?

"Hmm, I seem to recall s... (Below threshold)

"Hmm, I seem to recall someone thinking that terms like "apoplexy" were "strong language" worthy of being banned."

You recall incorrectly and misinterpret what I said there, Brian. It doesn't surprise me though. I said I would have banned *you*. And it would have been for your lack of any sense of propriety or honesty and your constant attacks on the character of just about every author here. If you'd taken your apoplexy with you and every snit you've ever had here over charges of "Hypocrisy!", well, then all the better.

Brian, the latest lefty ... (Below threshold)

Brian, the latest lefty estimate is one trillion now isn't it? I mean you goes bring these numbers up as if they are based on something.

Sorry, willie, they're based on things you're not familiar with, like facts and reality. That's why I goes bring them up.

Not sure what the "trillion" comment is. If you're referring to the economic bailout, you're way low.

You recall incorrectly a... (Below threshold)

You recall incorrectly and misinterpret what I said there, Brian.

Nope, it's right there, including your condemnation of "strong" and "vile" language, with "apoplexy" as the prime example. But I guess now here comes the "no, what I meant to say was...."

Now Brucy, you just said af... (Below threshold)

Now Brucy, you just said after YOU viewed (year and a half) drumbeat to war after that you did not support anything GW did. Nice admission at least, but proves my point. Your mind closed. You became the BDS liberal.

And your petty try's at psyching me out with the bully thing is unbecoming. Someone of your age, if you are what you say, should know and act better.

Was the WMD the reason we went to war? Was the war new or a continuation after violating the UN resolutions? Try perspective my liberally BDS challenged friends. ww

That's "tries", not "try's"... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

That's "tries", not "try's", my snarky friend.
I am, indeed, who I say I am.
And the "Brucy" thing, while it is indeed F-ing irritating, is unbecoming.

OOPS! Guess you staightened... (Below threshold)

OOPS! Guess you staightened me out. ;) ww

Bruce, you can not say you ... (Below threshold)

Bruce, you can not say you are rational yet say irrational things. Like you pointed out, calling a tail a leg doesn't make it so. The president looked at all the inteligence available, made a decision that matched his predecessors exactly and then got congressional approval for the Iraq war. His estimate of Iraqs WMDs matched Clintons exactly, however this President actually had the balls to confront the threat insted of punting till a few thousand more innocent Americans were slaughtered due to his inaction. So you can claim he lied all you want, but you can't then tell me you are rational and open minded.

And Brian, if we were to pretend your fictional numbers were correct, 2007 must have been a REALLY bad year.

Except you know, it wasn't.

There is a very eloquent qu... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

There is a very eloquent question that I have been asking, which many times elegantly wraps up this whole general question of Bush-Iraq-right-wrong.

The basis of the question is that there are two sides here, the Bush administration and it's Iraq supporters on one side, with many Democrats and rabid Bush haters (not the same, but overlapped) on the other side.

Of these two sides, which one is truly living up to the following words, and which thinks such words are a quaint relic of the past? Which side REALLY believes these words, and which side does not? Who stands by them, and who does not?

I need not even say who spoke the words. If you don't know, you have no business commenting on these matters at all.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty on this Earth.
Nothing more need be said here.

ike Reagan, BUsh wa... (Below threshold)

ike Reagan, BUsh was lied about and falsely smeared while in office, but his reputation will grow and shjine as time passes, until the time comes when few will publicly admit they ever saw him as anything but the success he is.

Oh, that's rich. Keep believing it, D.J. You'll be the only one doing so.
And, by the way, Obama will be your President for the next 4 years at least. Imagine what you will about him, but most of the country is behind him and if he comes through on half of what he proposes, he'll be viewed as a superior President to Bush. But, then again, being superior to Bush isn't putting the bar very high.

I don't know if his... (Below threshold)

I don't know if history will ever come around to giving Bush any credit, but he certainly has my respect. I strongly disagree with many of the things he did as president, but it's time to give Bush a break.

Yeah, lets give him a break. He ONLY lied to the world, and in doing so sanctioned the deaths of thousands of our soldiers and possibly hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi's so he could prove to his father that he had a set of balls. He ONLY let several of New Orleans citizens die because he couldn't take enough time away from his vacation to truly focus on what was happening with a category 4 hurricane (before it became a category 5). He ONLY sanctioned the outing of a CIA agent, committing treason and putting many more of our agents at risk. He only presided over 8 years where not one single thing he did will be viewed in the future as anything but corrupt, cynical and ugly.

Personally, the man should be taken out to the back of the White House and have a few guys pull a Goodfellas-style kicking on him. That's what he deserves. Not respect. Not credit.

Hansel, we all live in a wo... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Hansel, we all live in a world where truth is whatever we feel it is, simple as that. The facts about WMD have been laid out in this very forum. Apperently they went over your head. Valerie Plame is categorically the stupidest story of the decade, worth no notice except that it is indisputable that Richard Armitage gave her name to Robert Novak, and the left could not care less about either one. No fun going after them.

So let me pile on Katrina, and your statement as a huge pile of gibbering idiocy. This is a long post, but pixels are cheap.

Very few of the words that follow are mine. They are rather, what actually happened, with links to back them up.


MAYOR RAY NAGIN: And then, the president and the governor sat down. We were in Air Force One. I said, 'Mr. President, Madam Governor, you two have to get in sync. If you don't get in sync, more people are going to die.'
S. O'BRIEN: What date was this? When did you say that? When did you say...
NAGIN: Whenever air Force One was here.
NAGIN: The president looked at me. I think he was a little surprised. He said, "No, you guys stay here. We're going to another section of the plane, and we're going to make a decision." I was ready to move today. The governor (Democrat Kathleen Blanco) said she needed 24 hours to make a decision.
S. O'BRIEN: You're telling me the president told you the governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision?
S. O'BRIEN: Regarding what? Bringing troops in? And the governor said no?
NAGIN: She said that she needed 24 hours to make a decision. It would have been great if we could of left Air Force One, walked outside, and told the world that we had this all worked out. It didn't happen, and more people died.



Major Garrett being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt -

First of all, it established on tonight's Special Report, that it wasn't just the Red Cross. It was the Salvation Army. Both agencies, both organizations were ready, prepared, pre-positioned, eager, but were thwarted in their efforts to bring supplies, basic supplies...not everything these people needed, but core supplies to the Superdome, and then eventually, the convention center. Why? Because the Louisiana state Department of Homeland Security said "look, our plan is to evacuate these people." Marty Evans, the President and the CEO of the American Red Cross, said on camera...you don't have to believe me. Believe her. You can read her own eyes, saying look, we were told if we came in, we would create an atmosphere that would lead people to stay, and give them the feeling that they should stay. And the state did not want that. And it is a state agency that is answerable to the governor, although the governor did not explicitly make this statement, I'm told so far.

The Mayor told all these people to bring three days worth of food and water. Well, not very many people did. So the National Guard did bring in, on its own, palettes of food, water and things. But clearly, it wasn't enough. Clearly, they were overwhelmed. The numbers were staggering. In the end, it was up to 60,000 people that the National Guard had to supervise, or at least try to supervise at these two places, and eventually move out with the buses. Where did the buses come from? They came from FEMA. 1,100 of them were produced in 72 hours (from the federal government), even though as we all saw, (New Orleans) buses were under water all over the city, never used.


From the Red Cross own web page:


Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.


From the Bush loathing British newspaper, the Guardian


In a week filled with dreadful scenes of desperation and anger from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina some stories stood out.

But as time goes on many (stories of horror) remain unsubstantiated and may yet prove to be apocryphal.

New Orleans police have been unable to confirm the tale of the raped child, or indeed any of the reports of rapes, in the Superdome and convention centre.

New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass said last night: "We don't have any substantiated rapes. We will investigate if the individuals come forward."

And while many claim they happened, no witnesses, survivors or survivors' relatives have come forward.

Nor has the source for the story of the murdered babies, or indeed their bodies, been found. And while the floor of the convention centre toilets were indeed covered in excrement, the Guardian found no corpses.
"There is nothing to correct wild reports that armed gangs have taken over the convention centre," wrote Associated Press writer, Allen Breed.

"You can report them but you at least have to say they are unsubstantiated and not pass them off as fact," said one Baltimore-based journalist.

"But nobody is doing that."

Either way these rumours have had an effect.


And ya know what Hansel? I could write this a thousand times, with 10 times as much back up and it will make not the slightest dent. Not a bit.

But it is, in fact, what happened. It is, in fact, what was once called, "the truth".

No that that matters to you and your ilk one damn bit.

Welcome to the 21st century of western thought. God help us all.

"Hmm, I seem to recall s... (Below threshold)

"Hmm, I seem to recall someone thinking that terms like "apoplexy" were "strong language" worthy of being banned."

Context has no meaning for you, does it, Brian? What I said was:

"But I will say this for her; she has shown remarkable restraint in the face of some pretty vile language directed toward her.

Restraint you don't even have a passing acquaintance with. I would have banned you a long time ago."

I didn't say words like apoplexy should be banned. It was merely an anecdotal example of your ever present character attacks, which all too often end in the hypocrisy charge.

What I meant is what I already said. That I have to explain it to you doesn't change it.

"I assume you would then... (Below threshold)

"I assume you would then agree that the pre-Obama as president apoplexy from the right is also "reactive and irrational"?"

For some, yes.

That he touted his "tax cuts for 95% of Americans" right up until Nov. 4th and is now backing off that and some are actually pointing it out does not equal 'apoplexy' or 'reactive and irrational'.

That all his talk of "change" that some have pointed out appears to be more of the "same" in his appointments does not equal 'apoplexy' or 'reactive and irrational'.

Oyster, don't forget Obama'... (Below threshold)

Oyster, don't forget Obama's now not raising taxes on those that make $250,000.00 a year.

Everyone knew he would not do those things especially in this economical climate, but he did not change his mind until AFTER the election. The left was duped again.

Andrewx, very powerful presentation. I agree 100%. What drove the story negative was BDS, which as you can see is very alive and well on this thread.

I support Obama just as much as they supported GW with all the mess he had to go through. ww

Well, Andrew, start looking... (Below threshold)

Well, Andrew, start looking at your own posts:

So the National Guard did bring in, on its own, palettes of food, water and things. But clearly, it wasn't enough. Clearly, they were overwhelmed. The numbers were staggering. In the end, it was up to 60,000 people that the National Guard had to supervise, or at least try to supervise at these two places, and eventually move out with the buses.

Why were the National Guard overwhelmed? Didn't they see this coming? Everyone else did except, of course, our President. Or did he, and just couldn't be bothered to do anything while on vacation? More National Guard could have been sent. But our President didn't show much interest:

Speaking by video link from his Texan holiday ranch on 28 August, Mr Bush tells federal disaster officials: "We are fully prepared to help." Critics say more could have been done sooner to evacuate the city. Mr Bush does not ask any questions as the situation is outlined to him.

And he did, also, admit to failures in the Federal system. This is the same emergency response system that would have been available if terrorists were to cause large damage instead of a climate event. But we weren't prepared for that, either, were we.

For the first time, George Bush yesterday explicitly took responsibility for shortcomings in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Speaking at a press conference at the White House, President Bush said that it had "exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government". "And to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility," Mr Bush said.

In fact, despite 9/11 years before, our country was STILL ill-equipped to handle a catastrophic event. What exactly IS the job of our government if not to protect the citizens?

But, really, people like you continue to apologize for a man whom the majority of our country and most of the world has deemed ill-equipped for this job. No matter what the situation seems to be, it's never Bush's fault.

And truth is not all grey. That's a Bush/Cheney construct, along with the fear-based governing they've been feeding cowards like you these past 8 years.

The country overwhelmingly rejected this fool and his failure of a party. You neanderthals still want to praise him, but there's absolutely nothing praise-worthy of this useless idiot.

Nice parsing Oyster. You ca... (Below threshold)

Nice parsing Oyster. You can't just bring yourself to answer a simple question can you?

Is it your position that all of the criticisms of Mr Bush is "apoplexy" from the left? And could you just answer it without attempting to qualify the answer?

Good try Hansel my fact cha... (Below threshold)

Good try Hansel my fact challenged friend. Can the president of the US send in federalized troups into a state without permission or approval? Answer that and you may learn.

The country did not overwhelmingly reject GW. He was overwhelmingly elected in 2004. Are you dense? Nevermind.

JFO, let the adults talk. ww

Hansel, WW is on it, but mo... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Hansel, WW is on it, but more to the point, your statement says that Bush "let people die because he couldn't take time from his vacation".

This is childish foolishness. Bush has noted failures on all levels, and taken responsibility. Has Kathleen Blanco EVER done the same? Has the Democratic Party of Louisiana EVER begun to do so, for the appalling corruption and political culture that screwed the pooch on evacuation and beyond? Of course not, and Bush's critics don't give a damn, for the exact same reason that, to backtrack a bit, they could not care less that the Plame case was in entirely about Colin Powell's best friend and right-hand man giving her name to Novak.

Richard Armitage? He done it? Who cares? That's no fun. Let's put KARL ROVE in jail and accuse him of treason because.... we really really hate him! And we can hit our real enemy until the end of time, the 43rd president, at the same time. What actually happened there? Who cares? Not relevant.

Federal troops kept OUT of New Orleans, when they could have helped, because the Democratic governor kept them out? Who cares? Bush's fault! Red Cross kept out for the same reason? Who cares? Bush's fault! US Coast Guard currently teaches Katrina as an example of a perfectly and spectacularily successful (federal) operation from moment one? Who cares? Can't be blamed on Bush. Let's not mention it. Catastrophe in Mississippi barely mentioned because an actual competent governor in Haley Barbour was in charge at the time? Who cares? Can't be blamed on Bush.

"He let people die because he couldn't take time from his vacation".

This is how a second-grader sees civics and government. It's embarassing.

"JFO let the adults talk." ... (Below threshold)

"JFO let the adults talk." WW

WW - yesterday on this thread:

"DJ, I am really excited and will be for the next two years....

I also expect another terrorist catastrophe just to test what a weenie Obama is. He knows how to give a speech. To the lefties, that is all they need. Now europe will love them. ww"

Very adult ww. I repeat my call that you be banned.

Ya know what, DJ? You're ri... (Below threshold)

Ya know what, DJ? You're right. I would like to give credit where credit is due. If it weren't for the unmitigated disaster of the Bush presidency, an Obama presidency would be much less likely to have happened. So thanks Jr. for giving us Obama, or as I like to call him, President-Elect Obamawesome.

And don't let sweet william... (Below threshold)

And don't let sweet william get to you, JFO. He is a sad, frightened little man.

Joyful, brave and big. ... (Below threshold)

Joyful, brave and big.

Why? Because the left has nothing to bring to the table. They are bankrupt of ideas and they have no core beliefs. They only know what they hate and they do love to hate. ww

Things liberals love to hat... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Things liberals love to hate:
2.Big corporations that corrupt government and rig the game against the little guy.

Things conservatives hate and fear:
7.College professors
10.Intellectuals ("pointy-headed pseudo-intellectuals", in George Wallace's immortal phrase)
11.Gun control
12.Women (must be mommy issues)
13.Michael Moore
14.Katie Couric and Charlie freakin' Gibson, for pete's sake!
15.Saying, "Happy Holidays"
16.Need I go on? I could, you know.

Please, let's talk about who is "deranged".

Wild Willie:What bol... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Wild Willie:
What bold new fresh ideas are conservatives bringing to the table?
Wait, don't tell me, let me guess.....Tax cuts, increased military spending, and busting unions?

"Can the president of the U... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"Can the president of the US send federalized troops into a state without permission or approval?"
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957.
"The country did not overwhelmingly reject Bush in 2008. He was overwhelmingly elected in 2004."
Kerry-256 EVs/Bush 282 EVs 2004
Obama 365EVs/Bush-clone McCain 173 EVs 2008

Nice try Brucy! Try the pop... (Below threshold)

Nice try Brucy! Try the popular vote. Not Bush one by almost the same as Obama. Good effort though.

There are loads of conservative ideals that not only will work, but have been proven to work.

Now about your very immature hate list. I thought your goal was to bring decorum to the table. You just start making stuff up. It proves you know not what you think. I pity you. ww

When did I say my goal was ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

When did I say my goal was to "bring decorum to the table"?
I did say I didn't appreciate name-calling, and I have not done so. But since sarcasm and snark seem to be the weapons of choice around here, I'll play. Others can judge how well.
As for my "immature" hate list, why don't you tell us which of those people or groups you have not disparaged over the last few years?
Perhaps you should re-read Mr Drummonds excellent post at the top of today's page.

Obama won more votes than a... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Obama won more votes than any Presidential candidate in history.
2008--Obama 53%/McCain 47%/Other 0%
2004--Bush 51%/Kerry 49%/Other 2%
Rounded numbers.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

OOps, that should be Bush 5... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

OOps, that should be Bush 50%, Kerry 48%, Other 2%. Sorry.

"Is it your position tha... (Below threshold)

"Is it your position that all of the criticisms of Mr Bush is "apoplexy" from the left? "

That's not qhat you asked me. But now that you've asked - no.

Brucy, you need to learn th... (Below threshold)

Brucy, you need to learn the meaning of the word hate. The juvenile list you put together are of groups I don't agree with, I pity, I pray for, and at worst would shut up.

A conservative can't even speak at a college without some leftest throwing something, shouting foul disparaging remarks and/or otherwise being a nuisance. You know it and I know it.

Isn't it a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was a leftest? Yeah! Think so. ww






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