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Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
The Disgusting Fight for Political Position on the War continued yesterday (Saturday) with the President's weekly radio address and the Democratic response.

The President hit the usual and expected notes: "From Valley Forge to...Baghdad...."

In what is becoming SOP for them, the Democrats trotted out an unknown soldier and activist (Elliot Anderson, this time) to testify passionately against the war and the President and all the uninformed Americans who think they are supporting the troops by supporting the President:

"But I know I speak for many of my friends overseas when I say that the best way to honor the troops is to responsibly end our involvement in Iraq's civil war. As long as President Bush stays committed to the same policies that aren't working, it won't be easy. But I am proud to see Democrats and now some brave Republicans standing up to him."

Coverage from CBS News here.

This "old wrinkle" is becoming tiresome. Moreover, straight reporting of soldiers against the war and for the Democrats who want to end it conveys a message that the troops have soured on the war. Is this true? That is not what I hear, but I cannot know for sure. Shouldn't the mainstream media follow up on this?

My suspicion is this: if it were true, we would see an avalanche of these stories on every MSM outlet--not just some random politically interested fellow every once in a while on special occasions.

I know there are servicemen out there in our reading community--let me know your thoughts, if you can.

Another View.

I am inclined to think that the soldiers and marines in harm's way in Iraq are more like the ones Pam Hess described to Brian Lamb on C-SPAN back on 9 March, after she returned from a tour with the troops (back then I called it the "most remarkable piece of reportage and analysis I [had] seen in years").

With her voice breaking and fighting back the tears, Ms. Hess, the UPI DOD correspondent, described the "incredible idealism" and "incredible humanity" of our soldiers in Iraq. Trying to explain their "optimism and dedication," she described the "incredible savagery and violence" they confronted. Describing the shooting of a twelve-year-old boy, her emotions overcame her. Apologetic for her "unprofessionalism," she blamed the fatigue of the trip. "But you have to understand," she said, "they guys are up against real evil."

For these guys, she said, this was no longer about US national security, it was about the sense of personal responsibility our men felt for saving humans one at a time, one day at a time.

Pretty damn heroic.

I stand by my original characterization of the clip. It is available in part on YouTube here. I recommend you watch.

-----------------------------
Transcripts:

The President here.

Elliot Anderson here (transcript via Fox News, which was the only one I could find).
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
The Anchoress has a must read article separating fact and fiction on the Bush Administration. Cleverly written as well.

As most propagandists, and attornies, know, repeate something often enough and people will start thinking it is true.

Speaking of repeated lies, Gateway Pundit has the info on executive salaries then and now.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Amid all the noise in Washington, the President just hit the shot heard 'round the world.

As I noted last Friday, the President has out-maneuvered the Speaker and the Majority Leader and the anti-war, anti-Bush industrial complex. Nevertheless, I did not see any of the end-of-the-week rap-up shows even mention the Iraq funding impasse. The mainstream media are at a loss on how to cover this huge story, as it is so dramatically at variance with the prevailing template of a discredited President in free fall.

Of course, if the standoff had gone the other way, the MSM would have known exactly how to play it (in big, bold type): BUSH CAVES. Troops to Come Home.

As it is, for most of the day, the MSM have been reluctant to cover the impending announcements (hoping for a miracle, I suppose).

The news this morning: No Confidence Vote on Attorney General, THE IMMIGRATION BILL, the immigration bill-inspired conservative insurgency, Michael Moore Is Back, Jimmy Carter Pronounces Bush Worst Ever, AL GORE (and perhaps the Iraq funding bill may be approved without timelines).

Finally, after the formal announcement this afternoon, the NYT and the Washington Post ran front page articles and NPR led with this Harry Reid quote: "For heaven's sake, look where we've come. It's a lot more than the president ever expected he'd have to agree to."

Bottom Line: this is the most important moment of the year in politics thus far. Kudos to the President for standing firm. He is still in the cellar in terms of popularity. He is still opposed by two houses of Congress who want his scalp. He still has miles to go in the Middle East. But, having said that, he could have given up the ghost and lost everything on this showdown. He didnít. Perhaps we only forestalled disaster, but, thankfully, today we did not lose everything.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
On Saturday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that former-President Jimmy Carter characterized the Bush White House as the "worst in history." Today, Carter seemed unable to make up his mind whether his disrespectful remarks were "careless or misinterpreted." According to his recollection, he merely said Bush was worse than Nixon, but, evidently, the audio record confirmed the accuracy of Carter's quote, which indeed emphasized that the Bush administration was "the worst in history" (AP story here).

An aside: is any one else fatigued with the MSM-Democratic drumbeat to couple the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Bush-43? Never mind the irony of one of the worst presidents in history piling on the current President during his current trials.

My thoughts on former-President Carter's prowess as an historian?

It takes great humility to be a great historian, which is a quality the former-president lacks in massive quantities. More importantly, it is supreme folly to write history as it unfolds and/or in the future tense, but the grievous error in judgment further speaks to Carter's hubris. Needless to say, I do not hold great stock in former-President Carter's predictions.

Why is former-President Carter so determined to take broadsides at President Bush?

As I have said before, Jimmy Carter believes he drew a raw deal from the American people, who lacked the vision to recognize his superiority. Combined with his evangelical sense of obligation to share his wisdom with a less-enlightened and mostly unappreciative American public, Carterís need for vindication propels him into the arena time after time. Waiting for the day that Americans will come to see him (as his friends in the international community do) for the great man that he really is, Jimmy Carter takes every opportunity to remind us of his discernment.

For many years, the memory of President Carter's inadequacies remained fresh in our minds. During the Clinton administration, he made something of a comeback--but, even then, the former president seemed uncomfortable sharing the spotlight with a current president. He was sidelined once again. He had still not come into his own as elder statesman.

Then, with the advent of George W. Bush, former-President Carter found the perfect foil. He had always sniped at his successors--but, generally, no one had listened very much. However, his pronouncements against the plan to invade Iraq brought Carter new life as an oracle. Suddenly, the Sage of Plains, Georgia, was alive and well, speaking truth to power and winning Nobel Peace Prizes. Where had this humble visionary been for so long? Carter was back enjoying a revival, even speaking at a Democratic National Convention (in 2004) for the first time since his embarrassing defeat of 1980.

Former-President Carter has an insatiable appetite for public acclaim and veneration. Regrettably, he has found a hallelujah chorus regarding his willingness to lambaste the current president. One could imagine that the former-president's Christian compassion might compel the famously born-again Baptist to offer a helping hand to, or perhaps a silent prayer for, the struggling current president. One might assume his own experience as an embattled Chief Executive might lead him to a more empathetic pose toward the current occupant of the office that reduced him to ignominy. On the other hand, for those of us who have watched Jimmy Carter over the last quarter century, his lack of humanity comes as no surprise. In fact, despite my stated reluctance to predict the future, I think it is safe to say that former-President Carter will continue to exhibit this behavior for as long as he has a public platform.

Until the next time.

-------------------------

Note: Part of this post was drawn from previous offerings on former-President Carter. My reaction to an earlier swipe at the President here and his battle with Alan Dershowitz here.
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Some bad news:

Wolfowitz.

No confidence vote and other embarrassments brewing for Gonzales and Justice.

On the other hand, this week offered some much-appreciated bright spots for the President.

1. The economy continues to hum along. The predicted Depression has yet to materialize. New records on Wall Street this week.

2. The President is getting closer on an immigration bill. He has worked long and hard for something substantial in this regard. He sees progress in this area as key to his presidency.

3. He is winning the battle with Congress over Iraq. Once again, the village idiot is out-generaling the Democratic brain trust. I cannot imagine that delicious scenario ever getting old for him--no matter how many times it happens.

4. Tony Blair visited this week.

It is nice when an old and loyal friend comes to town. It must be some comfort to the tongue-tied President that the most articulate man on the world scene today has the same approval rating in Britain as the President has in the USA.

It must be comforting to discuss the future of the world from the perspective of the TRUMAN balcony.

It must help to hear the following words.

Blair on Bush:

"Thank you also for the strength of your leadership over the past few years. You have been a strong leader at a time when the world needed strong leadership. You've been unyielding and unflinching, and determined in the fight that we face together. And I thank you for that."

More personal:

"I've admired him as a President and I regard him as a friend."

A Blair Observation:

"[P]eople understand that there is a battle that we are fighting around the world today. [I]t's a battle about the type of values that govern the world in the early 21st century. You don't win those battles by being a fair-weather friend to your ally, you don't win those battles by being hesitant or withdrawing support for each other when the going gets tough. You don't win those battles by losing the will to fight if your enemy's will to fight is very strong, and very powerful."

Bush on Blair:

"What I know is the world needs courage. And what I know is this good man is a courageous man.

"Thanks for coming."

Amen to that.

Press Conference transcript here.

AFTER THOUGHT: And, don't forget to catch the "George and Tony Show," which the players have down to a high art now, finishing each other's sentences and playing the straight man for one another:

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: In Europe...if you want to get the easiest round of applause, get up and attack America, you can get a round of applause if you attack the President, you get a --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Standing ovation. (Laughter.)

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Yes. And...
Category: Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
A few days ago, the Okie Gardener posted concerning "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (review here). An occasional reader, "JC" took issue with the Gardener's tongue-in-cheek consideration of "liberalism as a mental disease." In the comments section, JC identified herself as a "52-year-old mom, definitely left-leaning." In the process of making her point, JC characterized the Bush administration as the "most dishonest and immoral in my lifetime." To which, the Gardener disagreed with her assessment of the administration as the most corrupt of recent times and asked that she explain her evaluation.

In an off-line conversation, JC made her case in part. This was not originally intended for public consumption; she expressed a desire not to rant. But with her grudging permission, I am including this excerpt as a thoughtful albeit unpolished look into the heart of the Bush opposition. There are several good points here and there are also some things with which I disagree fundamentally, but I see it is a sincere expression of love and concern for our nation and our system. Listening to the other side...


Guest Blog: JC

The Bush Administration has a penchant for bewildering actions. I tend to blame Karl Rove for much of it, but perhaps that is too easy. Maybe Rove is not responsible for all of these terrible things that are attributed to him. Things happen up there. No one takes responsibility. Bush knows nothing, and it makes you wonder who is in charge? Anyone? Attempts to avoid responsibility make one look either dishonest and/or incompetent.

The Bush team possesses an intense ideology that propels decision making without considering all relevant facts. Evidently, the process includes suppressing facts when they do not support Bush policy. We continue to hear reports referencing the muzzling of government scientists and editing of agency reports by the White House. For leaders of the most militarily powerful nation on earth to behave in this manner is frightening. Policy should be supported by evidence...fact, science, expert opinion... not ideology.

I certainly believe that the Bush Administration purposely misled the American People and the Congress in order to get approval for the Iraq war. We were manipulated... treated as fools. I cannot forgive leaders who would treat America this way.

I also hate what this war is doing to innocent Iraqis. I read what they write online, and so many are leading lives that we can not begin to imagine. Just last night I read the blog of an Iraqi teenage girl (14 or 15 years-old) who wrote of seeing the body parts of a suicide bomber on her way home from school, a friend who was having sleepless nights after seeing a headless body, an explosion damaging their home, and on and on. Reading these things can bring me to tears... and Bush tells us "we're fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them at home". It makes Iraqis so angry to hear that. Me too.

I should add that the above-mentioned Iraqi girl sent an email Christmas greeting to her Christian friends around the world; she raises money for sick children and so on, in spite of the scary life she leads. I don't want anything to happen to her. To keep her safe, I'd be willing to live with some fear of my own.

I agree with you that there is a reflexive disgust among those on the Left for Bush and his crew, and it may be overblown on the little things.... but I don't believe it applies to important policy issues. Speaking for myself, I think about issues, and I do not oppose Bush ideas solely because they are his.

For example, I'm not opposed to his "surge" policy; however, it is not likely to work unless he does some heavy lifting on the diplomacy end, which he appears unwilling to do. And the Iraqi government needs to be accountable for some of their disastrous policies as well, which is why the Democrats are right to apply deadline pressure.

Thanks for the link to your post [refers to my post: America Perseveres]. I agree with much of it... although I think you are a bit more optimistic than I am that our system of government is holding up. I worry about hackable voting machines, money buying just about everything, TV smear campaigns, and lots of other things that give advantages to the worst among us and facilitate the wrong people leading our country.

Having said all of that (and I did start ranting, didn't I?) the Left and Right have got to find a way to join forces for the common good. I wonder if that is possible, and who might lead us there?
~~JC
Category: Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
Mitt Romney will not be the Republican presidential nominee for two related reasons.

1. Conservative Christians do not regard Mormons as Christians, instead terming them a "cult."

2. Conservative Christians believe the United States to be a Christian Nation, needing Christian leadership.

Therefore, since Mitt Romney is not Christian, he cannot be allowed to lead a Christian nation.

If, contrary to my prediction Romney does become the Republican nominee and faces off against Hillary, then Conservatives probably would vote for Romney. He may not be Christian, in their thinking, but is not seen as Anti-Christian in the same way Hillary is. (more below)

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