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Theocrat Bush: Democrats Don't Get It

Bush_fingerIn his sharpest rebuke of the Democrats this year, Bush told a news conference that they don't understand the nature of the world we live in today:

"These are challenging times, and they’re difficult times, and they’re straining the psyche of our country. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists. What matters is that in this campaign that we clarify the different points of view. And there are a lot of people in the Democrat Party who believe that the best course of action is to leave Iraq before the job is done — period — and they’re wrong."

Before the job is done? But wasn't the job done back in May 2003?

Don't think that the President's use of the term "Democrat Party" isn't calculated either. It's really a derogatory usage meant to, as Hendrik Hertzberg notes in a great piece in last week's New Yorker, "deny the enemy the positive connotations of its chosen appellation."

Bush Argues Democrats Don’t Understand Threat to U.S. [nyt]
The "Ic" Factor [the new yorker]

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Comments

  1. Oh, right. Democrat Party sounds like "rat." That's their problem...

    Posted by: Tom | Aug 22, 2006 11:10:53 AM


  2. In his press conference George W. Bush was uncommonly flustered and defensive, giving nervous and desperate answers to what were mostly softball questions. Throughout, Bush reminded me of a losing gambler in denial...the kind who says, "If I keep using my system, eventually the cards have to go my way." Well, no, they don't.

    Bush suggested we'll be in Iraq as long as he's in office. That's the kind of defeatist attitude that Republicans label "doom and gloom" when it comes out of a Democratic mouth.

    What's amazing about Bush's pledge to stay in Iraq for the remainder of his presidency is that he seems to be ruling out any possibility that we could actually win the war there over the rest of his term. Now I have no idea what it would mean to "win," but I'm surprised (and rather alarmed) that Bush doesn't have any sort of plan to win, either. He seems content to simply fight and fight and fight in perpetuity.

    It must be tough to still be an official supporter of this man. I have a theory that around half of those who claim they support Bush are inwardly revulsed when they have to say that. In any case, backing the guy seems to require that you maintain the jury is still out as to whether there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11...and then along comes Bush, saying that there was no link and no one in his administration ever said there was. Or admitting this morning that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. All that plus the man's stammering and inability to state his position in clear, declarative sentences must have his believers cringing. He sure isn't making their job easy.

    Posted by: Phil | Aug 22, 2006 11:40:42 AM


  3. There are two different and major cancers eating away at Washington. One is the incompetent Bush Administration, the other is conservative ideology, which doesn't believe in government in the first place. It's a potent mixture, as anyone can see from inspecting New Orleans and Iraq.

    It's not just that the conservatives did the wrong things; it's that they have also messed up the process that allows for checks and balances.

    It's a mystery to me why so many people have difficulty understanding that people who don't believe in government can't and shouldn't govern. Is it any wonder the country is in such a mess when we keep sending people to congress who actively try to destroy the system?

    We simply must remind people that government is not the flaw...remind people of the good that our government can do when run by competent people who believe in good governance.

    The basic concept that government can (or should) act on behalf of the broad public good is utterly foreign to these people. Government is a means by which large numbers of people come together to organize their society in a mutually beneficial fashion. It shouldn’t be a means by which a small group of people act to benefit their own narrow interests.

    There are sooo many examples of this misguided core philosophy. The recent decision to have the IRS subcontract collections to private entities even though it would be cheaper to hire more agents directly is one. The whole Medicare Part D program is another one. Providing drug benefits to the elderly was a side aspect of that program--the main priority was to enrich insurance carriers and pharmaceutical companies.

    The Iraq debacle is, of course, this philosophy on steroids. As Kevin Phillips cogently argues in his latest book, Cheney's primary motiviation in pushing for war was to have the US military essentially serve as an expeditionary force for ExxonMobil. The whole supply and "reconstruction" effort has largely been directed towards fattening the coffers of Halliburton, Bechtel, and other connected contractors.

    While this country's record of following its founding principles has been spotty at best, those principles are something that we should all hold dear and aspire to. Even more significantly, those principles are ones that should be easy to sell to the broad American public. The private plunder philosophy of the contemporary GOP is nothing to be proud of.

    The Democrats can and should do a better job of defending the basic concept of the commonweal. There are a hell of a lot more Americans who want govt to help their parents in their old age than there are Americans who want to enrich Big Phamra, Bill Oil and Big Insurance.

    Posted by: Phil | Aug 22, 2006 11:48:03 AM


  4. Phil

    Excellent post

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Aug 22, 2006 12:12:40 PM


  5. Here's a cut & paste from Americablog. Interesting.


    Bush never plans to leave Iraq, no matter HOW bad or HOW hopeless it gets
    by John in DC - 8/22/2006 07:50:00 AM

    This is a very important point that, oddly, Bush himself has openly admitted repeatedly. He plans to keep US troops in Iraq until the end of his term, period. We're not leaving. It doesn't matter how bad things get, how many Americans die, how much money it costs. It doesn't even matter how hopeless the situation becomes. He will NOT remove US troops from that country until "we win."

    But what if we can't win?

    This is the question that Bush refuses to answer. Bush has only ONE plan for Iraq. We win, then we come home. And its corollary, we don't come home UNTIL we win.

    But what if we never win?

    While it's cute for George Bush and the Republicans to always pull the "America" card and tell everyone, ad infinitum, that Americans ALWAYS win (because we're the GOOD GUYS), that is simply bravado and a lie. Being good guys didn't help us in Vietnam - we lost and had to withdraw. Being good guys didn't help us in Lebanon in the 1980s - we lost and withdrew. It also didn't help us in Somalia in the 1990s - same story.

    Every decade of the past 4 we've had at least one big military loss and been forced to withdraw. So who is to say that we won't lose in Iraq, or haven't lost already? We are not infallible. No one wants to "lose," but to suggest that we can't lose because Americans simply don't lose, or because the cost of losing is too high (hello, Vietnam?), is not a sane basis for figuring out what our strategy should be in this war.

    George Bush and the Republican party (along with a few GOP clones like Joe Lieberman) are refusing to accept, or even discuss, the reality that is Iraq. We are in the midst of a terrible war that is not going well. Yet our leaders refuse to change course in terms of how they execute that war because they have a belief that no matter how poorly they execute the war we will win anyway. George Bush, as the emodiment of "America," is infallible - nothing he does can lead to defeat, so stop whining.

    That is a very dangerous basis on which to run a country, especially when the "infallible" monarch is someone as incompetent as George W. Bush. The man lost New Orleans, he can lose Iraq.

    PS A second possibility, just as disturbing, is that Bush and the Republicans KNOW that Iraq is lost, but because of a desire to save face they refuse to withdraw. They want to leave the problem for the next president two and a half years from now simply because they don't want to be blamed for the coming disaster. To hell with the cost in lives and dollars. The Republicans would rather see our soldiers die than have their party lose face over a war they've already lost.

    Posted by: Marco | Aug 22, 2006 12:16:38 PM


  6. Sorry, no political philosophy other than, God, do I hate this man and all his cronies. They have come close to destroying our country.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 22, 2006 12:34:58 PM


  7. Phil: While I'm sure I'm pretty much on board with your feelings, I think it's a misnomer to say conservatives "don't believe in government." I think a more accurate statement is conservatives don't favor big government.

    Speaking of conservative philoosphies, I'm not quite sure what happened to their twin pillar of fiscal responsibility—Evidently blowing the deficit and federal budget out of the water in the name of the "exporting democracy" is fine and dandy.

    Posted by: Kurt | Aug 22, 2006 12:54:47 PM


  8. Phil, TESTIFY my brother!

    You saved me SOOO much time, thought and typing. I couldn't have said it better myself!

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 22, 2006 12:58:21 PM


  9. Kurt, NO, that is NOT more accurate. It's more accurate to say that conservatives didn't USED to favor big (and intrusive) government.

    The latest Dominionists, theocratic, neoconservative incarnation of "conservative" seems to want NOTHING more than to have a huge, extremely intrusive and fiscally irresponsible government.

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 22, 2006 1:03:50 PM


  10. I just hope that the Democrats get back the congress and tie this assholes balls in a sling for the remaining two years.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Aug 22, 2006 1:20:28 PM


  11. Zeke is correct. How can anyone say that conservatives don't want Big Government these days? Just look at what's happened in DC over the last 6 years and you'll see that's no longer true.

    Posted by: Wayne | Aug 22, 2006 1:21:09 PM


  12. The intervention was scary and another nail in the American Dream.

    I watched the news conference and suggest that he's "autocrat bush" rather than theocrat. He was rather crass instead of amusing to the press corp, I felt for poor Helen - tho' I doubt if she'll lose sleep over his sarcasm. Who told Bush its polite to point?

    The larger news is that he is already a lame-duck who has been ineffectual in fighting terrorism. My question is what is the real story about the administration?

    Bush is plainly in crisis in Iraq, down in the polls and has abandoned any interest in domestic/social policy as in New Orleans. A "normal" politician would want to ensure/preserve his/her legacy but GWB doesn't seem to give a toss about (well) anything really... so why not?

    If you or I were in that position, wouldn't we be fighting like mad to turn things around, etc. It just doesn't make sense to me. Even the spin in the interview was pathetic. Dubya's behaviour reminded me yesterday of his father's interview with MTV from the back of the train (if anyone recalls that in 1992). For all the words, the game is up.

    One journalist question did intrigue me tho: someone asked why he had signed so few presidential pardons? He quickly deflected the question saying he didn't keep a score of who'd done however many pardons, but I did wonder if there was a hidden issue lurking there, no?

    For all of Bush's spleen against the Democrats, his own dismal record makes candidates like Hillary Clinton seems like a logical choice for office in 2008. Roll on the midterms, I think there's gonna be a bumpy night in November.

    Posted by: Sean R | Aug 22, 2006 1:32:57 PM


  13. So... we still insist on laying in our own dirt. According the the press, according to the polls, according to polticians running for office, Bush lost and is losing, yet after each election day, once again, him and his vile, corrosive type are still in office.

    If people are SO fed up with him and his administration, why is this still so? Why are there fresh "I voted for W" bumper stickers popping up all around Southern New England? Don't tell me people are changing their minds when they keep voting for him.

    We fessed up to the mistake of Viet Nam and Nixon finally pulled us out of the war LBJ got us into. Why won't that solution work here? It was a mistake. Pull out. Let the factions fight it out.

    The ONLY realization that Washington is going to change is when the term "Impeachment" begins to surface more readily. I just hope that the fucker in office does not impose Executive Order and pre-pardon him and his staff from any accountability.

    Posted by: Rad | Aug 22, 2006 1:56:48 PM


  14. Sean - Bush is saving those presidential pardons for his staff. I have a feeling the next few years will reveal unprecedented levels of criminal incompetence and all sorts of illegal and unconstitutional activities going on behind the scenes. It's going to make Watergate look quaint.

    Posted by: Stevo | Aug 22, 2006 2:03:45 PM


  15. One of my lingering fears is that George W. Bush intends to be president (King) for life, that he'll use a terrorist attack as a pretense to suspend the 2008 presidential election because "an election will weaken the country and help the terorrists," "any transition of power now would be disruptive and dangerous for America," "we must be unified," blah blah blah. Talk about a scary thought. But this man will sink to any low -he has proven that.

    Posted by: me | Aug 22, 2006 2:43:33 PM


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