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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hold The Appease, Please!

Tom Willms weighs in on appeasement at Twisted Steel.

Tom is correct in his argument that President Bush`s ineloquence has been very detrimental to the effectiveness of his Administration; we shouldn`t be having the arguments we are currently engaged in, but the President and his cabinet are atrocious at making their case. Iraq? The President yammered about Democracy, WMD`s, and doing the right thing, when he should have explained that Iraq was the most vulnerable target in the Axis of Evil politically, and that invading split the terror network in half. Doing Iraq was sound geopolitical strategy, and the Nation would have understood if he had laid the cards out. Oil? The President sounds like Jimmy Carter, speaking about the need for alternative fuels. Of course we need to look into those things, but Mr. Bush should explain how the market works to the public, and should have called the Democrats bluff when they suggested a tax holiday. North Korea? Everyone who knows that region knows the Chinese are the source of the problem, and there really is no reason to protect them in their duplicity. He has failed to fight back against the numerous accusations against his Administration-such as Plamegate, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, etc. He conceded the WMD issue to avoid embarrassing France and Russia, and cost the United States the political high ground, etc. etc.

America likes straight shooters, and the President often appears to keep secrets. Also, Mr. Bush likes to keep far too low a profile, which suggests he is not in charge of things. Furthermore, he sends Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, and he used to send Colin Powell to defend his policies, and this parliament of overdone white toast couldn`t excite a dog locked in solitary confinement. They may be intelligent and talented people, but they simply lack effective communication skills. Remember how Clinton did it; he had professionals do his talking for him-Carville, Begala, et. Al. The Clinton Administration always considered the political ramifications of things, and they always had a unified and polished message. Team Bush (with the exception of Rumsfeld) usually sounds like a high school speech team. The addition of Tony Snow has helped immensely, but it really is a case of too little too late; they needed Snow right after the Iraqi invasion.

Bush also values loyalty to a fault, and his Administration is afraid to resign, while Bush is unwilling to encourage resignations, so most of his staff are exhausted and unable to adequately deal with problems. White House jobs are brutal, and it`s necessary to have occasional turnover to keep things focused. Mr. Bush has a tired Administration, and it shows.

Lastly, I would argue that the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree, and George W. Bush has more in common with the blue-blood and RINO wings of the party than with the Reaganites; his father could certainly not be characterized as a Reagan Republican, despite serving 8 years as Veep for Mr. Reagan. Bush Sr. began a twelve year run of Bush/Clinton rather than continuing the 8 year run of Ronald Reagan. Although George W. is more conservative than his father (he`s given us pretty good judges, although we`ve had to hold his feet to the fire) he fails to see the RINO`s for what they are, and his policies have been fracturing the conservative coalition which brought him to power. Convenient.

George W. Bush was not my first choice for President, but he was for many conservatives because of his name-recognition, likability, and money-raising apparatus, and it can be argued that the conservative disappointment with him is the result of false expectations; Bush never claimed to be Ronald Reagan, and he talked big government from the beginning. (Too many were willing to believe this was for show.) If we are having buyer`s remorse, it could be argued, the fault lies with our poor choice, not the President. And this President has been outstanding in some areas; he has been steady in the War, bucked the U.N. over Iraq, cut taxes, and made some good nominations for the courts and elsewhere. He stymied his political opposition. He will go down in history, for better or worse, as one of the greats if only because he steered the Republic in a time of great crisis.

But I fear this President has an agenda which may not be to my taste; he has fractured the conservative coalition-empowering the Blue Blood wing, he is killing us on immigration, on his soft-soap foreign policies which emphasize free trade over practical considerations, with his fear of offending those who are trying to hurt him politically or otherwise. He has not, well, lead! Why are we only now talking about opening off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? Why haven`t we taken steps to deal with Chavez in Venezuela (the military deposed him at one point, but we offered no assistance.) Why haven`t we opened ANWAR? Why does the President concede Anthropogenic Global Warming, when he has to know there is no proof of it? (Conceding this but failing to act against it is indefensible, and makes Al Gore appear to be the more statesmanlike.) Bush needs to quit trying to form a censuses and start taking the lead. He has been wildly successful when he has done so, yet he seems unwilling to step up to the plate.

If the Democrats had anything positive to say they would have been able to make George Bush as obsolete as the Edzel. The Republicans have been very fortunate.



Blogger Don Bangert said...

Tim, see my comment on the referenced post.

6:56 AM  
Blogger TJ Willms said...

Hey, Tim thanks for the hat tip!

I was off communing with nature last week but wanted to check out your thoughts as soon as I got “back to the world”.

I was very pleased when I couldn’t find a single thing to disagree with in your post. The President does some of the right things for the right reasons, and then when he presents the reasoning behind the actions to the country he renders them virtually incomprehensible. I can only suspect that it’s driven by the political calculations occurring behind the scenes and point directly toward Karl Rove. Rove may be a brilliantly subtle political operative but his influence on policy decisions and the way communications with the public are handled hampers what should be a very successful foreign policy under this administration if only they would stop dancing around the truth and tell it like it is.

Most people find the atmosphere of secrecy for undefined political purposes swirling around this Whitehouse distasteful and impossible to get behind. Over and over again, “Dubya” seems handcuffed with an overriding fear of offending everyone except loyal conservatives. He seems obsessed with an endless campaign of consensus building with people who hate him passionately and are so irrationally afraid of him that they will never even approach “his” table in good faith.

“Dubya” wasn’t my first choice back in 2000 either but what alternative was there? A Third party candidate? Not a chance in hell, after enduring those four horrid years of the Ventura debacle we put ourselves through here in Minnesota.

Forbes? Well maybe, he’s smart enough, articulate, had a decent plan for domestic economic policy but was somewhat thin on experience in too many other areas. McCain? Never! Hatch? Sorry, the wheels on this guy are pretty near worn out. Keyes? I like him as a conservative commentator, but really was he even electable? I don’t even remember who the heck Gary Bauer was? Any one? Any one? It wasn’t an impressive list of choices by any stretch of the imagination but even a lousy republican is still a huge improvement over the very best the Dems will ever bring to the table.

Despite Don’s urgings, I still have to view the third party avenue as still a dead end with no candidates ever elected to substantial national office anywhere. There are plenty of small “l” libertarians across the country, but not one of them has being elected to “high office” because the candidates advanced by these parties are weak with backgrounds that always seem to contain something that makes the average voter back away, rapidly. Myself included. Sorry Don, maybe I’m just getting to old and stubborn to changes horses. I guess I’ll have to keep whipping the one I’m on until it starts going in a direction that I’m looking for.

10:03 AM  
Blogger StaticNoise said...

Tim, Tom,

Ditto here.

After 9/11 George W. Bush inspired me with his Sept 20 speech and again with his State of the Union in Jan 02. I had an emotional connection mostly due to how much the attacks affected me - can't say I wouldn't have had the same feelings had it been someone else in the White House. I remember having doubts about Iraq shortly before it became inevitable we were going in. However , I have seen recognized exactly what you have said about Iraq being a stratigic move on a much larger and frankly historically significant change in the region. The implications of what Bush and Co. did will not be known for 30 to 50 years. But unlike WWII what came after the war may spell disaster - or - as the saying goes The US snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Therein lies the point you all have been making - this administration is TERRIBLE at conveying its message. Conservatives always have an uphill battle with the hostile MSM. Generally conservatives in places of political power are so enamoured with TV and being liked by the MSM they shoot themselves in the foot everytime! It's enough to discourage the righteous...

5:49 AM  

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