Monday, November 14, 2005

Democrats hear Bush's Veterans Day speech on the Iraq War, collapse in fear

For once, at least, that is not true. (Although it is long past time for Hillary Clinton to stop calling to escalate the Iraq War.)

The Dems don't really like having their patriotism or support for the troops quesioned by the Torture Administration. The one that outed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA agent to prevent exposure of the frauds the adminstration used to start the Iraq War.

Democratic bloggers have had a bit to say about it, as well. Josh Marshall for instance wrotes (Talking Points Memo 11/12/05):

What a sorry, sorry, unfortunate president - caught in his lies, his half-truths, his reckless disregard ... caught with, well ... caught with time. Time has finally caught up to him. And now he doesn't have the popularity to beat back all the people trying to call him to account. He could; but now he can't. So he's caught. And his best play is to accuse his critics of rewriting history, of playing fast and loose with the truth - a sad, pathetic man.

Gosh, it almost makes you feel sorry for Dear Leader, doesn't it? (NOT!)

The very literate James Wolcott also has his say, with a dig at our man Victor Davis Hanson along the way (Windbags of War Give It One Last Wheeze 11/13/05). Speaking of neoconservative publicist William Kristol of the Weekly Standard, he writes:

Bill Kristol said something similar today on Fox News Sunday, explaining Bush's falling poll numbers regarding Iraq (especially on the "trust issue") as being the product of certain Democrats and their allies in the liberal media. No one better embodies the creamy elitism of the neocons than does Kristol, who believes that the American people are a lumpy mass easily manipulated and are incapable of arriving at judgements of their own. But they can, they do, and they have. They have turned against this war and slowly come to the conclusion that they were deliberately misled. Questioning the patriotism of the war's critics isn't going to work because a majority of Americans now share that criticism and don't think of themselves as unpatriotic. Bush's counteroffensives are no longer effective because he's lost the confidence of the American people: they've had it with this guy.

Hope getting the better of judgment in that last sentence? Probably not.

Polling guru Ruy Teixeira asks, Is This the End of Bushism? Donkey Rising blog 11/10/05.

He defines "Bushism" as "the political project of building a majority coalition, despite a commitment to unpopular policies, based on a superior cultural, national security, and leadership image among voters"

The bad signs for Dear Leader?

His personal image is tanking. His positive ratings among "GOP identifiers" has gone below 80%. And "his ratings among Democrats and independents are now essentially identical with those Nixon was receiving in November, 1973." That shows that a lot of Democratic and independent voters are generous-minded in this regard. Because Bush's administration is far worse than Nixon's in almost every way imaginable.

His ratings on that vague but important factor "leadership" is below 50%:

And without confidence in Bush's leadership qualities, what is the public likely to focus on now when they think of Bush? Perhaps that they don't believe he shares their values (a 58 percent to 40 percent judgement in the Washington Post/ABC News poll). Or that he doesn't understand the problems of people like them (a 66 percent to 34 percent judgment in the same poll). Or the poor job they feel he's doing in virtually every policy area. Bushism can’t survive in such an environment.

But then there's Bush's Christian integrity, right? Maybe not. A majority no longer trust him to tell the truth. It's a miracle that anybody at all trusts him. Crucially:

[B]y 55 percent to 44 percent, the public now believes that the Bush administration intentionally misled the public in making its case for war with Iraq, rather than telling the public what it believed to be true at the time. ...

And, for the first time, a plurality of the public (43 percent to 41 percent) is willing to say that the United States and Britain outright lied when they claimed Iraq had WMD.

Even with a press as lazy and irresponsible as the American one, the realization of the magnitude of the WMD fraud is still coming through to many people.

But there's always Old Reliable, the GWOT (Global War on Terror), right? Well, not necessarily:

Speaking of Iraq, Iraq was supposed to the central front of the war on terror. But the public has never been convinced and negative views on the Iraq war continue to deepen. In the Washington Post/ABC News poll, the number saying the war was not worth fighting, given its costs and benefits, has now reached 60 percent for the first time. And nearly three-quarters (73 percent) say there have been an unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties in the Iraq conflict.

And, perhaps fatally for Bushism, the public can no longer divorce its distaste for the Iraq adventure from its feelings about the overall war on terror. Once Bush could count on continued public support for his handling of the war on terror as the one thing that could buoy his administration when everything else was failing. No longer.

The guy should be impeached and removed from office. But only after Dick Cheney is replaced by a Vice President who doesn't aspire to be a war criminal and torture advocate. Josh Marshall sums up Dear Leader's current predicament well:

In the president's new angle that his critics are trying to 'rewrite history', those critics might want to point out that his charge would be more timely after he stopped putting so much effort into obstructing any independent inquiry that could allow an accurate first draft of the history to be written. In any case, he must sense now that he's blowing into a fierce wind. The judgment of history hangs over this guy like a sharp, heavy knife. His desperation betrays him. He knows it too.

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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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