Everybody has an opinion about President George Bush. Most liberals view him as rigid and intractable, incompetent, stupid, a poor communicator, dishonest, a cowboy, etc. I’ve also talked to many conservatives for whom he can do no wrong… a man of integrity, strength, confidence, unwilling to change course even in the face of public pressure, etc.
It’s all spin. Everybody sees and hears what they want to see and hear.
So, I’d like to voice my opinion on what’s really going on with President Bush, as I look back on the last 6 years … in light of the Democrats’ rise to power in the congress.
Is Bush incompetent or stupid?
No. Despite his poor speaking ability, which gives an impression of “simpleness” or “slowness”, George Bush is actually a fairly intelligent man. In a flat out race, I think Clinton’s IQ would top his. But if you listen to him when he’s no longer reading the teleprompter, it becomes obvious to me that he’s not the dunderhead some make him out to be. He’s also surrounded by very smart people … one of the most educated cabinets in a long time.
Is Bush dishonest?
No. Every intelligence agency in the world said there were WMD’s in Iraq. Clinton believed it too. Once and for all, he didn’t lie about that stuff. The wire taps, the secret prisons, the military tribunals, Guantanamo Bay … all legal, according to most legal experts. The Democrats love to say that Bush lied, deceived the nation, cheated, stole the election, broke the law six ways to Sunday, etc … and the media has latched onto these sensational notions. (I also believe they’re biased, but I’ll get to that at some point in the future.) But their accusations don’t necessarily make it true. I’m sure there’ll be hearings, and we can let the judges decide once-and-for-all whether or not wrongdoing was in play. In the meantime, I really don’t believe he broke the law. Certainly not intentionally. I think he was doing what he felt he needed to do to protect the nation.
Is Bush rigid and intractable?
No. It isn’t that Bush was unwilling to change the course in Iraq, it’s that he honestly doesn’t know what else to do. He’s got the “stay the course” face on, because he (and his advisers) believe that’s what’s best for the country, for our troops, for the Iraqi people, and for our enemies to hear. That doesn’t make him dumb or aloof or incompetent, it makes him lost in an excruciatingly difficult position. And you know what, it makes him like everyone else. VERY VERY VERY few people, almost NONE in the political arena, have voiced any kind of plan. I ask again, where is the genius democratic plan that gets us out of Iraq and fixes the woes of the Middle East? It’s not there – neither with them, nor with Bush.
And that brings us to what I believe his fatal flaw was…
Was he overconfident and naive?
Yes. Bush believed that if we coyboyed into Baghdad on a white horse (followed by tanks) that the Iraqi people would throw parades in our honor in the streets. They’d turn in their neighbors who had been working for Sadam. They’d erect statues in our honor. They’d gladly adopt our way of life. Uh … guess again. We should have known better. We should have realized that these peoples’ way of life is as deeply entrenched with them as ours is with us. Actually, probably deeper. A piece of paper (constitution) doesn’t make a people self-governing, moral, free, ruled by law, etc. It’s a foundational philosophy that makes that possible.
George Bush should have known that; shouldn’t have over-calculated, shouldn’t have reached beyond our ability to chew what we were biting off. That he didn’t know, that he did bite off more than he could chew (and took the rest of us with him), was his fatal flaw.
Lastly, a couple caveats…
He didn’t go it alone. Congress approved all kinds of things. Many conservatives and some liberals were with him. I too thought this would be a lot easier. I think almost everyone did. Why didn’t we listen to Colen Powell?
Secondly, now that we’re in this mess, almost nobody has been focused on fixing it. The democrats, the media, all kinds of people have hammered him for every little thinghe’s done. To watch CNN or MS NBC or read the NY Times, you’d think Bush was the devil – completely incapable of making the slightest correct decision. Democrats have apposed every single measure Bush has implemented to try to fight the war on terror. Name one they’ve supported! Basically, they haven’t helped much; just made sure to be there to call people names and remind us how screwed up the president is. The war in Iraq has sucked, no question. And there’s no question in my mind that Bush is responsible to a large degree. But we as a nation absolutely could have been more positive over the last few years along the way.
So I hope to God the Democrats, now that they’re in power, will stop blaming people and start having a plan. Let’s hope that doesn’t turn out to be their fatal flaw.
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