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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

George Bush: Decider

Peggy Noonan has written what is probably the best critique of the Bush White House that I've yet read. I'm still digesting it, but here are a few clips that I find interesting.
To an extraordinary degree this is George W. Bush's presidency. Its strengths are his strengths and its weaknesses his weakness. This White House is him. The decisions it makes are him.
--- --- ---
...Mr. Bush's feelings, assumptions and convictions set theme, direction and mood. All decisions as to declared destination go to him. He seeks a sense of control by making and sticking to the decision. When he won't budge, the White House won't budge. When it clings to an idea beyond evidence and history, it is Mr. Bush who is doing the clinging. When he stands firm, it stands firm.
--- --- ---
Bruce Bartlett has written of how, as a conservative economist, he was treated with courtesy by the Clinton White House, which occasionally sought out his views. But once he'd offered mild criticisms of the Bush White House he was shut out, and rudely, by Bush staffers. Why would they be like that? Because they believe that as a conservative, Mr. Bartlett owes his loyalty to the president. He thought his loyalty was to principles.
--- --- ---
The greatest criticism of the president's governing style and White House is that they are uncalibrated.

It's not enough they commit themselves, they must commit future presidencies. It is not enough they do their job, they must announce "the concentrated work of generations." It's not enough they hit Afghanistan, they must hit Iraq; it's not enough they improve, they must remake. It's not enough they must fight a war, they must reform America's most important social welfare program at the same time. It was not enough that Don Rumsfeld manage a war, he must at the same time modernize and revolutionize the military. It's not enough to allow spending to rise or raise it modestly, you must back the biggest growth in government since the Great Society. It's not enough to call for liberty, stand for liberty and assist the spread of liberty; you have to insist on it, now, or you are not America's friend. It's not enough to do A and B and C, you have to do Z too. It is all so uncalibrated.
She's put into words what I've felt since W. first announced he was running for President in 2000. I have friends and family in Texas and this is exactly the Governor they described: unyielding, unsophisticated, unwilling to admit error or punish loyal subordinates even when they've mucked things up.

As I've said before I did not vote for George W. Bush in either the 2000 primary or general election. However, I did vote for him in 2004. What else was there to do? I also still support him and I believe that he has made the correct decisions for this country even if the execution of the plans have not always gone as well as they could have. I'll take Bush's self-assuredness, and willingness to act over The Algore's image obession or John Kerry's nuance and flip-flopping any day.


boohiss 4/25/2006 01:24:00 PM  

It sucks that we had to choose between a relatively moderate George Bush and liberal Gore/Kerry, but I guess that's life.

Ragin' Redhead 4/25/2006 02:42:00 PM  

Guys, the two parties COUNT on us feeling like 'What choice do we have?' PLEASE vote Libertarian next time. I will, and I NEVER have before, BUT, for the first time ever, I feel that that is no more 'throwing away your vote' than voting for the colluding, elitist pigs-at-the-trough known as our sacred two-party system.

I realize that this will assure the election of Democrats. I also feel that this is just punishment for the Republicans for being such spineless, dickless, ball-less wonders in the face of blistering, yet nearly-always illegitimate criticism.

I also feel that things can just BARELY get any worse, so...f*ck it. I will vote my conscience!


Kevin 4/25/2006 07:03:00 PM  

The only thing that worries me about letting a Democrat win anything is national security. They're vapid when it comes to defense.

Ragin' Redhead 4/26/2006 06:29:00 PM  

True, Kevin, but I think either Israel or Dub-Ya will have done what's needed on that score (all the pressing 'scores'!) even before November 2008!!

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