Democrats & Liberals Archives

William Agrees With George Bush

It’s perhaps a sad statement that “Bush Takes Responsibility” is actually a Google-news top-ranked headline, rather than the usual state of affairs. And it’s a rare occasion that I look at something Bush 43 has done or said and say “yeah, that’s absolutely right!”. But in this case, I do agree with him - on two points - and in fact, I think he’s being a little hard on himself.

The first point of agreement is when W allegedly said, in reference to Katrina: To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. And in fact, that's more than he needs to do. I don't ask him to "take" responsibility for everything the feds do - only acknowledge responsibility for the actions for which he was responsible. That said, he clearly does have responsibility for the appointment of Michael Brown. And I think that if you appoint someone with a dubious qualifications and a padded resume into a job where competency is literally a question of life or death, then you bear some respomsibility for that persons mistakes. So, to the extent that FEMA didn't "fully do it's job right", Bush should take responsibility.

He's not alone, of course. Congress has little to say about executive appointments, but the "liberal" media should have caught on to this earlier, as they did with the ill-fated appointment of Bernard Kerik. It's not right to pass out life-or-death positions as a political reward, and it's certainly seriously pre-9/11 thinking for a President to even imagine doing such a thing; but that is the sort of thing that politicians do, and we all should have been on our guard for such malfeasance earlier. As it is, Brown's resignation is like locking the barn door after the horse was drowned.

The second point I agree on is a paragraph or so on further down in the story, when Bush says: "Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question". You know what? I agree with that too, George, and I'm glad you're giving the question some thought. Better four years late than never.

In related news, the temperature in Bagdad outside the Green Zone has been unseasonably cool, hovering around 32 degrees F.

Posted by William Cohen at September 13, 2005 4:01 PM
Comments
Comment #80282

William

Liberals always say that they just want Bush to admit mistakes. Your article is reasonable. My prediction is that the comments will be much less moderate.

Usually it is around 30 degrees this time of the year in Baghdad, but that is c not f.

Posted by: Jack at September 13, 2005 5:02 PM
Comment #80283

An excellent post here. I hope (again — the temperature in Bagdad outside the Green Zone has been unseasonably cool, hovering around 32 degrees F.) that Bush admission of responsibility will usher in a new era of elected officials appointing administrators who are actually knowledgeable of the field of their appointments.

Historically, there is really only one area where we do this: judges. We may bicker left and right (a good pun) here about who we want as a judge, but the appointments are always people with judicial experience. (I’m talking Federal here — state & local may differ). I don;t know the historic reason for that. Perhaps it’s because judges are the only public officials who actually have to defend their decisions in writing

Maybe we can start demanding that all officials know about their area of expertise — and have to defend their decisions in writing!

Posted by: steve at September 13, 2005 5:03 PM
Comment #80287

Since there are a number of people named steve it would be good if each used a last name designation.

Posted by: steve smith at September 13, 2005 5:16 PM
Comment #80295

Finally Bush-hater has found a great opportunty in this blame game to humiliate our President. Well done, because most normal American, as me and many fellows in my church are, are so busy in offering our prayer and donation. guys on the left column never get it.

Posted by: kathy at September 13, 2005 5:43 PM
Comment #80299

So Kathy,

When would be a good time to determine “what went wrong” in the Katrina disaster? 2 months? 6 months? a year?

What happens if another Hurricane hits, a dirty bomb explodes, a major earthquake hits or a large until recently dormant volcano erupts and we haven’t found the problems and resolved them by then?

Will we have to wait another year or so to determine what happened and fix it in order not to be called ‘bush-bashers’?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 13, 2005 5:48 PM
Comment #80302

Kathy,

You go to Church? And use hate in such a disgusting manner? We’re AMERICANS! Not the enemy. We criticize because we care about AMERICA!

You need to look in the mirror when you pray, lady, because your heart is black.

Posted by: Mike at September 13, 2005 5:52 PM
Comment #80304

“Finally Bush-hater has found a great opportunty in this blame game to humiliate our President. Well done, because most normal American, as me and many fellows in my church are, are so busy in offering our prayer and donation. guys on the left column never get it.”

On that note shouldn’t you be praying instead of commenting about how the left don’t get it here?

I fail to see how holding someone accountable is “not getting it.” Without holding someone accountable and finding out what went wrong this would just happen again. I’m sure if this were a democratic president everyone on the right would be saying “See? I told you he was incompetent.” You make a naive assumption that just because someone is saying “Yeah Bush screwed it up.” they’re not helping. My liberal friends are just as and often more busy praying and donating as my conservative friends. That kind of “you guys just don’t get it!” attitude is what’s driving this country apart. I suppose you’d rather us just give Bush a carte-blance.

Posted by: chantico at September 13, 2005 5:53 PM
Comment #80308

William,

Just to note, Brown did actually go through Senate confirmation to be Deputy FEMA chief. His promotion to Chief apparently didn’t require a new hearing.

Posted by: esimonson at September 13, 2005 5:56 PM
Comment #80327

chantico said: “That kind of “you guys just dont get it!” attitude is whats driving this country apart.”

As is the mindless Bush-bashing. There’s two sides to this divide.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 13, 2005 6:33 PM
Comment #80359

Eric, thanks for the clarification and link.

Kathy, I have also made my donation - and my prayers are, as always, by own business. As for Bush-bashing, perhaps if the media and Senate had bashed him a little harder on his appointments NOLA would be better off? if that doesn’t grab you, let me appeal to someone more eloquent than myself:

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else. Kansas City Star

From Teddy Roosevelt, 1918.

Posted by: William Cohen at September 13, 2005 7:22 PM
Comment #80361

One more comment: Bush’s full quote was “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong.”

So do all of us, and reading the discussions here make it clear that finding out is no job for people driven by party loyalty - to any one party. We need a bipartisan panel to investigate.

Posted by: William Cohen at September 13, 2005 7:27 PM
Comment #80373

Kathy,
A comment about the Bush bashing that has been going on here at this blog pver Katrina. While I have heard some people call to include myself say that President should of known what was happening, I’ve yet to see anyone hold tight to your claim of Bush Bashing. I am happy that President Bush did finally stand up and take responsibility for what is clearly our federal government screwing up.

As we are finding out and will later be exposed to the Legal games of juridiction had alot to do with the problems that faced N.O. The President with a stroke of a pen could of settled it all with an Excutive Order. Now, I believe that the investigation needs to not only taken out of the hands of politics, but the Legal Realm as well. That being said I would like to see Jack Wlech and Donald Trump Co-Chair a Private investigation team so that we can get through the “Red Tape” that caused this problem.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 13, 2005 8:01 PM
Comment #80390

I will take Mr. Bush at his word right now but
it will take a lot more than this to convince me
that he really means it or is again being scripted by Karl and James Baker of Baker Botts.
Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on
me. Right now I am still disgusted but hopeful.
Now, if he admits there were no WMD, it would a
step in the right direction.

Posted by: Disgusted in GA at September 13, 2005 9:43 PM
Comment #80398

Rhinehold-
When I started writing for this site, it was the feeling of urgency you now express that motivated me. We cannot have a president approaching problems with this deadly of a learning curve.

In this case, since we have an ongoing effort, we should use whatever means we can manage to streamline and bypass dysfunctional parts of the bureaucracy, including personnel, where it’s necessary. Then, when we have the breathing room to do an investigation, it should be full, independent one, with subpeona power, experts on staff who can separate the wheat from the chaff on these issues.

We shouldn’t wait. We should demand these things while we’re motivated and aware enough to make them stick to it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 13, 2005 10:20 PM
Comment #80399

On the main note, the part of the quote that concerns me: “And to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right”

If Bush wants to truly convince me that he wants to take responsibility, that had better mean objectively what the Federal Government didn’t do right, not what he can lawyer his way out of calling his own mistake.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 13, 2005 10:30 PM
Comment #80405

This is the first time in W’s administration that he has stood up and taken responsibility for something bad. Both parties are quick to take credit for the good.

I didn’t vote for him (and wouldn’t if the election were held again) but he earned some respect from me for the first time in his presidency.

Now, if only more congressmen would do the same.

Admitting problems is the first step to actually solving them. I hope he has taken that first step and I hope everyone else who needs to stand up and share the responsibility will do the same.

Posted by: Tom L at September 13, 2005 11:32 PM
Comment #80415

Tom L:

I have to agree with you, he(Emporer George II) stood at the lecturn and took full responsibility for the slow response by FEMA and other Federal Agencies to the Victim’s of Hurricane Katrina.

However, When is Karl Rove going to allow Emporer George II to take Full Responsibility for all of HIS Other F*ck Ups and Shortcomings?

It used to be said:
“Those that can, Do. Those That can’t, Teach”

I propose a new Proverb to replace that age old advice with this Modern Up to Date one:
“Those that can, Do. Those That can’t, Run the GOP”
These my Friends, are just my Humble Opinions.

As Always,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at September 14, 2005 1:49 AM
Comment #80417

Kathy,

Thus the problem with America, people in “church” are considered normal………would this be a church that plays with snakes in the name of god or does it only speak in tongues or does it have priest who play with little boys?

And how the hell do you know how much a liberal prays?

Posted by: dtom21 at September 14, 2005 5:48 AM
Comment #80419

Well, so the focus of the comments from Liberal has turned to the abuse of my church. That’s fine. Christianity has been so ridiculed in this country that the same level of insult to Islam will definitely get yourself a death sentence. And please be reminded that USA was FOUNDED on Christian Values!

Please spend some time to know your country better. Stop blaming other people for your problem.

Posted by: kathy at September 14, 2005 7:40 AM
Comment #80421

Kathy,
You may wish someone criticized your religion so you could play your righteous card. But no-one did. You didn’t even say your church was christian.

Not righteous, just wrong.

Posted by: Ms Schwamp at September 14, 2005 8:00 AM
Comment #80422

Kathy,

Let me guess you voted for the war hero kerry. Bush won get over it.

Posted by: Thomas at September 14, 2005 8:07 AM
Comment #80425

It seems to me, these “Bush Lovers” have a short memory.
I remember there were lots of “Clinton Bashers” out there when Congress spent $70 milion investigating trumped up accusations of Whitewater River Development Wrong doing.
Incase you do have a short memory, the Star group came up empty and switched strategies to anything goes to get him.
And now to Harricane Andrew that hit Southern Florida and wipped out the whole area around Homestead AFB.
If I remember correctly,FEMA got lots of praise for the quick response after the storm passed.
That FEMA director was James Webb who had knowledge and experience in disaster rescue and recovery.
So When a president screws up he deserves bashing and when he gets it right he deserves praising.

Bushes’ bigest problem is appointing suckups to important jobs rather than people who are knowleble and quilified. eldon

Posted by: eldon at September 14, 2005 8:33 AM
Comment #80426

These are the paragraphs that conclude Tom Friedman’s column today in the NYT:

Janadas Devan, a Straits Times columnist, tried to explain to his Asian readers how the U.S. is changing. “Today’s conservatives,” he wrote, “differ in one crucial aspect from yesterday’s conservatives: the latter believed in small government, but believed, too, that a country ought to pay for all the government that it needed.

“The former believe in no government, and therefore conclude that there is no need for a country to pay for even the government that it does have. … [But] it is not only government that doesn’t show up when government is starved of resources and leached of all its meaning. Community doesn’t show up either, sacrifice doesn’t show up, pulling together doesn’t show up, ‘we’re all in this together’ doesn’t show up.”

Put simply, the response to Katrina is what you get when people go from believing in Small government, to believing in simple anarchy. The violence and unrest in New Orleans doesn’t reflect the consequences of a liberal society, but of quite the opposite kind, where power over others is available to those big enough, vicious enough,to take control, and charismatic enough to gain other people’s support.

The existence of government carries with it expectations. It is dishonest to maintain those expectations, while gutting the capability and efficiency of the agencies in question in the name of getting government out of people’s lives, because the approach does neither. Our government has not shrunk amidst the years of GOP rule, it’s muscle has merely turned to unhealthy bloat, and government becomes worse than intrusive, it becomes intrusive and counterproductive.

Why don’t Republicans cut government services outright? Because their isn’t the kind of public support necessary for such cuts. So they settle for an unholy compromise.

The best possible expression of Republican principles in government is goal-centered behavior, and efficiency. That also happens to be the Democrats best expression of their principles too. No wonder- both parties are centered around notions of what good government is about. What works to that end should suit them both.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 14, 2005 8:34 AM
Comment #80428

Kathy,
The “values” this country was founded on are universal to all religions, however the founders knew to keep religion out of the government. That is the value most often forgoten by you and yours. Freedom of religion for ALL religions not some narrowly defined sect of christians. Besides what makes someone a good christian? Going to church, claiming the faith or actually trying to live as Jesus did. Too often the most vocal christians lack the qualities present in Jesus.

I’m glad Bush finally admited to a failing. One down countless to go, still it is a start.

Posted by: vague at September 14, 2005 8:45 AM
Comment #80441

Kathy,

Maybe you are the one that needs to get to know your country because if you did you would find that there was nothing remotely Christian about the founding of America, if it had been it would have died long before the right wing cult nuts stumbled on a chance to kill it.

And it’s fundamentalism that being ridiculed, a disgrace to every thing Christian.

Posted by: dtom21 at September 14, 2005 10:06 AM
Comment #80443

Kathy-
Look, freedom of religion is also the freedom to offend other religions. Just because people talk bad about Christianity, doesn’t mean that they can do anything about it, or that we will do ourselves any good by hitting back at them.

If we are right, then we will be rewarded for taking the hits that we do.

This country was founded by Christians, but folks with a strong sense that this country could not remain united and free, if the government had any say in what religions thrived and which did not, and if the citizens who believed in one religion had undue power over those who believed in another.

The Separation of Church and State is a truce, especially in terms of public education. I won’t push my religion on your kids, you won’t push it on my kids. Unfortunately, some people have reacted to that truce as if the absence of religious influence constitutes a religion itself.

It’s not. It’s not having Anglicans teaching religion to Catholic Children, Catholics not having undue influence on Methodists and Baptists, and so on and so forth. Some people take it to absurd extremes, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s allowed people of all different faiths to associate as equals, rather than rivals, contributing to the unity of our nation. Some may be protestant, some evangelical, some atheist or followers of eastern religions. Some may even be Scientologists or something of that sort.

But all are American, living under the same laws, with the same freedoms. It may not be the control that some want, but if we really have faith, then we will understand that Control is not important, grace and acknowledgement of God’s will is. Our forebears in the ancient church suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Romans. If they can persevere under such circumstances, who are we to get up in arms about a wayward government that mostly leaves us alone?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 14, 2005 10:20 AM
Comment #80488

Kathy,

In my opinion, President Bush has repeatedly humiliated himself. When you examine his policies, not necessarily his principles, the objective viewer sees failure time and time again.

From a stagnant and misguided Administration before 9/11, President Bush became the rallying point AFTER that tragedy. Unfortunately, he used it (as most politicians would I suspect) to promote their own agenda. Unfortunately, President Bush developed a series of poorly formulated policies ranging from the unprecedented use of US forces in a preemptive war (based on false pretenses) to putting unqualified people with the right connections in positions of enormous responsibility (Mike Brown at FEMA).

Both 9/11 and Katrina reveal President Bush as being out of touch with the situation. By doing nothing for 7 minutes after being told that the SECOND plane hit the World Trade Center along with praising Mr. Brown, President Bush was the perfect example of someone who did not have command of the situation or facts.

As for offering prayer and charitable contributions, I encourage your effort. However, be aware that President Reagan worked to have charities take over responsibility from the Federal Government. Back in the 1980s, he helped change public opinion on the Federal Government being anyone’s safety net. That’s one big reason why charities are so important these days.

From what I’ve seen over the past few years, the only groups that are included in today’s Federal safety net are the incredibly wealthy, big oil, and Halliburton. The Bush Administration even short changes US Veterans when it comes to healthcare and support.

As for disparaging your faith…to be honest, it doesn’t seem like anyone has done that.

Posted by: Peter Moran at September 14, 2005 1:49 PM
Comment #80495

It is an unfortunate reality that we now find ourselves with the government we deserve. A majority of the American people went to the polls and voted for a person who over simplifies the complex issues of today. He sounds great for 29 seconds. He injects humor where it doesnt belong. He offers tax relief and suggests that what ever that money would have been spent on is not our reasonability. And we love him for it.

Now, when we find ourselves faced with a crisis of unbelievable proportions the fact that he continues with his witty remarks and simple-minded approach should not surprise us. After all, thats why we elected him in the first place. The American public needs to wake up to the fact that today we have the president we deserve and that if we continue to elect government based single issues without concern for the bigger picture. We will most likely find ourselves in this position again. The president must represent all the people; He or she needs to take into consideration the needs of all Americans even the ones who didnt vote for them. That has become a very rare point of view in Washington at late.

The question that we all should be asking ourselves between now and Nov. 2008 is: Have we gained any wisdom about what is truly important in life, or are we going to be hoodwinked again.

Posted by: Dave at September 14, 2005 2:35 PM
Comment #80587

Bush could not possibly really believe in GOD. He has lied about so many things, One has caused the death of what could be over one hundred thousand people. Don’t you think that if he were really a believer that he would have been struck by lightning already? Aren’t you people tired of being fooled?

Posted by: Frank Bicknell at September 14, 2005 10:50 PM
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