Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush's Lobotomy

For nearly a quarter century, Karl Rove has been George Bush’s political mentor. Bush calls him “the architect,” the “boy genius.” Others have called him “Bush’s brain.”

Bush has demonstrated nothing but incompetence and an uncanny inability to lead with the “architect” or “boy genius”at his side, how bad will it be if he is making decisions based on his own thought processes?
Is it me or is that prospect frightening?

Tom Raum writes:

Now, with a federal grand jury nipping at Rove's heels in its CIA leak investigation, the president may have to contemplate the previously unthinkable: managing without his right-hand man.

Rove helped Bush create a political persona and steered him to victory in two Texas gubernatorial and two presidential races. He polished Bush's message, nurtured ties with conservatives, oversaw crisis control and helped frame major policy initiatives.

"He's the president's alter ego on political and domestic policy," said veteran Republican strategist Charles Black. While Rove's most important past service to Bush — as a campaign strategist — is no longer needed by Bush, "he's still very valuable in terms of running domestic policy," Black said. (I was not aware that he had a domestic policy)

Rove is also helping to steer GOP efforts to expand their congressional majorities in the 2006 midterm elections and is seen by some as a would-be GOP kingmaker for 2008.

If Rove, 54, is forced to resign, it would be a major blow to a presidency already reeling from low approval ratings, the war in Iraq, rising gas prices and the aftermath of two Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Some Republicans suggest the investigation has already taken a toll, weakening and distracting Rove. Some even suggest the botched early response to Hurricane Katrina and the flash of indignation from the political right over the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination might have been averted had Rove been more hands-on(Who's the President, Rove or Bush?).

It's hard to imagine Bush without Rove (sorta like Dr. Evil w/o Mini-me). Some Rove colleagues say, privately, that he is all but irreplaceable. They suggest nobody else now on the scene combines Rove's intimate knowledge of both politics and policy while also enjoying the full confidence of the president.

Rove's title, that of deputy White House chief of staff, hardly shows the enormous influence he wields.

Once Bush's "brain" is removed, can we expect things to get worse? Can they get worse? Maybe Bush can call in sick for the next 3 years.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at October 11, 2005 4:28 PM
Comments
Comment #84972

Andre:

Seems to me that you’ve settled on the “Bush is an idiot-it’s all Rove” viewpoint, as opposed to the “Bush is an evil genius” viewpoint. Both are typically the product of a shallow thought process, requiring little depth of intellect and even less imagination, since they began in the late 1970’s during Ronald Reagan’s rise to prominence.

I’d think you’d be happy rather than frightened at the prospect of Bush not being able to produce results. Regardless of what you think of the direction of the US under Bush, if you take even the remotest glance at the history, you’d be forced to admit that Bush has gotten his way on a good many things. You’ve taken potshots at nearly all of these things (tax cuts, Iraq, stem cell research, etc) so I’d think you’d be happy to think of Bush not being able to get his way.

That all depends on how instrumental Rove has been. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Rove falls under the wheels (which I don’t think will happen) and Bush continued to be able to get his way? What would you surmise then? Perhaps we might just find out. Time will tell.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 11, 2005 5:45 PM
Comment #84981

Yeah, “Turd Blossom” has always been the training wheels on Bush’s bike, and I don’t know about you Andre, but he sure is coming off rather wobbly to me lately.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 11, 2005 7:34 PM
Comment #84988

Just like a pyramid scheme, Bush would seem to be just a little brighter than those who fall for it, but obviously to those who avoid pyramids (and the kool-aid), Bush is an empty suit surrounded by those who are the ones that are just a little brighter than those who continue to support this administration!

Bush is nothing more than what his father’s money has allowed him, a hilariously empty suit at that!

Posted by: dtom21 at October 11, 2005 8:10 PM
Comment #84992

Ah, it’s just wonderful watching Rasputin and Richelieu (Rove & Delay) twist in the wind. Considering their respective despicable careers, rotting in prison would be a glorious karmic retribution for all of the damage they have done to our nation. Jesus may forgive them, but decent, fair-minded Americans never will - nor should they.

Posted by: roger at October 11, 2005 8:50 PM
Comment #85018

Joe,

No offence but Reagan’s “rise to power” actually started in ‘66’, when he went from actor without an act to Governor of California. He chose mot to run for a third term and was President 5 years later.

Posted by: Rocky at October 11, 2005 11:15 PM
Comment #85075

Andre:

IMHO
Lets let the EMPORER do what he does best…Vacation in Crawford. That seems to be the only thing he and his Cronies do well.

As Always,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at October 12, 2005 1:24 AM
Comment #85131

Roger,

Ah, it’s just wonderful watching Rasputin and Richelieu (Rove & Delay) twist in the wind. Considering their respective despicable careers, rotting in prison would be a glorious karmic retribution for all of the damage they have done to our nation.

I dunno for Delay, but Rove damages expands way over your nation borders.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 12, 2005 6:23 AM
Comment #85155

I, for one, don’t buy the “bush’s brain” credit given Rove. He’s a hatchet man of the rankest sort, to be sure, but one need only look at the STATEMENT OF PRINCIBLES of the “Project for the New American Century” to discover the BRAINS OF BUSH. Just look at the line up of neo cons who began who began this conservative think tank.
Elliott Abrams- bush’s current deputy national security advisor who was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress during the Iran/Contra investigations.
Gary Bauer-a Reagan domestic policy advisor and current head of gestapo for ouramericanvalues.org
William J. Bennett-whose solution to rising crime rates is aborting all African American babies
Eliot A. Cohen-major contributor to the project’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century, the “How to…” book for bushes invasion of Iraq, published two months before bush’s election.
Midge Decter- who, on the Warren Olney show in 2004 ADMITTED “We’re not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We’re there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.”
Paula Dobriansky- bush’s undersecretary of state for global affairs
Francis Fukuyama-current member of the President’s Coucil on Bioethics
Frank Gaffney-former Reagan administration Assistant Secretary of Defense and current head of Center for Security Policy promoting development of space based nuclear weaponry
Fred C. Ikle-former Reagan undersecretary of defense for policy
Zalmay Khalilzad-native afghan and current US ambassador to Afghanistan
I. Lewis Libby-Judith Miller’s source
Norman Podhoretz-member of the United States Information Agency under Reagan
Peter W. Rodman- bush’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
George Weigel-money launderer for Oliver North while at the The Puebla Institute
AND a cast of usual suspects who certainly need no introduction
Paul Wolfowitz
Jeb Bush
Dick Cheney
Steve Forbes
Donald Rumsfeld

Yes, bush is an idiot… a pretty face with a fairly innocuous history in 2000… who was as qualified then to be president as Mike Brown was to be FEMA director. But neo con has given him an extremely intellecual, if perverse by all humanitarian standards, supporting cast. Rove is just a junkyard dog.

Posted by: THOM HOUTS at October 12, 2005 8:34 AM
Comment #85160

Rocky:

I should have been more clear. I meant to refer to Reagan’s national rise to power as opposed to his rise primarily in California.

The point, however, was to show a pattern of how the media and the left have portrayed Republicans as either evil or stupid. It happened with Reagan, Quayle, Bush 41 and Bush 43 on the stupid aspect, and others such as Rumsfeld, Nixon, Cheney, Rove and Gingrich among others on the evil aspect. (Of course Repubs and the right paint Democrats as fuzzy little kumbayah liberals with no spines, so I know it goes both ways.)

The best thing Bush has had going for him is the constant effort by Democrats to underestimate him. In the debates against Gore, Bush had to merely show up in order to have a decent showing against the “formidable debate champion” Gore. And when Bush did well, it was in such stark contrast to the perception that it helped him incredibly.

Thom:

Interesting that you claim Bush had no qualifications to the Presidency. I guess then that you would have to rule out Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as having been qualified as well. Bush, as the twice elected governor of one of the largest states in the Union, had a higher credential for office than either of them.

Also interesting how you mischaracterize Bill Bennett’s comment. Bennett of course spoke poorly, but never advocated aborting anyone, much less blacks. And that you so blithely paint him as you did shows a stunning lack of depth on your part. There are many ways to paint Bill Bennett properly—some in a good light, some in a bad light. But when you go over the top as you did, moving well beyond any conceivable fact or quote, then you willingly give up the right to be considered credible.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 8:54 AM
Comment #85169

Interesting topic. Did anyone see that Newsweek poll?

49 percent of Americans in the new NEWSWEEK Poll say Bush is “a bad manager who doesn’t know enough about what’s going on around him and below him.”

JBOD and Miers may think President Bush is brilliant, but a lot of other Americans have a different perception.

It kinda reminds me of President Harding and his brain, Harry Daugherty. Daugherty escaped a conviction, but the guy who did his dirty work committed suicide after he got caught. I wonder how the Plame thing will work out…

Posted by: American Pundit at October 12, 2005 9:22 AM
Comment #85184

AP:

I think you’ve mischaracterized my comments about George Bush. Its easy to do when you are just looking to score easy points. Remember also that Miers’ comments about Bush being the best governor ever were from a birthday card—hardly the kind of document that should be used to determine one’s opinions of another.

I’ve steadfastly said that I think Bush is a good President, and certainly a better choice in these times than either Al Gore or John Kerry. I don’t think of him as “brilliant”, but I have seen him be successful in achieving his agenda. Now, people can disagree with the agenda, but not with the cold hard fact that he has achieved much of what he has set out to achieve, from a policy perspective. That takes a measure of political ability, especially considering that Republicans did not control the Senate in his first two years of office.

Bush is not an intellectual, but then again, some of the smarter people I know are not smart because of their education. They can read people and read situations, and they are not subject to “paralysis by analysis”, as I suspect Kerry and especially Gore would have been.

I’ve talked about areas where I think Bush has done a good job, and also areas where I think he has done a poor job. His initial response to Katrina was poor, his current response good, and if he doesn’t simply allow money to be thrown at the situation, his future response is good. Transportation bill—shoulda been vetoed, and should certainly be looked at now due to Katrina etc.

All in all, I like Bush as President and I think history will like him. Then again, general public opinion for Presidents improves over the years. They become sort of like the backup quarterback on a football team—-they are benign so they are liked.

Anyway, I hope this gives you a clearer view of how I see President Bush. I’m not asking for your agreement with my position, but I thought you might find it useful so that you wouldnt have to stoop to inaccurate characterizations of my position.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 10:13 AM
Comment #85197

Dear Philippe, you are correct. In fact, Mr. DeLay’s xenophobic zeal has probably hurt as many of our overseas friends as he has Americans. I love my country dearly and always will and I add my apology to the world to that of the rest of us who were unable to put an end to the madness last November despite the dire warnings of scientists and diplomats of all political stripes.

Mr. Bago’donuts, there is a very good reason why it is so easy to throw stones at your president. He is by any factual account an absolute failure who may yet bring ruin this once great nation that we love so dearly. The simple fact is that your arguments ring shallow and hollow and belie reality. If history is written by anyone other than a pharmaceutical lobbyist, James Dobson or Ann Coulter, it will show that very clearly. So the Bush administration has been effective at pulling the levers of government. Big deal, it proves nothing whatsoever and only invites comparison to leaders like Stalin who were also extremely effective at pushing through their horrifying agendas.

The twisted, contorted efforts that Rush and O’Reilly provide their diminishing number of sycophants to avoid reality and support this white house puppet and his pillaging minions would be laughable if it were not so damaging. By any reckoning America is weaker militarily, economically, environmentally, socially and culturally than at any time since before WWII and that fault rests squarely on the current Congress and administration run by a despicable Republican party and left unchecked by a spineless Democratic party. To think otherwise is simply keeping one’s head in the sand. To continue supporting Bush is downright dangerous to us all. I for one do not wish to have to learn Mandarin, but if we continue to let the troglodytes have their way, that may just be our future. The sky is in fact falling.

Posted by: roger at October 12, 2005 10:56 AM
Comment #85200

Roger:

As much as I appreciate your viewpoint, I disagree with it. The sky is not falling. We are a strong nation that has been through a lot. In the past few years, our economy has gone through the effects of 9-11, several of the largest bankruptcies in history, the accounting scandals, and the tech bubble burst. It is still a good economy despite this. It could be better, but when compared to other countries, our economy is doing alright. Our unemployment rate is low in comparison to Europe for example.

There are chinks in our armour, to be sure. Entitlement spending continues to be high, medical care and health insurance continue to skyrocket, Social Security is a problem, and the overspending by our elected officials is terrible.

But I’d suggest that you could look back at many moments in history and find negative things to look at. That you would say that “America is weaker militarily, economically, environmentally, socially and culturally than at any time since before WWII” and then blame it all on the last 5 years is rather an incredible statement. You ignore the first 55 years since WWII ended and focus all the problems on the past 5 years—-that alone shows your statement to be simply an exercise in hyperbole.

Roger, my opinion is that America has lived a little too much of the “good” life, created to some degree by mortgaging our future. Some of the chickens are coming home to roost, which is why we must look at Social Security, welfare, health insurance etc, and determine how to prepare for the long run without simply pushing costs back to the next generations.

Despite all this, our country remains a world power, remains able to respond to catastrophes like Katrina, and remains able to muster up charity around the world when disasters happen. Compare the earthquake in Pakistan and the relief efforts there to New Orleans, and you discover that however bad New Orleans must have been, it pales in comparison to what the people of Kashmir etc are facing. There IS no comparison, and that in a microcosm shows some of the strength of the United States.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #85212

joebagodonuts,

” Both are typically the product of a shallow thought process, requiring little depth of intellect and even less imagination,”

Name calling?
Thats your response to my post?
I’m lacking imagination and intellectual depth?
If you choose to back a President who has accomplished nothing, unless you count crushing debt, military quagmires and blatant dismissal of science in the areas of the environment and health issues, you may. I just happen to not support one of the worst Presidents in U.S.history. Question my patriotism. Say I’m endangering the troops, we’ve heard it all before.
If you can list the policies that the “Evil Genius” has accomplished I’d like to hear them.

You said “if you take even the remotest glance at the history, you’d be forced to admit that Bush has gotten his way on a good many things. You’ve taken potshots at nearly all of these things (tax cuts, Iraq, stem cell research, etc”

He got his way, that makes him smart?

It makes his entire administration appear to be corrupt, inept and reckless but it does not reflect well on his decision making when it comes to the interests of America and the people he is supposed to lead.
Insult me all you want. G.W. is an idiot and should never been voted into office.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 12, 2005 11:57 AM
Comment #85214

Joe,
Lots of people achieve their agendas, but that does not mean that their agendas are for the greater good.

Criminals can have agendas to.

Being able to talk OUR basically ONE party congress into something does not necessarily make the the idea a good one. IE.the war in Iraq.

Remember that there is such a thing as Mob Mentality, where the group reacts to a small group and follows suit. Regardless of whether the reaction make sense or not.

Posted by: Linda H. at October 12, 2005 12:18 PM
Comment #85215

Andre:

Watchblog has a “critique the message, not the messenger” policy, which I heartily agree with. In no way did I call you names, nor did I say that you lack “imagination and intellectual depth”. I did say that your comments about Bush were lacking in imagination and intellectual depth, and I backed up why I feel that way. Additionally, I made no reference to your patriotism or endangering the troops. In fact, I didn’t even mention the troops in any manner, so your comment about those issues are merely a straw man comment.

“Bush has demonstrated nothing but incompetence and an uncanny inability to lead with the “architect” or “boy genius”at his side, how bad will it be if he is making decisions based on his own thought processes?”

Andre, in the above comment, you say Bush has been unable to lead. I showed you that he has led the country by implementing his policies, albeit that you think they are misguided. Bush’s ability to get his policies implemented is a mark of leadership. Whether his way is the right one or not is a separate matter for debate (and I doubt we’d ever agree on it), but as I stated, there is no way to suggest that he has not led our country in his direction.

In the future, it will be helpful if you respond specifically to what I have written, rather than what you may wish I have written. I suppose you are free to put words in my mouth, but they will nonetheless be YOUR words and not mine. Intelligent readers will be able to recognize the difference.

Lastly, and by the way, the word in your title should be “lobotomy”, not labotomy. FYI

Posted by: Joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 12:20 PM
Comment #85220

Sorry Joe, but it just doesn’t add up. It’s not hyperbole to see the truth. And exploiting 9/11 and the long over tech bubble are simply no longer viable arguments.

Unemployment is not lower than other industrialized countries because they actually add up all of their unemployed, not just those applying for benefits like we do.

Able to respond to Katrina? Are you sure you don’t want to retract that one?

The “good life” huh? By that do you mean our former standing as #1 in lowest infant mortality, math and science education, middle class wealth distribution and virtually all other traits of a modern society? Those were the results of the 55 years of progressive government and the gifts to our country that the right-wingers have squandered.

Perhaps you mean a “mortgaging of our future” where our national debt was not held by other countries who could pull the plug on our economy in an instant? Or maybe the mortgaging of our future where working folks’ pensions - which used to be lock solid - are now at serious risk. Maybe you ought to ask why Bush administration officials and the Congressional leadership are fighting so hard to reduce the federal government’s committment to protecting pensions.

Accounting scandals huh? Did you ever consider Reagan & Bush II deregulations which have had a direct impact on the government’s ability to nip such problems in the bud.

Our economy is doing alright? Are you kidding? People are working (those who are) longer, harder hours for less money in real dollars. I suppose those bad old days where one parent could work and support a family was just too much of the “good life” for you. This “alright” economy you talk about is propped up by huge Chinese debt ownership and an overheated real-estate market. Our children’s children will still be paying for this “alright” economy.

But it’s okay to put us at such risk as long as the queers can’t marry and our kids can have creationism rammed down their throats, isn’t it?

These are the chickens coming home to roost. Yes, I say without the slightest hesitation that these problems are rooted in the last five years. There is no question anymore. The fool took two very questionable election victories and claimed a mandate that simply didn’t exist. The democratic party stopped representing it’s own base and went along for the ride. Now we’re all paying for the recklessness of a fake majority.

In his 2000 State of the Union address, Bill Clinton stood before the American people and claimed that “The state of the union is the best it has ever been”. Not a single credible person was able to claim otherwise without causing hysterical laughter. What part of eight years of peace, strength and prosperity built upon the previous 40 years of not-always-perfect but overall solid liberal governance don’t you understand? Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans and all we got out of it was a great economy. All you folks could focus on was a blowjob and made-up stuff about land deals that just didn’t exist. It’s just sad.

How about this for not mortgaging our future: let’s not spend untold billions on tax cuts for the top 1% that do absolutely nothing to help our economy. Let’s not start wars on countries that do us no harm, on false pretenses, that cost us hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s not continue to give billion dollar tax breaks to companies that hide their profits overseas. Reactionary use of welfare queen ideological straw dogs to claim that “Entitlement programs are still high” is just not a real argument. There’s simply no comparison in real dollars.

I’m sorry, but the time for nice discussion is over. There’s simply too much at stake now to play nice with those who would sacrifice this country on the altar of false patriotism, a zero sum game version of capitalism and religious zealotry. Here’s some right wing hyperbole right back at you: Why does the right wing hate America so much to put it at such risk?

Bush: worst president ever. Period.

Posted by: roger at October 12, 2005 12:47 PM
Comment #85223

Roger:

Your ability to see the cloud behind every silver lining is quite real.

I’m not going to respond to each and every one of your complaints, since its obvious to me that you’ve reached your conclusions. When you lose the ability to consider that events from a mere 4 years ago do in fact still impact our economy, then I fear you’ve lost the ability to seriously consider your conclusions. When you ignore the impact of 55 years of US history in order to lay blame on the last 5 years, that shows an inability to recognize reality.

Its interesting to note that both you and Andre separately brought up the false patriotism straw man. And in response to what? I wouldnt know, having NOT mentioned patriotism in my comments to either of you. Perhaps its just easier to write your comments with the fill-ins….You remember the booklets little kids used to play with where the sentences had pre written statements you could use.

Linda:

I specifically didn’t comment on whether Bush’s leadership was good or not. I commented only on his ability to lead. I did so because that was specifically what Andre claimed Bush does not have—leadership.

Discussing what Bush is leading the US towards is an entirely different topic, and leads to the hyperbolic kind of comments you can see in a couple previous posts. I know I won’t convince Roger to think differently, nor will he convince me of his viewpoint. That’s exactly why I chose not to focus on that aspect.

I like having one party in control for the following reason: When there is virtually equal control between two parties, gridlock ensues because either party has the power to stop the other guy, but not enough power to move forward.
Gridlock is simply a slow death, but one that has no alternative but death. If you are blindfolded on the middle of three train tracks and you feel a train coming towards you on your track, you can stay put (gridlock) and certainly die. If you leap left or right, you might also die (could be two trains…) but you have a chance. I’ll take the chance over certain death anytime.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 1:07 PM
Comment #85226

joebagodonuts,

The point of the post is that Bush is a failure with Rove, I dread how poorly he will do w/o him.
Thank you for the spelling correction.

You are as much a part of the problem as the Bush administration. G.W. can fail at his job but somehow you want to look at his performance as president through rose colored glasses or blame partisan politics rather than looking at the facts.
He has done nothing to better the United States. Is that not his job? Getting your way is not leading. Manipulating slack-jawed bible thumpers is not leading. Twisting intelligence to fit your needs is not leading. Appointing friends who are not qualified for their positions is not leading.
What has he done to prove himself as a leader?
What has he done to help the average American?
What has he done to unify the American people?
What has he done for the economy?
What has he done to improve Americas image?
What has he done to improve the environment?
What has he done for health care?
Education?
The military?
Give me something that resembles a fact that proves he has done something good for America and it’s citizenry with Rove at his side and in his ear for the past 5 years as president.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 12, 2005 1:36 PM
Comment #85232

Whoa! Roger and Andre, great replies!

Posted by: Adrienne at October 12, 2005 2:02 PM
Comment #85236

Andre:

Anything I use as positives for Bush, I’m sure you will find a way to dismiss. But let me start anyway with the economy.

The US economy was headed downwards at the end of the Clinton tenure—that much is fact. The economy continued downward during the first 2 years Bush was in office. It has since grown steadily for the past 3 years, with jobs being created (i know i know, you’ll say the jobs are lowpaying ones, but check out Factcheck.org to see why that’s wrong), unemployment at low levels, the stock market up over 20 some % etc. This despite having had the after effects of 9-11, accting scandals, bankruptcies etc.

The economy really seemed to move forward after the tax cuts. Perhaps it was just coincidence. The economy still has a long way to go, but no one with any level of economic understanding can say that the economy has not improved in the past 3 years.

Unification: I don’t think this will happen. I don’t think the left WANTS to be unified with the right, and vice versa. Both are willing to let the other side come to them, but are not willing to move themselves. Bush has not accomplished unifying the country, but I don’t know who will in the current political climate.

America’s image: The short term answer to this is that Bush has hurt our image overseas. On the other hand, they hate us now and they hated us then. Europe (and France particularly) didnt like us that much during Clinton’s tenure, and they like us less now. But in the long run, I think the world has gotten a level of respect for America. To be honest, I don’t want Europe liking us, if it means kow-towing to their desires. Their desires havent always been good for us or for the world. Sometimes an honest slap in the face to register some reality is required.

Environment—Bush has been typically bad for, in my opinion. In trying to balance ecology with economy, I think he goes too far towards business.

Military, Education HealthCare: Bush is simply the current President presiding over these issues. They’ve been issues for a long time. Clinton had 8 years to fix them…didnt do it. Bush 41 had 4, Reagan had 8 Carter had 4…didnt do it. If anything Clinton hurt the military by not funding it enough…look it up. He did so because he didnt plan to use the military as Bush has, rightly or wrongly.

Bottom line, Andre, is that I can point to many good things. You will disagree with most of them. That doesn’t make me wrong, though.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 2:13 PM
Comment #85242

jbod, you are half right
as a man who won his governorship on a racist platform, Carter was eminently unqualified to be president, and his presidency proved it. As a successful attorney, a successful attorney general, a gubenatorial candidate that lost twice while winning five times while raising every measurable standard in the state of Arkansas, Bill Clinton was eminently qualified to be president, and his sexual peccadillos aside, HIS PRESIDENCY PROVED IT. And finally, as a failed oil man, a failed baseball owner, and the governor of a state whose legislature meets semi-annually, who failed there by nearly every measuable standard except overfilling jail cells and raising their debt, Bush WAS unqualified to be president AND HIS presidency proves it.

As for Bill Bennett, I know he dismissed his remarks as facetiousness. But inasmuchas neither he nor the administration he works for has EVER promoted a viable plan for reducing crime, it’s hard to believe that he has any other plan other than his ‘facetious’ one.

Dismissing ME as not credible, from chapter 6 of Coulter’s “How to talk to a liberal”, may work in your head, but failing to attack my character assessments of the other 17 names I listed, proves that neo con has surrounded the president with an army of extreme right wingers whose agenda is American world domination.

Posted by: THOM HOUTS at October 12, 2005 3:12 PM
Comment #85252

As much as I dislike Bush I think it’s unfair to call him a complete idiot. Sure I disagree with his politics on virtually every issue under the sun, nevertheless you have to give some credit to the man for simply being able to rise to the position of POTUS, Rove or no Rove.

I think that our current state of affairs is as much the fault of the Democrats as it is the Republicans. Ever since Bush v. Gore the Democratic party has become the “no” party. Every Dem I see in the media simply takes the position opposite the President and sits there reciting their mantra.

“No…no…no.”

You don’t like W’s policies? I don’t either, let’s find a better solution. That’s how you beat your opponent, by showing the electorate that your approach is better, not merely by naysaying everything that comes out of the man’s mouth. Let’s get constructive.

Ever since the 2000 election the Dems have acted like they’d just been stood up on prom night, it’s about time they got off their collective backs and DID something about it.

Posted by: Christian at October 12, 2005 3:33 PM
Comment #85253

Thom:

I disagree with result based thinking. To judge Carter unqualified to be President BECAUSE of the results of his presidency is false logic. One can be eminently qualified and still not be successful (take Herbert Hoover as one example). Its really the Peter Principle in action. I was stating that all three men were equally qualified by having been elected governors of their respective states. An argument could be made that the more important the state, the more qualified the governor, but I didn’t even go there. By the way, if you compare Arkansas preClinton to Arkansas postClinton, you see pretty much the same state. If you can prove me wrong on that statement, I’d love to see your statistics on it.

Thom, you are simply relying on faulty logic in your assumption on the rest. I pointed out your comments about one person, and you jump to a conclusion because I did not write a point by point thesis on the other 17 you mentioned.

I’d have to research a number of them in order to respond, but I was simply pointing out your gross mischaracterization of what Bill Bennett said. Not even those who oppose Bennett have said that he favors abortion of black children. He said something very poorly, but even his next statement said how ludicrous a solution that would be. You have heard his next statement, havent you?? Or have you simply stopped listening because you heard all that you wanted to hear?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 3:41 PM
Comment #85258

joebagodonuts,

Do you believe that the list of positives outweigh the negatives?

I do not like this president. I fear what he is doing to the United States.

I really want you to know that I am not some granola-eating liberal.
I believe that we should all take care of ourselves. I believe that the welfare system creates dependency. I believe that all pedophiles should be locked away for good. I believe in fiscal responsability. I do feel that we need to maintain a strong military.
My dislike for the President has nothing to do with party affiliation. I don’t vote Democrat. I vote for the best candidate.
He is the worst President in recent history.
If you feel that our economy has been strengthened by G.W. that’s fine. I see the crushing debt that the war in Iraq has caused as devestating to our future. You see the division in this country as something unfixable, I see it as something that was caused by this administration in 04.Blue vs. Red, Libs vs. Conservatives. It was a division created by the government to have the ability to blame partisan politics whenever they were being held accountable for their actions or inactions.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 12, 2005 3:56 PM
Comment #85270

My god man, you’re stooping to defend Bennett’s idiocy? Where were you when they were lying about Al Gore’s internet quote? This is just ridiculous. This country really needs a “have you no sense of decency” moment right now.

You’re right Joe. What were we thinking? The real dark clouds over America must be Janet Jackson’s boob and the trial lawyers. How can we have been so dangerously ignorant? Please, enjoy your fantasy-world because those of us in the reality-based community no longer have the luxury of being able to listen to these silly arguments. We’re too busy working to undo your damage. Have a nice day.

Posted by: roger at October 12, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #85312

Andre:

Thanks for your perspective. Seems like there is room for us to agree on a bunch of things. I agree with you on your list of what you believe in. Allow me for a moment to deliniate myself: I come from a family of 11 with a range from very conservative to wildly liberal. I grew up in 3rd world Asia where my parents ran a hospital to help the poorest people. I believe we have a responsibility to help those who have less than us, but that its best to offer a hand up rather than a handout. While religious, I’m not a Bible thumper or proselytizer—I do feel comfortable sharing my faith with those who want to hear about it.

I believe America is strong. While we face problems, they are not insurmountable nor are Americans unready for the task. Changes need to happen (Bush oughta figure out how to cut spending and do it NOW), gerrymandering leads to incumbents winning most of the time, and the polarity has been going on long before 04. But it is getting worse. The fact that we can be so polarized and still work within the Constitution, as opposed to having coup de’tats is a great thing about our country.

I appreciate your finding areas where we can disagree. Perhaps we can also find solutions to the problems, despite our different outlooks.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 6:46 PM
Comment #85315

Roger:

I do so love it when people like yourself get on their high and mighty horses and make arrogant assumptions about their relative level of knowledge and understanding.

I don’t recall defending Bennett’s remark. What I did was clarify it and add the second part to it. If you only read half of his comment, it looks far different than if you read the whole thing. I said it was a stupid thing for him to have said, and a stupid example for him to select.
Nonetheless, its been well overplayed. Were he a Democrat or liberal, it would never have even made the news. Remember the Corrinne Brown in Florida who said that all Hispanics and white people in the Bush admin “all look alike to me.”? Of course you don’t—-it didn’t make headline news even though she is an elected official. Bennett is just a radio talk show host.

Roger, your comments show a serious anger level. That’s okay until it limits your ability to see clearly.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 12, 2005 6:53 PM
Comment #85336

As a liberal who occasionaly eats granola, I still have to agree that Bennett got a bad rap, and I read the whole statement. I do, however believe that Bush is the worst president I have seen in my lifetime, and I am 80.

Posted by: Warren Dace at October 12, 2005 8:43 PM
Comment #85341

Sorry, I’m done for now. As mentioned before there’s simply no more time to even bother responding to silly dogma and obfuscation. If you want to call that arrogance, I’m fine with that.

Posted by: roger at October 12, 2005 9:53 PM
Comment #85505

NO ONE, myself included, actually thinks Bennett or the Administration SUPPORTS abortion of all African American fetuses as the solution to rising crime rates. Anyone who refuses to support abortion for the sake of saving a woman’s life wouldn’t support abortion under any circumstance. You miss the point. Bennett, and the administration, fail to present ANY viable plan to reduce crime.
The administration’s policies have created a larger population of impovershed Americans. You want to reduce crime, REDUCE POVERTY.
The administration’s tax cuts have resulted in fewer cops on the beat. Fewer and less well trained. Fewer cops, dumber cops, and poorly paid cops generate crime.
The administration’s failure to address illegal immigration with a cohesive and comprehensive plan has resulted in unprecedented border crossings of impovershed aliens.
Even the administration’s abridgement of personal liberties via the so called Patriot Act have failed to reduce crime.
Perhaps neo con can tell us what, if not the abortion of Black Babies the administration has done to reduce crime… and then he can blame the liberals for its failure.

Posted by: THOM HOUTS at October 13, 2005 6:03 AM
Comment #85541

Roger:

The sum total of your final post was a grown up’s version of the teen comment, “WhatEVVVVVER.”

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 13, 2005 7:51 AM
Comment #85553

Thom:

A couple thoughts for you:

Posted by THOM HOUTS at October 13,2005 06:03 AM

“NO ONE, myself included, actually thinks Bennett or the Administration SUPPORTS abortion of all African American fetuses as the solution to rising crime rates.”


Posted by THOM HOUTS at October 12, 2005 08:34 AM

“William J. Bennett-whose solution to rising crime rates is aborting all African American babies”

Thom, I’m glad that you don’t believe it. But you did write it in the first place. If you don’t believe it, then kindly explain what your purpose was in writing it.

Secondly, what facts are there to support your idea that crime rates are rising? Below is a CNN story saying just the opposite:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s crime rate was unchanged last year, holding at the lowest levels since the government began surveying crime victims in 1973, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

Since 1993, violent crime as measured by victim surveys has fallen by 57 percent and property crime by 50 percent. That has included a 9 percent drop in violent crime from 2001-2002 to 2003-2004.

I haven’t researched this much, but the above Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate the crime rate has actually dropped since 1993, and was statistically level between ‘03 and ‘04. Unless you have access to different statistics, I’d be inclined to say that the premise of your argument is flawed.

You say the crime rate is increasing and due to current administration policies. I don’t see evidence of fact in your comments, but I’m open to you showing facts.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 13, 2005 8:22 AM
Comment #85555

joebagodonuts,

Thanks for the debate.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 13, 2005 8:28 AM
Comment #85620

Joe,

America’s image: The short term answer to this is that Bush has hurt our image overseas. On the other hand, they hate us now and they hated us then. Europe (and France particularly) didnt like us that much during Clinton’s tenure, and they like us less now.

Sure, in august 2001 (yes, before 911) a Pew Research Center poll shown that 68% of french were approving Clinton previous foreign policy when they were only 16% to approve Bush newest one (mostly Kyoto rejection by august 2001).
So you’re absolutly right, 16 is less than 68, no doubt.

Alas, you’re half wrong too because 68% of approval means we didn’t hate Clinton’s US because, well, do the math…

But in the long run, I think the world has gotten a level of respect for America.

Respect? No. Worry at best, anger and fear at worst, but not respect. World Respect is exaclty what your country lose recently from my point of view.
US appear less and less as a model of moral and democracy to follow to many.

Sometimes an honest slap in the face to register some reality is required.

He he. I agree but I’m not sure whose face you’re talking about, though…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 13, 2005 1:14 PM
Comment #85637

Philippe:

It would be more salient to know how the French thought of Clinton when he was in office—that would be a more accurate picture than what they thought of him after he had left. The picture changes….look at how Nixon was looked at in later years as opposed to during his Presidency. The focus changes.

But, even then, I imagine Clinton’s numbers were better. Sometimes having people like you is not the right thing. For instance, I can have it be said that someone supports me in a certain job, but they might like me there because they can take advantage of me. They would certainly tell others how good I am, but only for their own benefit. I think Bush HAS ticked off lots of people, but in part because he has called them on things (oil for food BS, nuclear capabilities, sanctions, resolutions compliance etc).

The slap in the face is for those who oppose you for the wrong reasons. Sometimes the slap gets their attention. Of course, sometimes you slap the wrong person and …..look out.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 13, 2005 3:04 PM
Comment #85771
It would be more salient to know how the French thought of Clinton when he was in office

Comparing both will be even more interesting, but unfortunatly I didn’t find such poll in such short time.
Anyway, and I know that just my opinion here, I remember that in fact many french found Clinton great and, after the Republicans empeachment attempt, even greater.
:-)

I can have it be said that someone supports me in a certain job, but they might like me there because they can take advantage of me. They would certainly tell others how good I am, but only for their own benefit.

That why I found the august 2001 poll result interesting here. European Clinton approval rates at this time couldn’t be motivated by self-interest anymore.
However, former president vs new one play on such poll, sure.

I think Bush HAS ticked off lots of people, but in part because he has called them on things (oil for food BS, nuclear capabilities, sanctions, resolutions compliance etc).

At august 2001, that was mostly Kyoto Bush rejection and maybe the NPT focus on non-proliferation side only. Europeans interpreted the former as a “fuck the environment” and the later as “do as we say not as we do” sent to the rest of World and are still very angry about these first Bush moves. Then came War On Terror with the famous “us or them” and the Iraq war race…

Anyway, what I just want to point out is that Europeans US foreign policies disapproval raise drastically with Bush, not since Clinton.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 14, 2005 5:52 AM
Comment #85836

Bush’s Lobotomy…

With Rove gone, Bush will likely not be left to deal with the ‘Merkin’ public without some other mouthpiece in tow, but it will be interesting to see what his handlers have to do do to keep this just-post-simian elocutionist from completely blowing the fragile cover.

Maybe this nightmare and national embarassment will finally be over.

Posted by: Blogical at October 14, 2005 4:15 PM
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