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  xThursday, November 21, 2002

the responsibility president


Eleanor Clift has more on Bush's tendency toward impreciseness, flights of fancy, or whatever the "liberal" media wants to call it to avoid portraing his statements as the falsehoods they are.
...it’s not true that Bush is a man of his word. He has shimmied and shifted in lots of areas, including Iraq, manipulating language the way Clinton did and exaggerating in the same way that he once pilloried Gore for doing.

Even though there is no credible evidence linking the Iraqi president to the 9-11 attacks, Bush persists in suggesting on the campaign trail that Saddam might use Al Qaeda as his “forward army.” Polls show that two thirds of Americans believe Saddam was behind 9-11, a useful myth irresponsibly fed by Bush. The president said in a speech last month that Saddam is experimenting with unmanned drones capable of reaching the United States with weapons of mass destruction. When confronted with the geographical improbability of such a feat, a White House spokesman countered that the drones could be launched from ships. Unless Iraq has an aircraft carrier we don’t know about, that scenario is equally implausible.

But Bush carries on, his reputation for honesty and integrity unchallenged and his image as a plainspoken Texan touted at every turn by his loyal followers. Another case in point is the battle over the proposed Department of Homeland Security. Bush initially had no interest in a big reorganization, probably with justification. It’s a mammoth undertaking; it would take years to accomplish and the payoff in terms of making the country safer is questionable. Yet Bush embraced the idea when the war on terrorism was faltering, and when the legislation stalled in the Senate he saw an opportunity to link national security with Democrats holding up the bill. He could have reached agreement some time ago on the personnel issue blocking its passage, but instead he held out because he knew it would force Democrats to resist him and either look unpatriotic or turn on their base—the federal unions whose job protections are in dispute.

Compared with taking the country to war based on a body of lies, Bush’s duplicity on domestic issues doesn’t seem as egregious, but the pattern is disturbing. On the budget, he has managed (or mismanaged) the biggest fiscal reversal in the country’s history. Part of the loss of revenue is the result of 9-11 and the recession, but Bush has totally abdicated his responsibility in steering the country out of the financial mess. His response is to gloss over the $300 billion loss from the balance sheet, pick a fight with Congress over a symbolic $13 billion appropriations bill and then claim he’s fiscally responsible.

There is hardly an issue where Bush hasn’t pulled a fast one. The rules he announced with great fanfare this week to make it easier to move generic drugs onto the market were passed by the Senate in July. Bush opposed them then; now with polls showing voters think he hasn’t done enough on domestic issues, he’s flipped.

How does he get away with such crass duplicity? The media doesn’t want to disturb the story line. Gore was the prevaricator; Bush was intellectually challenged. So when Bush fiddles with the facts, the media doesn’t see malevolence. They see a man who’s not articulate, who doesn’t speak with lawyerly precision.

Folks, Bush ran on a platform of character, responsibility, and integrity. In effect, one of his campaign pldeges was honesty, which means that when Bush is (frequently) dishonest, he's being doubly so: he's lying, and he's belying his promise not to lie. And the "liberal" media plays along.

(via History News Network)