One thing that has always bothered me about the man is his use of language. Some of that is his cultivated "bubba" image that just annoys me. But part of it is the choice that he and his team makes in their message control. For example, his use of the word "murderers." For some reason that bugs me. It isn't that the term isn't accurate, but it seems rather simplistic, and also seems like a desire to frame the debate. In this case, it serves to frame the violence in Iraq as if it is just the issue of "killers" run amok rather than some kind of political or ethnic strife. In other words, these aren't just young men on a lark to kill, are they? They are participating in ethnic violence, right?
But the interview reiterated a lot of his talking points. Not only does he invoke Joe Lieberman's name whenever he can, but he insists that, as he put it, "– and, listen, I listen to a lot of folks here in Washington. I listen to the military people, I listen to people who are critical of the policy, I listen to Republicans, I listen to Democrats, and I listen carefully for which strategy would yield – would most likely yield success, and the one I picked is the one I believe will." Except, as SOF has noted, the only plan they really listen to and even consider is their own.
Few other notes from the interview. How does he get away with this?
PRESIDENT BUSH: And let me also say to Ryan, thanks for serving. I mean, one of the amazing things about our country is that we have people who volunteer to go. And one of the things I look for is whether or not we're able to recruit and retain, and we are. And it's a remarkable country, Juan, where people are saying I want to serve. And I appreciate that soldier, and I hope this message gets to him that not only do I appreciate him, but a lot of Americans appreciate him.
I understand he is in a tough place and would seem bad if he didn't mention appreciating the troops. But how does he do this without reflecting on his own decisions as a drunken spoiled rich kid during VN? How did he reflect the values of our country?
He goes on to answer the question about the omission of Katrina from the SOTU and essentially says that he has talked about it enough and that everything is fine. "But no, our response to the Katrina recovery has been very robust. And I appreciate the taxpayers of the United States helping the folks down there in Mississippi and Louisiana." No taxpayers in those areas, I guess. None who have contributed to a general sense of shared struggle? I truly hate how this President and his group of Republicans address the issue of taxes. Not all taxes are bad and in fact many are investments in a larger society. To say nothing of the lie that his response to Katrina has been robust. Nothing this President has enacted as policy has been implemented successfully. And much of that is due to his own incompetence.
Then there is his living in a bubble. Is he naive or is this just more lying?
Distrust? That's unpossible. Why would we distrust you, Mr. President when you have either ignored dissent or labeled it unpatriotic?
But it requires a lot of political, you know, capital to be spent. And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it.
MR. WILLIAMS: So, some people would say, well, if you believe in spending restraint, why haven't you vetoed one bill, you know, one appropriations bill?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Because the United States Congress that was controlled by Republicans exercised spending restraint.
Then there is this from C&L (originally from the NYT)Bush has claimed more control over rules. This tickles me because I have been arguing with an idiot over at Jesus Politics about fascism. The idiot claims that Hillary is a fascist because of, well the reasons are hard to pin down, but the same idiot ignored the list of actions taken by this President to undermine our Constitution and centralize power in the hands of the President. Here is another:
"President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.
In an executive order published last week in the Federal Register, Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president’s priorities.
This strengthens the hand of the White House in shaping rules that have, in the past, often been generated by civil servants and scientific experts. It suggests that the administration still has ways to exert its power after the takeover of Congress by the Democrats.
The White House said the executive order was not meant to rein in any one agency. But business executives and consumer advocates said the administration was particularly concerned about rules and guidance issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration."