Friday, September 15, 2006

Come On, Baby - Let's Do The Twist

Posted by codemorse

From The NY Times, courtesy of This Modern World:

...the other striking feature of [Bush's] conversation is that he possesses an unusual perception of time. Washington, and modern life in general, encourages people to think in the short term. But Bush, who stands aloof, thinks in long durations.

“I got into politics initially because I wanted to help change a culture,” he says, referring to his campaign against the instant gratifications of the 1960’s counterculture. And he sees his efforts today as a series of long, gradual cultural transformations. Like many executives, he believes that the higher you go, the further into the future you should see, and so his conversation is filled with speculations about the long-term effects of deep social trends — the current religious awakening or the politics of volunteer armies.

Sitting between busts of Lincoln and Churchill, [Bush] continued, “My hope is to leave behind something — foundations and institutions that will enable future presidents to be able to more likely make the tough decisions that they’re going to have to make.”

“Ideological struggles take time,” he said, explaining the turmoil in Iraq and elsewhere. He said the events of weeks or months were just a nanosecond compared with the long course of this conflict. He was passionate on the need for patience and steadfastness. He talked about “inviolate” principles written upon his heart: “People want you to change. It’s tactics that shift, but the strategic vision has not, and will not, shift.”


Ideological struggles take time? The kind of time this Administration did not allow for when planning the invasion of Iraq?

Patience? The sort of patience he refused to exercise when it became clear that the UN inspectors were, in fact, not finding any WMDs in Iraq, and that the reason for this was almost certainly that there were no weapons to be found?

Believe it or not, I have some sympathy for Mr. Bush. At day's end, I think he's doing what he believes is right. The problem is that we disagree entirely on what is "right," and how to go about doing it.

The craven image-creation this Administration has engaged in, from making Bush simulataneously " stand aloof" and be "a man you'd want to have a (non-alcoholic) beer with", to having him simultaneously insist that he doesn't read the papers, yet reads Camus; to situating him between the busts of two historical emancipators, is enough to throw distrust all over what he "stands" for.

The simple, sad truth is that it just doesn't matter what Bush and Co. say anymore. Our own ideological trenches are dug far too deep to change opinions on "the Great Divider". That's damn ironic, considering that it's an ideological struggle we're involved in. The sort of down-the-rabbit-hole logic that's now employed is the essence of flip-floppery. It's worse than any change in position John Kerry ever made, and it's worse because unlike Kerry, Bush is in charge of the country. Bush is the champion of a swift, decisive victory in Iraq before he was always aware that such a struggle might take years and years and years to "win." Bush wanted to unite the country, not divide it - until it became politically expedient to divide us more than we've ever been in my lifetime. Bush wants to protect freedom - and to do so, he'll remove every last one of America's civil liberties.

For every Republican who claims that the division in this country is the fault of cut n' run liberals who care more about dividing a nation than they do about healing it, I say this:

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.


Why is there such "Bush Hatred" right now?

Easy - because despite his seemingly-sincere desire to "do something" about terror, his methods, his philosophies, and his party's approach to politicking is worthy of disgust. Do I love the Dems and their approach? Hell, no. But then the Dems aren't currently fighting in government to consolidate even more power into a single branch of government, are they?

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