Monday, June 18, 2007

Bush-Bashing: It Keeps Getting Easier

These days it can be hard to be tougher on the Bush administration than its conservative critics. Yesterday, I participated in the roundtable discussion on ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and the lead subject was the latest Middle East crisis. Though Hamas bears responsibility for the violent coup it mounted in the Gaza Strip, I was prepared to blast the Bush White House for having botched Middle East policy for the past six years. But I quickly realized it would be hard to outflank conservative commentator George Will. Here's how the roundtable opened:

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH (on tape): Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It did not turn out as President Bush hoped five years ago this week in the Rose Garden. That was President Bush on June 24th, 2002, when he called for the Palestinians to replace Yasser Arafat. Here to talk about where we are right now, I'm joined by George Will, David Corn of "The Nation" magazine and our White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. Welcome. And George, you heard Senator Biden. He laid a lot of blame for this Hamas coup this week on the president and the White House.

GEORGE WILL: Well, this administration so fervently believes in the tonic of democracy as a transformative elixir. I mean, this president, what you just showed said, well, we'll have elections and this will produce tolerance. Actually, I think they've got it backwards. First you get tolerance, then you try democracy. Elections haven't gone well in Lebanon, where it produced Hezbollah. It hasn't gone well in Iraq, where if anything, it's aggravated the sense of sectarian differences. It hasn't gone well in Palestine. When, against the urgings of the Israelis, we pressed for the elections that overthrew Fatah, who we were backing and put in Hamas, Condoleezza Rice said nobody saw it coming. Those four words are the epitaph of this administration.

"Nobody saw it coming"--that could apply to the administration on many levels. And Will delivered this indictment with complete disdain. Next, Martha Raddatz, ABC News' White House correspondent, piled on:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Martha Raddatz, the Israeli Prime Minister is coming here on Tuesday, so what can the administration do right now? The officials I talk to say they're trying to say this is an opportunity to build up president Abbas now that he has control of the West Bank to himself.

MARTHA RADDATZ: But I don't think they really have any idea how to build up Abbas. I mean, it hasn't worked so far. There's corruption. They seem to be in denial about Hamas, and they've been in denial about Hamas all along. I remember the president very early on said look, they didn't vote for Hamas because of terror. That's not the reason they voted. Well, he should take that lesson now because people want jobs, people want money, people want a way of life that they may find in Hamas that they didn't find in Fatah. So this is far from solved. It's far from solved in the West Bank whether they'll have any power. And I think right now you probably see the White House scrambling to come up with some sort of opportunity or even what to say.

Incompetence, denial--what's left? Now it was my turn:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although, David, can an isolated Hamas actually provide these opportunities to its people in the Gaza strip?

DAVID CORN: Well, no, it can't, which is why the situation could get worse there. You could have a humanitarian crisis with 1.4 million people there cut off from water, electricity and food supplies which come in through Israel. I mean, let me agree with what George just said, said that in addition to the administration, you know, getting the tonic wrong, I think they really believe that speechifying was more important than the hard work of diplomacy. I mean in the Clinton years, they had the Oslo agreement and there was a lot of diplomacy back and forth. The Bush people came in and they that - they actually threw it aside with a lot of disregard and believed that they could sort of elevate the issue by giving these grand eloquent speeches about democracy, and that would do the trick, and they let the hard work of diplomacy, I think, go to the side. And now we're paying the dividends.

So right, left and center agreed: Bush blew it in the Middle East. When it comes to support from outsiders, the Bush White House is basically left only with the small neocon crowd (and some of its allies, such as John McCain). And even many neocons blast the Bush administration for screwing up their war in Iraq. (And they're fit to be tied about Bush's refusal--so far--to pardon Scooter Libby.) Bush-bashing is becoming too common and, alas, even easier than it once was.

Posted by David Corn at June 18, 2007 11:10 AM


Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Driftglass [], in his latest "Sunday Morning Coming Down" installment, says of the GOP:

"Now, one after another, they [the Evil GOP Bastards] are all coming down with Sudden Adult Onset 'Dubya Who-ism' and demanding to know who in the Hell let this crazy person run the country!"

Alas, the Rethugs might get away with it, since their friends still control the Corporate McMedia.

Still, it's fun to see the rats leaving the USS Bushtanic. :)

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Forget about the ease of the bashing - we need to stop the insanity and preserve the rule of law by impeaching the neocon cabal.

Lest we forget more than one of our brave and best will lose their life today. Not because Bush is bashable but because Bush and his crew are criminals.

Some sweet little kid or adult child lost his or her daddy on fathers day.

Someone lost their life partner, brother or sister, son or daughter so Bush can claim his impunity to err.

Bashable is so six years ago.

I know you have posted your opinion about impeachment not being good for the Democratic party. The REAL question is:

Do you think Bush and his ilk should be impeached for their crimes?

(set aside the issue of what is good for either party)



capt said...

"Sudden Adult Onset 'Dubya Who-ism'"

SNORT! titter - giggle.

All I see these days is the once blind supporters claiming they couldn't see it coming.



capt said...

Matthews: "Do Americans want to return to the Hillary model of first lady, or do they like the Laura Bush model?"

On the June 17 edition of the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, host Chris Matthews, leading off the discussion topic "What are Americans looking for in their next first lady?" asked "The Matthews Meter" -- composed of 12 of his regular panelists, including June 17 panelists BBC Washington correspondent Katty Kay, Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman, and MSNBC host Tucker Carlson -- "Do Americans want to return to the Hillary model of first lady, or do they like the Laura Bush model?" All 12 panelists responded that Americans want "the Laura Bush model."

Guest Michele Norris, host of NPR's All Things Considered and the only panelist on the June 17 show who is not a participant in "The Matthews Meter," said that she did not think the question was "reflective of what you actually see on the campaign trail this year." Norris continued, "what you see are people who, who actually reflect the way many women live. They're juggling careers and kids and you see a very different kind of spouse on the road."

Unlike Kay and Carlson, Fineman identified himself as "a voter in The Matthews Meter" and added that the choice between Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush "was the only choice we were given." He then said that Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), "has a chance to be something different because I think she's more comfortable in her skin" than Hillary Clinton. He continued: "Michelle Obama is a younger woman, more confident, more settled as a professional person and wife." Michelle Obama, who was born in January 1964, is 43, only one year younger than Hillary Clinton, born in October 1947, was in 1991, the year before Bill Clinton was elected president.


capt said...

New Thread

Gerald said...

Ivory Bill, great comment!

Capt, yes Bush is a criminal!

Chris Matthews is a lapdog for the Nazi Party!

Diane Rehm, today, had a great guest who wrote a book on the contractors. I cannot understand the lack of outrage from Americans and the filtering of the money that is not going to our soldiers and the reconstruction of Iraq.

I must continue to believe that the United States of Evil is truly evil.

People, we are going down for a brutally hard landing. The sight will not be pretty!!!