Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Waiting on the SOTU

I don't normally comment on these sorts of things, but as we await the President's annual address to Congress, the media keep telling me that the George W. Bush's approval rating has gone down by 30%, that more than two-thirds of Americans oppose the way that Bush has handled the war, etc. etc.

So 1/3 of Americans used to think that W was a good President and Commander-in-Chief, but now realize that this is not the case.

From them, I want to hear an apology.

Is that too much to ask?


openmind said...

When I voted the last time, I saw my vote as not a ringing endorsement of W, but rather a choice between the lesser of two evils. Do you think Kerry would be a better president? Do you think Kerry would have handled the war in Iraq any better?

bonobo said...

Back in 2000, I saw the Gore/Bush race as one between the lesser of two evils, primarily because Al kept pandering to the middle and playing up his socially conservative credentials in the wake of Monica. It didn't help that I was a music-junkie teenager in the era of Tipper and the PMRC. Anyway, the point is, I voted for Nader. I was in a safe Gore state (and I actually checked all of the final opinion polls before I went to the polls), but I had sincerely convinced myself that 4 years of a mostly harmless compassionate conservative might be worth it if the Dems would stop taking the base for granted. I was foolish and wrong. And for buying into that wrong-headed notion then, I do apologize now.

The big problem was that I hadn't fully considered the ramifications of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Rice, and Rove in positions of power. It's not just the President, it's the administration.

Going back to your original question, whatever my opinion of Kerry (and it has fluctuated quite a bit over time), I do believe that a Kerry administration would have brought with it more competence at State, the Pentagon, and the U.N.

In addition, I think that there are things that a new administration could have accomplished that would have been outside the reach of the current administration even if they wanted to try them. Under Bush we've alienated our NATO allies, nationalized a somewhat ideologically fragmented Iran, lost our reputation for neutrality in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and tied battlefield strategy too closely to domestic politics.

So I understand what you are saying, that in the absence of faith that Kerry would be a better Commander-in-Chief and a preference for things like making the tax cuts permanent, a moderate Republican might have voted for Bush despite misgivings. I disagree with that position, but I understand it.

My problem is with the people who are now retracting ringing endorsements based on information that they had available long ago. As Webb put it, "predictable, and predicted."

Anonymous said...

Did you see "Smiling Pat Tiberi" during SOTU? He was happily and vigorously applauding everything Bush said - and CNN got a big full head shot of him doing it.

political outcast said...

You voted for Nader?

Ha! What a waste of a vote!

Paul said...

I'm registered as a Republican, but select candidates based on what I sense in the way of intelligence and integrity. Consequently, Bush II never got my vote. I voted for Carter in his first election because I thought having an engineer as President would be a good thing, and I admired his integrity. I also thought it would be good to have a President not beholden to the Beltway community. I missed detecting that he couldn't lead.

I voted for Clinton on his first run, because I thought he represented the mindset of my generation. And he was another guy from outside the Beltway. I came to have a problem his integrity.

The only reason to vote for Kerry is to oust Bush, and that was almost enough for me. Couldn't do it though. I voted for the Libertarian.

I don't know if we'll ever get a candidate who is an intelligent leader of high integrity who can achieve office without dragging along a sackful of political obligations.