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...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, September 16, 2005

Why This Was A Good Week For Bush

In the wake of one of the largest, most vituperative media-led outpourings of rage regarding the Federal government response to Hurricane Katrina, this week, over a fortnight after the destruction she left in her wake, comes a startling upshot:

This week has been very good for the embattled US President.

It's quite simple really, and I'm not sure people who attack the present administration are quite aware how simple. At least, their actions seem to indicate not.

The reason why it was a good week, is that President GW Bush was allowed to look presidential -- again.

For all the derisiveness given a so-called lame-duck administration, that un/fortunate consequence of term limits to the American Presidency, the fact of the matter is that an administration in this country is not subject to the "panelada" method of democratic uproar seen in many South American countries, whereby thousands of irate citizens take to the streets, banging pots and pans until their leaders acquiece or leave.

It might give vengeful satisfaction, but it is no solution to their ills.

Worse than that, it forestalls any real maturation of a nation, as sweeping out one dreck for another, just starts this tawdry process again, like a child who kicks back in anger when corrected, but finds itself even more punished when the tantrum has passed.

And so it came to pass especially this week, that President Bush took the offensive, in counter-attack mode, seconded by his staff, advisors, and cabinet.


  • Went to the United Nations to challenge the body to show greater solidarity against global terrorism; to increase aid to beleaguered countries; to combat disease and poverty.

    If his presidency was judged only 2 weeks ago to be in disarray, it is as nothing compared to the corruption, misappropriation, and back-handed oil-for-food scandals which have plagued UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for YEARS now, and for which he had to mea-culpa himself last week. The inference is quite clear: if one is debilitated, the other is nearly discredited. The alternative offered at the UN is even more compromised and even more of a lame-duck than anything the US has to offer.

  • Continued touring the devastated areas, as mainstream media begin to wane in its aftermath coverage.

    This, of course, is inevitable, since what MSM want to show is chaos, lives torn asunder, lack of "response" by federal authorities. As soon as the tanks of the National Guard started to roll in, 3 days later, the coverage was noticeably different, since areas formerly violent, were increasingly controlled. People were rescued by the military with derring-do. Relocation was underway, with neighbouring states lending a hand.

    People may have been deluged with cries of "Where's the President?" by media, but in so pushing the issue, it allowed the President quite simply to respond.

    And that's all the American public want to see -- a response. The blame game is there for others with other agendas to play.

  • Michael Brown, director of FEMA, was sent packing. This might be the normal scapegoat reaction at work, but it deadened the idea that this administration never accepts blame for anything. It's as if Condoleeza Rice had been fired after 9/11. Accountability is a very difficult thing to complain about, when you're doing something about it.

  • As Judge Roberts was grilled by overly-tanned senators with smug expressions on their faces, berating him to reveal his "ideology", it made it even easier to see who are the true ideologues in this debate, and the answer this week, was not John Roberts.

    The timing of the Hearings has been crucial. The appointment to the Supreme Court had, of course, happened before Katrina was even a swirl in the Atlantic.

    And as much as the Senate Judiciary Committee pressed, harrangued, and relived the election ghosts of 2000-2004, the more John Roberts looked earnest, competent, and above all, moderate -- both individually, but especially in comparison.

    For a president made out by some as an evil embodiment of all things extremist, he chose the most milquetoast of men to lead his one-sided campaign to reinvent America in his own conservative image. And it seems the public liked what it saw.

  • And finally, tonight, the US president gave one of the best speeches he has given since his stirring Inaugural Address. It was clear. It was proactive. It spoke eloquently to what needed to be done, not the least of which is to give hope to his fellow citizens. It had, what his father used to complain about, "the vision thing".

    For a president who even his worst critics know likes a strong visual impact, tonight's message in front of NOLA's Jackson Square, with a simple shirt evoking the rolled-up sleeves blue-collar spirit of recovery, redolent of that beige jacket amidst the Twin Tower rubble, in short, it was a take-charge kind of moment.

    It was presidential.

  • Most Americans want nothing more for things to work. They want to be left in peace, to live their own existences, without ideologies cramping their style.

    When things go wrong, they do something about it. And blame is always there to spread around.

    By overplaying their hand, the vitriol flung at one man blamed for everything wrong in this world, allowed him to make things right.

    This week was his easily best week since July, during the ill-fated G8 Summit.

    And there's still one Friday Surprise which might be in store for us today.

    Could it be Theodore Olson or Edith Jones nominated to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's position?

    UPDATE: Forget it. I hadn't realised today had been announced as National Day of Prayer for Katrina victims. With the sense of appropriateness that runs deep in him, he will not cloud today's import, taking away from the solemnenity of Friday's purpose. Monday -- a nomination for Supreme Court Justice? I think so. Especially since it's been announced, he will visit the affected areas yet again on Tuesday, his 5th such visit in 3 weeks. Bang bang bang, one event after the other, and just like that, the dog days of summer, where MSM crowded around Mrs. Sheehan's circus during his holidays, are over.


    • The UN appearance was even more audacious: Bush amplified his G8 offer to end all farm subsidies and tariffs if other developed nations *cough*Europe*cough* agreed to the same... Now he offers that all trade be free.

      It seems like a pipe dream now, but so did Reagan's zero option offer at Reykjavik. Both meant it.

      By Blogger JSU, at Fri Sept 16, 03:09:00 am GMT-4  

    • Bush had a good week because he is genuinely good and has been working hard to improve the plight of the Katrina refugees. Americans have to be turned off by the Bush bashers like Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, etc who contribute nothing but try to gain political points. Bush will emerge stronger from all this by continuing to take the high road and avoiding bashing Nagin and Blanco who should have done a much better job for their people before and after Katrina.

      By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Fri Sept 16, 09:13:00 am GMT-4  

    • A president that gives 800 numbers in an adress to a nation does not look good.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sept 17, 11:01:00 am GMT-4  

    • A President like Mr. Clinton who called 800-numbers looked worse.



      By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Sept 17, 11:56:00 am GMT-4  

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