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Russert, Bush and Optimus Prime: My One Issue Vote Has Been Cast

I've wavered on my support for Bush. Several times, I said right here that I made the decision to vote for him only to retract it later on when he did something to turn me against him. I looked at the Dem candidates and realized there is no viable alternative for me. Now, with Kerry looking more and more each day like he will get the nomination, I've found my way back to Bush's corner. There are too many things about Kerry that I don't like to even begin listing them here. He's a self-absorbed rich boy running on a populist ticket. Frankly, he frightens me. I keep waiting for the moment when he will pull off his mask to reveal that he is really Megatron. And if Kerry is Megatron in my mind, that would make Bush my Optimus Prime. What it comes down to is this: In 2004, I am a one issue voter. If Bush is, like he declared in today's interview with Tim Russert, a war president, then I am a war voter. Bush:
I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind. Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true. And the American people need to know they got a president who sees the world the way it is. And I see dangers that exist, and it's important for us to deal with them.
That's what I want in my president. In this age, when terror alerts come every few days and every country seems to have a group of jihadis hiding in its corners, that is what I need to hear. I don't want a president who is going to negotiate with terrorists. I don't want a leader who looks for root causes instead of rooting out the terrorists. And I certainly don't want a president that will undo everything that has been already done in the war on terror. Bush on the 9/11 commission:
And again, we want I want the truth to be known. I want there to be a full analysis done so that we can better prepare the homeland, for example, against what might occur. And this is all in the context of war, and the more we learn about, you know, what took place in the past, the more we are going to be able to better prepare for future attacks.
Right. 9/11 already happened. Whether or not our security was shoddy in the months preceding that day is - I won't say irrelevant, but not of the utmost importance to me at the moment. I want to know what is going to be done to prevent that from happening again. I want a president who has that as his first priority - to keep our nation safe. I want a leader who is not afraid to take on the world, when it needs taking on. The reality is that there are hundreds of groups out there who would love nothing more than to wipe America off the face of the earth. And like Optimus Prime, my leader will be able to transform into whatever is needed - a retaliator, a nation builder, a pre-emptive striker - to make sure that the citizens of his country are kept safe from terrorism. Bush on bin Laden and al Qaeda:
These are these are people that will kill on a moment's notice, and they will kill innocent women and children. And he's hiding, and we're trying to find him. ..I know there is a lot of focus on Iraq, and there should be, but we’ve got thousands of troops, agents, allies on the hunt, and we are doing a pretty good job of dismantling al Qaeda, better than a pretty good job, a very good job. I keep saying in my speeches, two thirds of known al Qaeda leaders have been captured or killed, and that's the truth.
And every supposed imminent terrorist attack that the al Qaeda cronies boast about have never come to pass. How many flights have been grounded in the past few months alone due to intelligence information about terror attacks? I don't know about you, but that tells me our war on terror is working. If it wasn't, we would not have known about those plans in advance and we would have a lot of dead people on our hands. On the WMD threat:
I believe it is essential that when we see a threat, we deal with those threats before they become imminent. It's too late if they become imminent. It's too late in this new kind of war, and so that's why I made the decision I made.... It's important for people to understand the context in which I made a decision here in the Oval Office. I'm dealing with a world in which we have gotten struck by terrorists with airplanes, and we get intelligence saying that there is, you know, we want to harm America. And the worst nightmare scenario for any president is to realize that these kind of terrorist networks had the capacity to arm up with some of these deadly weapons, and then strike us. And the President of the United States’ most solemn responsibility is to keep this country secure. And the man was a threat, and we dealt with him, and we dealt with him because we cannot hope for the best. We can't say, Let's don't deal with Saddam Hussein. Let's hope he changes his stripes, or let's trust in the goodwill of Saddam Hussein. Let's let us, kind of, try to contain him. Containment doesn't work with a man who is a madman.
That's good enough for me. It's good enough that I will pull the lever for Bush in November, because I don't think there is a single other candidate capable - or willing - to recognize the dangers that exist, the depth of the hatred of our prosperity, our freedoms, our non-Muslims ways that lead madmen and their followers to engage in attacks on the United States and other free countries.
Russert: It's now nearly a year, and we are in a very difficult situation. Did we miscalculate how we would be treated and received in Iraq? President Bush: Well, I think we are welcomed in Iraq. I'm not exactly sure, given the tone of your questions, we're not. We are welcomed in Iraq.
Read this and get back to me on that. There is nothing more imporant to me than securing the world for my children and their children. Safety, fighting terrorism, spreading democracy, taking madmen out of power - they all are part of one big issue and - as it has been since September 11, 2001 - it is the only issue that matters to me. What good is dealing with health care and marriage definitions and teacher testing if we don't first make sure that five, ten, even twenty years from now we still exist as a whole, free nation? Optimus Prime Bush for President. I am a one issue voter and he is the only one who satisfies my needs on that particular issue. Update: Full disclosure: I did not watch the interview, I merely read it. I really don't know how Bush appeared, the tone of his voice, the inflection of his words, his body language, etc. - all of which are important things to take into consideration. A review from someone who watched it would help.


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Kerry is a self-absorbed rich boy? That description fits Bush much better.

Read this and get back to me, Boz.

I think the rise and fall of Howard Dean shows that, despite themselves even Democrats are looking for security (despite having indulged a wild fling with Mad Howie on the Foaming-at-the-Mouth Express). And in an election over security, accomplishments trump promises every time.

I have had one too many discussions with people who just can't comprehend the danger we face and how irrelevant all the other issues will be if we don't address the most major with a fervor. Although Bush has been a bit disappointing to this Consevative at times, he's doing exactly what he said he would and he understands the threats we face quite clearly. I do not want to live like the Israelis.

If you are a one-issue person, and that issue is security - I cannot for the life of me understand why you would vote Bush. He has shown continually that when it comes to security, he will always do the most politically expedient thing versus the thing that keeps us safe. He resists independent investigations and drags his feet on others. He diverts resources from the imminent threats while ignoring our "allies" who support terror.

And Michele - a right wing radio hack in the Murdoch owned NY Post? What, was Limbaugh busy? You know better than that.

Ok, Oliver. You got me on the allies thing. I wish Bush would wash his hands of the Saudis once and for all.

Now tell me how Dean or Kerry would make this country any safer. Convince me they can.

Dean and Kerry would both fully fund homeland security (versus cutting testing of chemical warfare and firefighters). They have both advocated making Iraq a true international operation so that assets and money could be freed up to continue dismantling Al Qaeda - while also not pushing Iraq to have a phony democracy that will blowback towards us.

It's the difference between understanding that in a time of war, the citizens at the very top of the tax bracket can do without one more Lexus so that cops and firefighters have the tools they need, and when our soldiers are fighting the enemy they don't have supply disruptions and the proper body armor to keep them safe.

Senator Kerry, Senator Edwards or Governor Dean (and Gen Clark) are NOT the isolationists wimps they are accused of being.

Allah knows who he's voting for!

Ah, the old "raising taxes makes us safer" theory. Clinton and friends (Clark, Kerry) spent nearly a decade gutting the military. GW Bush has had to rebuild it while fighting a war. Funny how now military budgets matter to the Dhimmicrats.

Internationalism? The political version of letting my neighbors choose my new car and my investment portfolio for me, then demanding more control over my life when their choices prove disastrous. As over two dozen countries have assisted in the liberation of Iraq, what possible excuse can there be for dragging the preening narcissists of the EU into it after the war is won? They had plenty of involvement in Iraq before the war anyway, as Hussein's ample sanctions-busting trade record is now revealed.

And what's the exit strategy for the Bosnian quagmire? We went in there without a plan, man! Clinton lied when he said Milosovic was a threat to us! He didn't say Milosovic was a threat to us? Then what the F*** was Clinton thinking, sending Americans into harm's way while the French, Germans and Belgians sat on the sidelines, eating cheese, sipping wine, and criticizing?

If your house catches fire, do you stand around wringing your hands waiting for your neighbor to notice, come running, and risk life and limb to fight the fire? If so, and you'd then criticize his actions, you may officially consider yourself a citizen of Old Europe.


I had some comments right after the interview, but I can expand on the body language/delivery question.

He looked uncomfortable, which is understandable, considering it was Russert in front of him.... But, more than anything else, he looked determined. He would stutter sometimes, but his stutters are not a lying-man stutter, more like a nervoussness/overeagerness stutter. In several questions, such as the "we are not welcomed in Iraq" premise, or on why Europeans don't like us, he looked and sounded downright defiant.

I know it's a cliche, but he did look presidential.

One of your best posts ever.

Then what the F*** was Clinton thinking, sending Americans into harm's way while the French, Germans and Belgians sat on the sidelines, eating cheese, sipping wine, and criticizing?
Oh, I dunno, stopping a massive genocide or something like that. I still remember a time when the President told us the truth about why we went to war.

Ah, the old "raising taxes makes us safer" theory. Clinton and friends (Clark, Kerry) spent nearly a decade gutting the military. GW Bush has had to rebuild it while fighting a war. Funny how now military budgets matter to the Dhimmicrats.
Raising taxes? No. Cutting taxes for the middle class, yes. Not for Ken Lay & Co. That military that Clinton "gutted" did a pretty damn good job in Afghanistan - and they would be better off if the current resident of 1600 penn hadn't stretched them beyond their means to act as security for Halliburton's newest market opportunity.

Is it too late for Optimus Prime to run as a write-in candidate?

Bush gets it. He's cast off decades of encumberances because it's too important to leave to the whims of diplomacy and conflicted agendas.

It's enough for me. I'm pissed off about the pandering and the spending...and I sigh and say you gotta get re-elected. Perhaps I'm more frustrated with the electorate than those decisions?

I watched it. The usual pack of lies, obfuscations and self-serving aggrandization. Pandering, pandering and more pandering to the racists and thieves among Bush's cronies and Americans who have no problem with looking like a pack of bullies.

And Kerry's a rich boy? Gee, and I thought he actually worked at something in his life, unlike former Governor Bush, who as Jim Hightower once said, was "born on third, and thought he hit a triple."

Extremely interesting and entertaining post. I missed the interview, as well, and I was told that my "boy" had really put his foot in his mouth. When it comes to this issue, however, I know better. This is why I voted for him in 2000 and barring a serious breach of contract, I'll vote for him in November. John Kerry is a special-interests candidate who took money from the Chinese, and that right there is enough for me to turn my attentions firmly elsewhere. (though I do admit that this and past administrations' fealty to the Saudis makes me highly uncomfortable as well)

Oh, I dunno, stopping a massive genocide or something like that But stopping the genocide of Arabs and Kurds in Iraq is not worthy? Only saving light-skinned people is worthy of our efforts, despite the fact that their able neighbors failed to act?

I still remember a time when the President told us the truth about why we went to war. If you remember Truman then you pre-date my personal memories.

Middle-class tax cut is Dhimmicrat-speak for "allowing" low-wage earners to keep an extra $1.50 a week of their earnings, while gouging everyone else. Funny how the demarcation for "The rich" seems to start at an ever-shrinking level when the Dems write the tax tables.

Kerry sounds just like any other dimocarp when it comes to national security read this article on how he would "talk directly with North Korea" and Iran. Bill Klinton all over again. Throw money at the problem and pretend it ain`t there. "Move along people, nothing to see here" and "think happy, happy, joy, joy thoughts" while the world erupts in flames.
I say "No thank you very much". Nothing is consistant about Kerry except his penchant for wooing rich women. I have hundreds of links on this clown and the only conclusion I can come to is that he is a superb con man.

My comment-to-be turned into a post. I hate linking in other people's blog, but I think a 1000 word comment is worse.

er.. "blog" -> "blogs"

This is an excellent article Michele. It echos another excellent Kerry article at my blog written by cassandra

Oliver: Have you not heard of this photo? This web site is a little off the wall for me, but due to the lawsuit, the Beeb has taken their pages offline. This site shows how the bogus photo/video was used, even Time Magazine fell for it.

There are dozens of European anti-war web sites that have documented frauds that the Allies used to justify the bombing of Serbia.

It is too bad you missed the telecast, Michele. The best answer he gave to any of Russert's inquiries was the look on his face after Tim finished spitting out the AWOL issue lead in. Absolutely priceless. Kind of semi-sour, I can't believe this shit kinda look, that he held for a just a second or two.

See that the discussion thread includes the esteemed. Mr. Willis. Also see that Oliver is still a acting like a buffoon wearing his 'I hate Bush' blinders, with so little clue about the things he's talking about. Tip - Oliver, when you venture off and talk about the military, the downsizing, its effectiveness, where that effectiveness came from, or what the military is or isn't capable of; when you start talking about the reasons for opting in to actions such as Kosovo, Afghanistan (round 1 versus round 2) or Iraq (take your pick versus the actual invasion), and the differences in how they were executed, just let me offer one observation.

Son, it's almost painfully obvious that you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground on these subjects, and are clearly making it up as you go along. And not very well, either.

Oh, I dunno, stopping a massive genocide or something like that. I still remember a time when the President told us the truth about why we went to war.

Oliver, it's bad enough that you perpetuate the LIE, YES LIE that the situation in Kosovo was 'genocide.' We fought that war because of the supposedley "hundreds of thousands" of people killed.

That entire operation was based on nothing but a lie and you're still licking Clinton's boots over it.

Let's tote up the rebuttals. One from someone who calls everyone who disagrees with him a communist, the other from someone who refuses to believe that there was any sort of genocide in Kosovo.

You guys are beyond help.

Hmm, let's see, seems I got left out. Didn't clal you a communist, and haven't denied that there were some pretty nasty things that have gone on in the Balkans.

But let's see about that - probably not a card carrying member of the party, and probably even not the exact face pictured by a Politburo member considering the concept, but a perfect fit for the role of 'useful idiot'. Check.

Natiness in the Balkans - yes, it happened, sometimes in almost plain view of the much vaunted 'International Peacekeepers'. Did that raise the issue to the level of something in the National Interest of the United States? Did it ever truly rise to being a concern of that level. Absolutely not. And as such, regardless of who bought in, bought out, or just offered no opinion from a seat of government in Europe, that wasn't America's battle to fight. Disgusting pictures from foreign lands on television aren't a national crisis, Oliver.

it's too bad Bush doesn't sound very smart, even when reading what he says. He might actually BE smart, but one can never tell by listening to him.

Oliver HERE is the reason for the war in Bosnia. When you read it you can tell that Wesley Clarks Ego started that war and nothing else. Clinton didn`t want it, and nobody else in his administration did. Yet Clark manipulated the situation to such an extent that they were left with little choice in the matter. Why do you think they called him home before his hitch was up? He`s the ONLY NATO commander ever FIRED from his post.

Rather than waste Michele's bandwidth, I have posted in full a refutation of Oliver's silly belief that there was genocide in Kosovo.

Oliver Willis wrote,

"If you are a one-issue person, and that issue is security - I cannot for the life of me understand why you would vote Bush. He has shown continually that when it comes to security, he will always do the most politically expedient thing versus the thing that keeps us safe. He resists independent investigations and drags his feet on others. He diverts resources from the imminent threats while ignoring our 'allies' who support terror."

Oliver, this gave me a real belly laugh, and I thank you for it, although I know you didn't intend it. Your first two thoughts as to how a President should really "keep us safe" were to (a) have a(nother) commission, and (b) trash the Saudis -- or did you mean, perhaps, the French and the Germans? Nah, doubt it.

I couldn't have written a better parody of the left if I'd spent a week trying!

When President Bush wakes up every morning, he awakes with the mindset it is Sept. 12, 2001. When John Kerry(and so many other liberals) wake every morning, it is with the mindset that it is Sept. 10, 2001. One is a hardened view of reality, and the other is a world of inaction, UN, appeasement, and process. One view is an honest acceptance of the threat we face, and the other...well--I, for one, don't trust the Democrats with my son's future, and I trust the majority of the American people feel the same.

I don't know how Oliver can make the claim that on matters of national security Bush always does the politically expedient thing. There was nothing at all politically expedient about going into Iraq. When one recalls all the dire prewar prophecies of what could go wrong, the invasion was really a tremendous risk undertaken by a man determined to do what was necessary and not what would gain him popularity at the polls.


Weird - and here I thought the thousands of pictures & hours od video of concentration camps and mass graves in the former Yugoslavia, by photographers and videographers of many contries and political shades (not to mention the huge amounts of eyewitness and victim testimony of mass murders and rape squads), were evidence. Hmm...guess I better start mistrusting the mountain of evidence about Auschwitz-Birkenau now.

Well, unless you think the AP, CNN, BBC, and many other news organizations had a widespread campaign to fack all the visual evidence.


You're right. That was Oliver's main argument and your refutation was perfect. To argue Bush did the easy and popular thing by going into Iraq is ridiculous.

Kerry frightens me too. He just seems slimy. I think his poll numbers will fall if he is nominated and people really take a good look at him.

Here's my take on all this....

On September 15, 2001 (or whatever day it was, right around there), Michele saw the clip of Dubya standing on the pile and talking to the workers.

And she fell in love.

From that moment on, he was her knight in shining armor, Galahad W. Bush. Nothing could shake that. Everything he does is The Right Thing, and anyone who suggests doing something else is Wrong. Occasionally she claims she doesn't really think this way, but it's never very convincing.

... our war on terror is working.

You might want to ask the folks in the Senate mailroom about that. They'd probably disagree with you.

Joatmoaf: read this article on how [Kerry] would "talk directly with North Korea"

And that's different from what Bush is doing how...? Oh, that's right -- he's having multinational talks! He's not so macho with countries that actually have WMDs, is he?

Ho hum, another typical night at ASV.

Thlayi -

It's been a long time since my intelligence was insulted so greatly.

I guess all my posts about Bush's stance on gay marraige, funding the NEA, faith-based programs and such are just lies I thought up to make it seem like I have problems with Bush.

Yea, you found me out. I have a secret crush on GWB, and that's what I am going to base my vote on.

Fuck you, Thlayi.


Not only are you being disrespectful, but your arguments are weak.

Let me summarize
1.) your argument - The only possible way someone could agree with the President is if they got excited about his package.
I wish I had my Thesaurus to find a stronger word than idiotic.

2.) your argument - Ricin caught in a mailroom BEFORE it hurt anyone proves the war on terror is not making us safer.
Your example logically supports the opposite conclusion.

3.) What JoatMoaf is saying is that Kerry is willing to agree to UNILATERAL talks with North Korea, probably leading to another "agreed framework" that, in essence, would again pay NK to produce nuclear weapons.
In typical Kerry fashion, the actual number of countries at the hypothetical talks is not discussed:

Beers stressed that this did not exclude a multilateral approach to persuade North Korea to scrap its nuclear ambitions

I know it's fun for you to use the word "macho" but one of the reasons Iraq was invaded was to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons and forcing us into a surreal war of words with a schizophrenic leader like in today's probably nuclear NK.

oops, that last comment was from me.

I can't blame you for being a one issue voter. But I will blame Bush for taking such a tack, in a hard way. You should be aware, his "war president" approach may be a high risk strategy.

"He has shown continually that when it comes to security, he will always do the most politically expedient thing versus the thing that keeps us safe."

On the surface this would seem laughable considering the invasion of Iraq was slotted time wise as to be a more likely hiderance than help come election time. But I think you are touching on something more here Oliver. Something I have discussed many times with people that they are uncomfortable with. Deep down inside our psyche after 9/11, someone needed to pay. We were hurting and alot of us wanted someone else to hurt. Of course the prefered target would be the perps who did it but Afganistan wasn't satisfying for lack of a better word. Hey Saddam was a piece of shit and an easy target to demagogue, a thorn in our side for quite some time, etc. So it was time to kick his ass. Now the bloodlust seems to be subsiding.

Security? Security is a state of mind. The Dems can run on security too. No party has a lock on the issue. What the American people want to hear in the dark reaches of their hearts is that if someone kills Americans, the price to pay will be catastrophic. And you can make the point that Bush HAS'T done that especially when it comes to the Saudis.

On the speech; Bush will be eaten alive during any debates if he performs like that. He has has shown only a modest ability at subject changing when pressed on a sensitive issue. He just doesn't come off very comfortable.


Aren't they all self-absorbed rich boys? Certainly we could ALL agree on that? The whole Presidential thing is one big ego trip, is it not? In fact, I am not sure why anyone would want to be President, because you are more assured of being the most hated made fun of person the planet than you are of doing anything of lasting value for your fellow citizens. One has to have an awfully big ego to overcome all of that and still want the job, yes?

Anyway...when he said he is a "war president" I think he was saying he is a war president in a different context--I think it was that since 9/11 he has had to become a war President...not that he was a war President originally. Although, there is evidence to suggest that he wanted to take out Saddam from the get go--which of course was Bush just following Clinton's plan (lovely how Bush and the Republicans prop up Bill Clinton when it is convenient for them to do so by the way). 

I think he was saying it more like, once any president starts a war, he is by definition known as  a war President--I think that is what he meant, I could be wrong. 

But if he really was a war President why not go after those truly in the know about 9/11 like Oliver mentioned? The world is either for us or against us right? So when do we take revenge on Saudi Arabia? When do we clean up the rest of the riff-raff like Saddam? War President? Hardly! I think its more like he is in a sick way fortunate for 9/11 so we don't focus on the rest of the messes our country is in other than national security.  I think Mr. Bush is playing the war-bloggers like a finely tuned accordion. He is a one-issue President too, and therein lies the real problem.

Of course he is ONLY a war President when he doesn't actually have to fight in the war (or when his kids don't either):

Russert: The Boston Globe and the Associated Press have gone through some of their records and said there’s no evidence that you reported to duty in Alabama during the summer and fall of 1972.

President Bush: Yeah, they re  they're just wrong.  There may be no evidence, but I did report; otherwise, I wouldn't have been honorably discharged.  In other words, you don't just say "I did something" without there being verification.  Military doesn't work that way.  I got an honorable discharge, and I did show up in Alabama.

Russert: You did  were allowed to leave eight months before your term expired.  Was there a reason?

President Bush: Right.  Well, I was going to Harvard Business School and worked it out with the military.

Russert: When allegations were made about John McCain or Wesley Clark on their military records, they opened up their entire files.  Would you agree to do that?

President Bush: Yeah.  Listen, these files  I mean, people have been looking for these files for a long period of time, trust me, and starting in the 1994 campaign for governor.  And I can assure you in the year 2000 people were looking for those files as well.  Probably you were.  And  absolutely.  I mean, I

Russert: But would you allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?

President Bush: Yeah.  If we still have them, but I  you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records.

And I'm just telling you, I did my duty, and it's politics, you know, to kind of ascribe all kinds of motives to me.  But I have been through it before.  I'm used to it.  What I don't like is when people say serving in the Guard is  is  may not be a true service.

Russert: Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

President Bush: Yes, absolutely.

We did so in 2000, by the way.

Ya, and CalPundit has more on that. Bloggers to the rescue as per usual, I guess.

Of course, Vietnam was just "a political war...(where) we had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn..."

Russert: Were you favor of the war in Vietnam? 

President Bush: I supported my government. I did. And would have gone had my unit been called up, by the way. 

Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go. 

President Bush:

No, I didn't. You're right. I served. I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and we provided a service to our country. In those days we had what was called "Air Defense Command," and it was part of the air defense command system.

The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War. 

Gee, that sounds familiar. You think they might have also learned that we should probably only actually have a war with another country when there is a proven need for the war. 

Hey, I have no problem with Afghanistan and the Taliban part of the War on Terror, but I would have liked to see more evidence on the need for Iraq. Heck, to me he can blow the crap out of North Korea or Saudi Arabia--no problem here, but Iraq? Seemed a bit personal to me--like some politician who had an axe to grind and used other people and other peoples kids to grind it with. Seemed a bit convenient for Haliburton to me as well, but heck CEO's plan better wars than the politicians did in the 60's.

I wonder if he would have enjoyed flying those fighters in actual combat, by the way. And go figure that the "Air Defense Command" is part of the "air defense system"...no kidding? Please, Mr. Bush, Russert should have persisted, tell us what else the Air Defense Command did Mr. Bush? Oh, what's that? You don't know? Because you weren't actually there? 

So for someone that claims to be a war President, I don't know Michele, I think the jury is out. Yes, he started a war or two--one that had proven ties to 9/11 even, but it sounds like, to me, that he is banking on most people caring about his and too many people are taking the bait despite the fact that he has no clue how to handle the economy, create real jobs, create a smaller government, preserve the constitution even though we are under attack and, heck, even use the English language! But why should those things matter for a President? In fact, I thought he was our President, not the world's President. He did a nice thing for the people of Iraq--even though they are having trouble showing their gratitude--but it could also be said that he has done more for the good people of Iraq than he has for the citizens of the country that the Supreme Court made him President of.

True, Saddam may be gone, but if a streaker can still get on the field at the Super Bowl, I don't know if we could call ourselves much safer, you know? Remember when he came out from the get go touting a nucleeeeeyar space shield to save us from all the scary monsters under the beds out there? And then remember how those jet planes struck the towers and how a space shield probably wouldn't have done squat about that? The truth is, he can't make us totally safe--no President can--and the truth is, I think, that he's using 9/11 to make us think so. The truth is that when 9/11 happened he and his cronies were the first ones to go on the run to the bunkers in Nebraska. A war president? Can you see George Washington running to a bunker? 

And I hope you don't go off on me like others who have disagreed with you here--I enjoy you and your blog very much--you are the best as far as I am concerned--I aspire to have half of the audience that you command and just a small percentage of your writing talent and general knowledge of all things considered--and I would hate to be banned for expressing and opinion. You yourself have written that you had your problems with Bush and you were wavering. I am a registered Republican and I too am having reservations...I don't think you solve national security problems by taking away the rights of the American citizen...I don't think you go to war and cost American lives by playing a hunch...I don't think you count handing out carts at Wal-Mart as creating jobs...I don't think you spend money like the "drunken sailor" and call yourself a fiscal conservative...I don't think you expand government and call yourself a member of a party that generally as a rule votes for smaller government...I don't think you pander to the babblings of the religious right and call this country free ..and I don't think you call yourself a Patriot and land on air craft carriers and act like one of the brave members of our military  for the cameras when you can't even prove that you yourself were there for this country when another war was looming. 

Ya, I have had issues with this President too--looks like I still have them--even though he seems to think he is a war president. I have read about war President's before (like George Washington) and Mr. Bush is no war president.

You are dead on that we have no viable alternative. This is sad. And that is why I am ready to just quit caring about the whole political thing. I am so very unimpressed with the candidates--it's like 2000 all over again (Florida start your engines). Although Kerry would probably make for a good war president too if that is your thing, because he has past military experience to draw on as well--even if he is all too obliged to remind us of that at times--it's true. 

And your right, Kerry would be like voting Frankenstein into office, he has all the personality of a toad, but I might just have to see what he has got under pressure and go with him. Heck, if Bush can run our country for four years, who can't? Besides, Bush never really impressed me when he was running for President with his personality either--in fact, he looked like a monkey, he talked like a puny man who thought he was a big Texan and he had much trouble with using the English language. If we are going on perceptions, Bush proved that you don't have to be all that impressive while running for President in such areas to actually become President. Kerry is far more Presidential--even with the bad Ted Danson hair--more so in many ways than Bush even looks to this day. Kerry fits the Presidential mode--stuffy, stoic, understated and unemotional, good with vocabulary and even refraining from doing his best yeeeeehaww when he gets excited.  Bush still strikes me as someone that is so desperately tyring to look Presidential--like he is in charge and not Cheney or Rove or somebody--like he has an inferiority complex--like he wants to prove himself in a job that his daddy didn't land for him. He is inventive at times--especially with his language--but he is also a boring public speaker that has to go too slow to make sure he doesn't mess up the big words--it's so very obvious. Niether of them are going to impress me with their outward qualities so we should probably call it a tie there.

Anyway, I digress...so I can see that having a war President would be important to people--especially those living in NYC or the area--but Russert did a good job of picking on the rest of Bush's package yesterday--and I wasn't too impressed with his answers. Those, by the way, seem like some pretty important issues too, don't you think? They should be important issues, anyway, but as long as he is the self-proclaimed war president--well, by golly, I guess that is what it really is all about. I mean, if we get hit by a nuclayar weapon that someone may or may not have, the economy won't really matter now will it?

Course, to quote one of your more recent favorite authors (Peggy Noonan) "Bush isn't good at interviews" so maybe we shouldn't take too much at all form his little visit yesterday with Russert, anyway.

Thanks for the space for my opinion. Maybe I should have a blog of my own. Oh, wait, I do, but there are never any really good discussions there like this one and I can't seem to drum them up like you can.

That's what I want in my president. In this age, when terror alerts come every few days and every country seems to have a group of jihadis hiding in its corners, that is what I need to hear.........says Ms. Victory affirming that a campaign of fear is effective, at least in this case.

in whatever-that-guy's-name-is's defense~when you praise Bush, it kida DOES sound like you have a crush on him. More like a father-daughter thing, I guess. You want him to protect you and take care of you and tuck you in. That's okay, he's not ugly after all.

What I see in you, Michele, is an unwillingness to look at "at what cost".

The Iraq war was a just war--I fully admit that. Of course the world is a better place without Saddam. But a better President would have deposed him with international support. The Iraq war as Bush conceived it has created economic hardship, international ill will, and more opportunities for terrorism.

Bush's case for war, on the basis of WMD in Iraq, was a catastrophic diplomatic blunder. He speaks now of the humanitarian cause, but this was not his leverage to the UN. His stand at the UN was stubborn and misguided, and it cost us international support.

A war with full international support makes America safer. I cannot stress this enough. With such support, there is no one enemy; there is no one object of the resistance's hatred; there is no one target for post-war terrorism. There is no coalescing of anti-Americanism.

But, despite this, we have gone into Iraq virtually alone. The majority of the troops are ours, the majority of the economic burden is ours--how could this not be perceived as "America's" war? We are its instigators and executors. So instead of dissolving the hopes of resistance forces in the face of multi-faceted international pressure, we have made America and Americans a more attractive target for terrorists, and the de facto enemy of anyone who feels wronged by any aspect of the war's outcome.

What Bush should have learned from 9/11 is we are not fighting terrorists, we are fighting the idealogies that create them. Of course, terrorists need to be captured or killed--of course--but we need to be careful in the way we go about doing so. So far, we have not been.

Bush, it seems, is content to fight the physical realities of a war on terror. His plan is overly simplistic and rooted in his morals, not in a political understanding of the situation. He has good intentions, and I commend him for them. But he has wronged us in his course of action. He is plugging the dike with his fingers. He is war president that doesn't understand his war.

Never has a President been so emotionally manipulative as Bush. The speech you read, Michele, is an incredible example of positive misdirection. He answers with positively-charged phrases that associate themselves with the question, but do not answer it. In other words, he plays off of the poor language skills of his listeners. (And honestly, no disrespect meant there. I absolutely am not suggesting you fall into this category. However, many do.) All politicians do this to some extent, but none so egregiously, ever, as members of the Bush administration.

Bush's words say tough on terror, but his actions say he's missing the point. That, combined with important domestic problems, means that there are plenty of people that can do his job better.

ZARATE suggests that Bush was wrong to invade Iraq without "full international support". This, however, sets an impossibly high standard, one which no president could ever achieve. What ZARATE probably means is that Bush shouldn't have gone to war w/o support from France, Germany, and Russia, but why should we be constrained from doing what's right because these nations, for self-interested reasons, refuse to go along?
The important question is not whether it was wrong to fight w/o certain European nations by our side, but whether deposing Saddam was the right thing to do. Here's an easy test to help us decide: Imagine we have a magic wand which we can wave and undo everything that has happened in the last year. Saddam would still be in power, abetting terrorism and torturing and killing his people, and we would still be vainly seeking to enlist "full international support". Would you argue that we should nevertheless wave the wand? If the answer is "no" then you're implicitly acknowledging that the war was right and just. If you say "yes" then I suggest you either haven't thought through the implications of restoring Saddam to power or you inhabit a completely different, and incomprehensible, moral universe.

RLC, your post was a great example of the moral simplicity that I was criticizing.

Read my post again. I never said we shouldn't have invaded Iraq. My point is not that Bush was wrong in proceeding with deposing Saddam, but that he badly mishandled the quest for international support. We COULD have had a large int'l coalition.

Bush's WMD argument was a non-starter, for obvious reasons. The humanitarian argument, on the other hand, is a strong one. Precisely BECAUSE of his decision to insist on the former and largely ignore the latter, his reason for war was interpreted as political. Is the UN political, and should it have looked past Bush's misstep? Sure. But a better President would have closed the deal.

This isn't hindsight. This is what the analysts were saying at the time.

Zarate, by your standards we would still be waiting for "approval" from the unwilling and our troops would be cooling their heels in Kuwait and Saudi. Even after the fact, the gutless Euros can't admit it was the right thing to do. We don't need their approval or their permission to act when we feel we need to. Saddam was more than a thorn, he was thumbing his nose at UN mandates while maintaining the ability to make WMDs, murdering and stealing from his people and supporting terrorists not to mention shooting at our aviators on a regular basis. That alone should have started the war.

Republicans seem to forget that UN inspectors were in Iraq when Bush made his case for war. Remember Hans Blix? Remember when Bush made the inspectors leave so that we could invade?

Bush's WMD argument was his main cause for war. It was based on flimsy intelligence that in many cases directly contradicted what Blix was saying from Iraq. Of course there was UN opposition. Bush's stubborn refusal to distance himself from shaky intelligence in the face of legitimate questioning is what caused the UN to doubt his motives. Again, it was a catastrophic blunder originating from his overly simplistic moral interpretation of global politics.

Under my "standards", we would have had a slightly more sensible timetable for the war that would have allowed for post-war planning, which was inexcusably absent from the Bush plan. Under my "standards", we would have had a President that was capable of discussing a complex moral issue with the rest of the world.

Bush is saying, and you are accepting, that the ends justify the means. That is a scary, scary opinion to hold.