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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hard-hitting criticism

Posted by: Hammer / 1:02 PM

Howard Fineman provides more of that gloves-off analysis he's known for:
You’ve got to hand it to the PR geniuses at the White House. There’s nothing like back-to-back Texas photo ops with Crown Prince Abdullah and Rep. Tom DeLay to give Americans a visceral sense that the Boss is on top of the gas-price situation and desperate to save working folks cash at the pump.

Just kidding, of course.

Actually, it’s hard to imagine two political events LESS likely to win the president points. ...

Yes, Bush has been down politically before, and recovered smartly. He’s a fighter, and has the ability to ignore the gloom and doom around him. Yes, the Democrats don’t have much of an answer to him other than to shout "no" on a host of issues. ...

But there are other factors at work. One of them is the set of decisions he’s made on where to spend his political capital. In Austin in 1999, he told me and my NEWSWEEK colleagues over lunch one day that he had learned from his father’s experience: if you accumulate "political capital" -- as his dad did as Liberator of Kuwait in 1991 -- you have to "spend it" on bold action.

Well, this Bush chose Social Security -- a brave, fundamental and far-sighted choice in many ways. ...

Bush’s other problem is his Blue-Red approach to politics. The Dems are only too happy these days to embrace it, willingly locked in a sense of victimhood and minority status. The Dems self-isolation would work for Bush -- but only if he could keep all of his Republican colleagues in line. But he can’t. Bush remains very popular among Republican voters -- Reagan-like in that respect ...

Like most CEOs, he prefers to give orders to loyal subordinates in a clear chain of command. He distrusts independent power, even in his own party.

It's not a love letter to Bush, but it reads very one-sided. Bush is smart, a fighter. He made a brave and far-sighted choice to tackle Social Security. The Democrats have "shouted 'no'"as they willingly lock themselves into a sense of victimhood. Even still, Bush remains Reaganesque among Republicans.

How about this, Howie? Bush is the least popular second-term president in the history of polling. That's not just with Democrats. That's with the country as a whole. You should pay attention to the religious right, too. There's no greater sense of victimhood than that found in a speech by Dobson. Or even DeLay, for that matter.

Fineman's story was published yesterday, the same day that Senate Dems released a multi-prong list of policy objectives. The Dems control neither the House nor the Senate -- they are more or less blocked from pursing their legislative agenda. You don't have to agree with the Senate Dems plans, but it's past time to echo the tripe that Dems stand for nothing except opposition to a Reaganesque president.


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