Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Anti-Bushism at home and abroad

I have long thought that no holds-barred criticism of President Bush at home licenses similar behavior abroad. As our friends at Power Line and South Dakota Politics note, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between anti-Bush protestors north and south of the border. Also worth noting is this bit of evidence about how folks from south of the border who live north of the border feel about U.S. policy in the Middle East, something that is mentioned, but barely, in this article.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Yes, I think our home-grown Bush-haters do bear some responsibility for this. Most are undoubtedly proud of it.

Bush’s refusal to defend himself at home, has directly and enormously contributed to a viscous and venomous atmosphere across America, and that has influenced the terms of the debate across the globe. Of all the mistakes he’s made, and he’s made quite a few, especially personnel selections, nothing, NOTHING has so singularly contributed to the failure of this administration than its refusal, absolute refusal to defend itself.

We can never again afford a President with a "Christ on the Cross" understanding of himself, his administration and his agenda. We can never again afford a President who "turns his face like flint to those that beat him, and despitefully use him."

A political leader has an obligation to explain himself and defend himself. A blue blood who isn’t a political leader, who isn’t a statesman, can indulge the old, unwritten code of behavior for WASP blue bloods. But the President of the United States has an obligation to advance the national interest, and that interest isn’t served when the actions of the United States are not effectively AND persuasively propounded and defended.

This is absurd, Mr. Knippenberg. What PowerLine has shown is a cherry-picked selection of photos that tells us very little. Such protests are not simply, simplistically, a monolithic group of people who all wish to kill President Bush. That’s rubbish, and you and the PowerLine guys know it. Protestors are demonstrating their opposition to American policies, and since early 2001 the person at the top for those policies - The Decider, if you will - is George W. Bush.

And the idea that "no holds-barred criticism of President Bush at home licenses similar behavior abroad" is even more absurd. If the citizens of Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, or any other country are strongly opposed to the foreign policies of the Bush administration, do you really think that they will wait for Americans to protest them first, as some sort of permission or license? That doesn’t even make sense within the protestors -are-all-terrorist-enablers and America-haters straw man being employed here. If someone is of the personality that they want to kill Bush, do you think they’ll say "Oh, well, I better see what Americans are doing first, before I utter my opinions or make my threatening banner!" Also, don’t forget that while the U.S. was voting Bush into office in ’04, plenty of people around the world were lashing out at the Bush administration. And at this point, too, the anti-war crowd in the U.S. has expanded well beyond the Left.

Yes, the Bush-Hitler equations are ridiculous. For one thing, a leader can make or endorse immoral policies, can behave in malicious and sadistic ways, and can "be evil" without reaching Hitler’s depths. For another, Bush has not suggested that a "final solution" be implemented to eliminate an entire ethnic, racial, or religious group. Not that he deserves a pat on the back for not doing so. Still, people drawing such comparisons are clearly getting carried away.

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