Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bloggers and the ports

Joe is keeping us up-dated on the Dubai port issue (see below) and Glenn Reynolds nicely summarizes what bloggers have done on it, how they are an early warning system, and how the White House inexplicably is not paying enough attention to bloggers as an early warning system.

Discussions - 1 Comment

The White House’s behavior has been going on long enough now that it is no longer inexplicable. It’s brain dead, but we can explain it. We have a President who scorns politicking, that attitude has percolated down through his entire administration. How else can we make sense of the selection of Paul O’Neill to be Sec. of the Treasury, O’Neill’s voice ALONE should have disqualified him for the post. Who in his right mind would have thought that a man with a face like his, and a voice equally weak, would be the guy to be the face, to be the voice of the American economy. Karen Hughes.... How is it that she retained her job after the disastrous speech that she wrote on the evening of 9/11. Do you recall how it began? "Good Evening...." NO Karen, No Mr. President, it wasn’t a "good" anything. THE VERY FIRST WORDS out of his mouth that night should have been: "I’m going to need men...." That should have been the tone and the tenor of his Presidency from that moment on. We’re in a war, it’s a war of civilizational and generational import, it’s a war we dare not lose, and I’m going to unleash the full righteous ferocity of this country, the last, best hope of man on earth, upon our enemy, who are enemies of decency, of tolerance, of truth, of science, of knowledge, who are enemies of everything that has made the earth a better place. THAT should have been the gist of his speech that night. Instead, we get some speech thoroughly unequal to the moment. And then Karen goes on to compound that error, by contriving a "pen-pal" program with Muslims for American kids. Yea, that’s a real bright idea. How can we explain Scott McClellan? That guy looks to be cornered when he is simply being asked about the President’s schedule.

My point is that the President and his staff seemingly make many a decision without an eye on how it’s going to play with the American people. Here is another example. Senior citizens were pulling out lawn chairs and binoculours along the Rio Bravo. The President was asked about them, he branded them "vigilantes." Politically, that was bizarre. It doesn’t matter where your position on the issue of illegal immigration is, just from a political perspective, branding people who just wanted to call in reports of illegals crossing the border as "vigilantes" was beyond bizarre. Poll numbers indicate that the American people want the borders secured, the President has paid lip serve, promised more money, but all just for the purpose of quelling a mutiny on his political right. It’s pretty clear that he hasn’t any interest in stopping illegal immigration. That’s the read most Americans have of his response to the situation along the Rio Bravo. Now turn to his handling of the ports. He didn’t know anything about the deal, but that didn’t stop him from rushing out to defend the decision of his team, and simultaneously have his administration launch an attack upon those opposed as "racists" and "xenophobic." Again, your position on the deal here is irrelevant for the purpose of this analysis, I’m just examining the political inclinations and actions of this administration. If almost 70% of ordinary Americans are appalled by the deal, what would you estimate that number to be amongst Conservatives? And how does the President respond to that concern from his political right, by launching an attack upon them. Just like Harriet Meris. Any lawyer who took a look at her record had to be appalled at the idea of EVEN CONSIDERING her for the High Court. The very idea was an absolute insult to the American Bar. Yet this administration branded their opponents "sexists" and "elitists." Politically brain dead, that’s the only verdict that can be reached about their handling of that matter.

When the President was asked if Harriet Meirs was "the best qualified" for the job, the President hesitated before answering. Now that exact question was thrown at his father when he nominated Clarence Thomas. My point here is HOW could this administration put forward Meirs, AND NOT HAVE the President prepared to IMMEDIATELY answer that query. How could they NOT have expected that question? And the answer he should have had was this: "There are many distinguished men and women who are qualified, and it would have been an honour for me to nominate, I happen to think Harriet Meirs is a member of that group." That is the answer he should have given, {even though it would have been false, Meirs wasn’t even close to being qualified, and what’s more, she should never have been considered for White House Counsel either...}.

This administration has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to discern the depth of the hostility to them up on Capitol Hill, amongst the media, and amongst Democrats. When the President failed to achieve entitlement reform, what did he do? He went down to Crawford for vacation. What should he have done? Barnstormed the country, whistle stop tours, articulating his war effort, explaining the necessity of social security reform. Instead, he just allowed himself to get hammered, daily, by Cindy Sheehan and her ilk. How could someone be a member of his communication and political team, and allow his numbers to plummet, without even bothering to answer his opponents?

This is no longer inexplicable, the explanation is that his staff is out of their depth.

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