A Wall Street Journal's unscientific online poll asked this simple question today:
How would you rate President Bush's performance in 2007?
Now if you hadn't read a thing last year but had heard that the surge is working, you might rate Bush's performance a positive.
But if you were even minimally aware of other events, you would know that 2007 was the worst year yet in a rotten presidency.
So how do you explain these results:
A success 85.0%
A failure 15.0%
Total votes: 3806.
On the same day this appears, Julia Gorin detailed just how bad Bush has been of late, and that didn't even include the fact that he had to be was pushed into the surge, that he didn't initiate the idea. No, Bush was perfectly willing to let our troops go on dying at the rate of a hundred or so a month indefinitely – as he had been doing for years.
But on top of that, as Ms. Gorin said, 2007 was the year Bush packed it in principle-wise (others would argue, and perhaps correctly, that it was earlier), pulled a Clinton, and decided to sell out Israel.
And the problem is, the respondents in the WSJ poll who think 2007 was a success for Bush are not people who are oblivious to the news. They are people in denial and should be quarantined. George Bush hasn't just sold out Israel, he's sold conservatives down the river as well, and they float along with smiles on their faces?
I’ve often wondered where Bill Clinton’s soul is. Well I finally found it. It’s inhabiting George W. Bush’s body… Firm resolve has given way to disappointing frailty… Across the board, on nearly every major issue of the day, from Iran to Syria to North Korea, the Bush administration is in retreat, abandoning the principled stands of yesteryear and replacing them with… unscrupulous and inexplicable policies….
Leading the charge, the US pledged more than $550 million in aid to the Palestinians in 2008. But while American diplomats were busy filling out checks to Abbas, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza continued to target Israeli civilians.
Then there is North Korea… Bush took the unusual step of sending a personal letter to… Kim Jong Il, essentially pleading with him to tell the truth and to disclose all of his country’s nuclear programs by the end of the year… He is putting his faith in Kim Jong-Il’s promises, just as Clinton did…
Damascus was even invited to take part in the Annapolis conference, granting further legitimacy to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his repressive regime…
Indeed, Bush has given up on doing the right thing, and cut out early. If anyone wants to know what a Hillary presidency would be like, we’ve had a taste of it for the past year of this administration.
… When your administration is about to expire, and doing the right thing didn’t get done, you put the screws to Israel… After all, you’re not going to make terrorists do something, so you have to put pressure on the side that you can force to do something.
… this is also how the Clinton administration ended, leading me to believe that the chief difference between Democrats and Republicans is that it takes Republicans longer to do the wrong thing… he consults his conscience because he has one to consult before succumbing to the way things are. (As opposed to a conscience-less Dem, who jumps in with both feet to whatever is politically most expedient and the least resistant path.)
So 85% think Bush had a successful '07. This corresponds favorably to another poll some months back, a scientific one, that had seventy percent of Republicans approving of the job Bush was doing and only percentages in the teens disapproving.
Conservatives like to think of liberals as America's shame, but I think those 85 percent are America's greater shame.
Btw, I had a short exchange with Julia Gorin over her choice of examples and language:
I haven't written in a while, but that doesn't mean I don't read your every word since you have a unique perspective. You are the only person I know who is documenting events in Kosovo and surroundings, and, as with today, showing the side of President Bush that no one else wants to talk about. I mean, I do all the time, and all I've accomplished is that most conservatives dislike me and I, them.
But now I have to ask you something that I've put off, but after today, I feel I must not avoid this unpleasantness any longer: would you be kind enough to dispense with future vulgarities? Your blog entry on Bush was terrific, but the ending was so unnecessary and it precluded me from providing a link to your entire piece.
Thank you for your consideration. I just feel that you have done tremendous work in informing about things people wouldn't otherwise be aware of, and that makes you one of our most esteemed writers in my eyes. Your eloquent columns and blog entries should not be diminished by crude references, and I hope you will receive this suggestion in the spirit in which it is offered.
Ms. Gorin's reply:
Whenever one quotes South Park, there will be vulgarities. And I’m a fan of South Park, the smartest thing on television.
(I’m of course assuming that you’re referring to the post titled "George W Bush has left the White House")
Yes, that is the post, but it's not the first, and even the part before the quote was, shall we say, indelicate. If, as you said, you can't quote that show without vulgarities, then may I suggest that you not quote it and instead, find some higher means of expressing the same thing? Not for me, by any means, but for yourself.
Look, you have many important things to say, and they need to be said in dignified ways so that they can be received with the same importance as you regard them. In other words, with what you have to report, should you be quoting South Park at all?
Ms. Gorin's reply #2:
these aren't the times for delicacy and dignity. sorry
Then I'm sorry because no one was ever turned off because someone expressed herself with dignity and eloquence.
I'd hoped my comments would cause you to realize that you might not be striking the chord you'd hoped to strike, and failing that, might help you see that you have nothing to gain by resorting to the banal. But if you think that's the best way to gain attention and support, who am I to judge. Carry on, as they say.
Needless to say this was disappointing, but perhaps I got through and she couldn't bring herself to admit it. I certainly hope so because literally no one else is telling the story she's telling.