Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Should Americans Trust Bush's Call For "Goodwill And Respect"? Or Is This Empty Spin Designed To Appease A Nationwide Television Audience?

In a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of goodwill and respect for one another -- and I will do my part. Tonight the state of our Union is strong -- and together we will make it stronger.

-- President Bush, State of the Union , 2006

Should the president be taken at his word? Or is this empty spin designed to appease a nationwide television audience?

In the first five years of Bush's presidency, it's as if Republican politicians and the conservative noise machine have defined "bipartisanship" as "my way or the highway."

If Democrats are willing to agree with Republicans, that's bipartisanship. If Democrats want to go a different way, that's a time for Republicans to turn to name-calling and misrepresentation of ideas -- otherwise known as "partisanship."

Earlier yesterday, Sean Hannity demonstrated this definition of bipartisanship vs. partisanship on his nationally syndicated radio show. Interviewing liberal pundit Arianna Huffington, Hannity showed off his skill as a conservative spin-meister.

He asked Huffington a series of pointed questions, which fit in well with conservative spin. Here's the gist of Hannity's questions -- questions being posed throughout the conservative noise machine:

-- Support Bush's handling of the war on terror? Or do you want to let Al Qaeda run amok?

-- Support Bush's handling of the Iraq War? Or do you want to cut and run?

-- Support warrantless surveillance? Or do you not want to gather intelligence?

-- Support Bush's judicial nominees? Or do you want liberal activist judges?

-- Support Bush's handling of the economy? Or are you a tax-and-spend liberal?

-- Support Bush? Or are you a Bush-hater?

These kind of questions are just grown-up versions of the kinds of things schoolyard bullies say. They are black-and-white questions designed to offer no alternatives.

Either you're with us or you're against us. Either you support the Iraq war or you support Saddam (or as Hannity would say, "Either you believe Iraqis are better as a free democracy, or you support their living in tyranny under Saddam.") Either you support the war on terror, or you want to coddle Osama Bin Laden.

That's the sort of partisanship that has occurred over the past five-plus years of Bush as president. It's led Vice President Cheney to meet only with the Republican leadership to plan out a legislative agenda. It's led the White House to confer with select Republican leaders on issues such as warrantless surveillance. There's no spirit of bipartisanship, let alone the execution of such.

If President Bush wants to change the Washington culture, and be a "uniter, not a divider," as he suggested when he was candidate Bush back in 2000, great. He'll find willing partners among the Democrats. But if it's more of "my way or the highway," then he should expect more of the same response.

There's another reason Bush and the Republicans should reach out across the aisle. Beyond helping the country -- in theory, the reason they chose elected office -- the reality is that with mid-term elections barely nine months away, the Republicans can't afford to have their popularity drop any further. And the American people are increasingly blaming the Republicans for whatever failures they see -- from high gas prices to mounting casualities in Iraq.

We'll know in a few months whether the above statement from Bush's address was empty spin or an outstretched arm. Democrats know what they'd prefer.


Anonymous Boo_Radley said...

It's all BS
He claimed he was trying to "avert" war when he was trying to find an excuse to start one.
He claimed that "nothing's changed" and "a wiretap requires a court order" when he was giving himself the power to bypass that.
He originally ran on "no nation building" when he was already planning to find an excuse to install a puppet government in Iraq.

Nothing he says has any value. He's trying to pretend that the divisiveness in Washington is the fault of the Democrats.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Webster Green said...

Dems have been shut out of the legislative process....
...and then accused of having no plan.

Corporate whore media reacts to any statement from a Democrat with a chuckle and a sneer.

Fuck the chimp!

11:43 AM  
Anonymous AlinPA said...

Bush** started in his office by going around the country and speaking only to party loyalists. Other Americans were excluded from his speeches. He continues doing it today. His speeches always contain statements that are meant as "red meat" for his audiences, never anything that is intended for anyone other than his base.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous windspike said...

Short answer to your titular question: Nope. Not one iota - based on past actions, fact, and not on bit of faith. Second question - yes, it’s empty rhetorical spin. Any reader of texts by this administration will notice it right off the bat. It’s an easy knock it out of the park slow pitch rhetorical spin.

12:18 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

I agree.
None of Bush's pledges in the past five State of the Unions whether it be on healthcare, the economy, the War on Terror, the deficit, social security, etc. have come to pass. Why should we believe him now?
Bush spoke empty rheotic about a new spirit of cooperation with Dems so (1) that Republicans and the MSM can scribe the statement whenever Dems accuse the Administration of divisiveness in the upcoming election season (2) because he knows the MSM barely holds him accountable for anything he says anyway.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous emulatorloo said...

I am sure Karl Rove's mouthpiece was very sincere
Karl and Bush brought about this divisiveness.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Doug Morrison said...

You lemmings can't be serious. Of course Bush was sincere, as sincere as lefties are when they mock him at every turn. You guys are on the wrong side of history, Bush knows that. So does the rest of sane America.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Doug, your sarcasm and hyperbole aside, you must realize that about 60% of "sane America" is opposed to Bush's handling of Iraq, the economy, health care, etc.

About 55% of "sane America" is against warrantless surveillance.

History is a really long time, Doug. For example, the sixth year of presidencies saw Nixon resign and Clinton impeached. Will history repeat itself?

4:29 PM  
Anonymous kineneh said...

remember: if their lips are moving, they are lying

after that, ignore what they say. No olive branches available at this time.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous mandyky said...

Lets' see, what did the clear skies, healthy forests, and no child left behind iniatives do?

Every thing Gee Du(m)b says, I assume the opposite. And for proof - What did Rove suggest at the RNC Winter Meeting? Play up that the Dems are weak on national defense and national secuirty. Think Zell Miller and the "spitball" speech at the 2004 Republican convention. Bush and the GOP will Swift Boat Dems, and had no desire for goodwill and cooperation. There is no "working with" the Rabid Right, unless that means going along with Herr Bush's hairbrained ideas and programs.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous libnnc said...

aw . . . hell-fuck no
ever, never

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post deserves to be one of the entries on the WikiLog

8:26 PM  

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