Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bush May Be President, But For Growing Majority, He's No Longer Our "Leader"

Although the words are often used interchangeably, "president" and "leader" have much different meanings.

And currently, our President is not our leader -- at least not for the majority of Americans.

President is a job title. By definition, a president is not necessarily a leader, but rather the highest-ranking official. "Appointed or elected to preside over an organized body." Bush certainly qualifies to be called president.

But to lead, by definition one has to take a lead position, and "guide" or "influence" others. And for a majority of Americans, this is no longer the case. Over the past year in particular, President Bush hasn't been out in front of the issues -- he's been behind the curve -- and the midterm elections, and poll after poll suggest that Americans' opinions on a wide range of issues are not guided or influenced by Bush.

Consider:

-- A majority of Americans (86 percent) say it is important to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. The Bush Administration has repeatedly said that this is not a priority.

-- A majority of Americans (68 percent) are calling the situation in Iraq a "civil war." Bush refuses to do so.

-- A majority of Americans (69 percent) want to see troops withdrawn immediately, or a timetable to be established for such a withdrawal. Bush refuses to consider either option.

-- A majority of Americans (83 percent) support hiking the minimum wage. The Bush Administration backed a Congressional Republican to increase the minimum wage only if it could be tied to a repeal of the estate tax. The measure was defeated. (Note: One poll found that only 29 percent of Americans support repealing the estate tax.)

-- A majority of Americans (68 percent) support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Bush vetoed a bill on the matter in July, in spite of bipartisan support.

-- A majority of Americans (60 percent) disapprove of Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security. Bush said in June: "If we can't get it done this year, I'm going to try next year. And if we can't get it done next year, I'm going to try the year after that."

Of course, that was before Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress.

***

The Democrats would do well to start framing these key issues as "mainstream" -- or put another way, they should not allow conservatives to mischaracterize these issues as "liberal." This is the time for Democrats to be "leaders," not be on the defensive, worried about Karl Rove's latest catch-phrase.

With majorities in both houses of Congress, the Democrats can quickly pass a minimum wage hike, federal funding for stem cell research, a timetable for phased redeployment of troops from Iraq, etc. How amazing would it be to have a "do something" Congress?

Dare Bush to veto bills that have bipartisan support in Congress, and the broad support of the American people. He'll either show how out of step he is with the American people -- certifying how he is not a "leader" -- or he'll buckle.

It's a win-win, for the Democratic Party, and for the American people.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Gen. Patton said...

First of all, numb nutz, It's not a civil war. If it were, we would have already unleashed hell and claimed victory. Civil War are easy. You pick a side and kill the other side. What we have in Iraq is extreme violence from overlapping groups of terrorists, militias, insurgents, death squads, gangster, foreign agents and factionalized government security forces engaging in layers of savage religious, ethnic, political and economic struggles. The problem is our back-stabbing media can't grasp that so the ding-bats call it Civil War. And of course Bush isn't a leader. If he were we would have Atomized the entire Middle East by now.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

Yea, That Gen Patton he is for splapping people around and calling them cowards. Same as Bush. Both are in the same mold of heartless bastards!

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Gen. Patton finally makes a good point - this is worse than a Civil War.

But of course, we should just nuke anyone who disagrees with us.

Dolt.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Patton will call it a civil war when the shiites start wearing gray and the sunnis start wearing blue.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont recall Bush slapping around anyone poops. Do you have any proof of it? I sure would like to see it.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous whoop44467 said...

Anonymous said...
I dont recall Bush slapping around anyone poops. Do you have any proof of it? I sure would like to see it.

It was a figure of speech meaning you do not want to crosss Bush in any way or the results could be the "figure of speech" of being slapped around. You know what I mean you nameless repuke or your an idiot! But, with his mean power he can do more harm to someone than a physical slap!

6:45 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

I do not agree with those who are calling the violence in Iraq a civil war.

Frankly, though, I don't really care what we call it. The point is, the desired result of our mission there is for us to win, and for those responsible for perpetrating all of the violence against our troops and against innocent Iraqi people, to lose.

Again, it's a very basic concept. We win, they lose. The majority of Iraqi people want and deserve to live in freedom, under a government that does not support terrorism.

And to those who are calling it a civil war, and who want us to get out of Iraq, some of those people are the same people who want our troops to go into Darfur to stop the violence there. Now THAT, is definitely a civil war, between Arab Muslims and black Muslims. Why should we be there, and not in Iraq? Why is consistency of thought so difficult for some?

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Frankly, though, I don't really care what we call it. The point is, the desired result of our mission there is for us to win, and for those responsible for perpetrating all of the violence against our troops and against innocent Iraqi people, to lose.
But what does "winning" imply when the government we're supporting wouldn't really have any support without the militias that are armed in this country killing other people and US troops? And if those people have left the government, then who is it we're supporting? Do we intervene on the side of the Sunni or the Shia? Which faction of each? Which one of these groups has a stated goal for wanting "freedom" and which does not? Both of them? Neither of them?

I don't know if I think this is a civil war either -- but if it isn't, that's because it's worse than a civil war. It's utter chaos.

Again, it's a very basic concept. We win, they lose.
The concept is basic - when you're playing baseball. As applied here, it is not. What are we winning here? Peace? Someone we can live with as head of that government? Iran not exerting influence? Not drawing this out into a regional war? What's the "win" endgame here?

The majority of Iraqi people want and deserve to live in freedom, under a government that does not support terrorism.
are we getting closer to that goal? Or further away from it?

And to those who are calling it a civil war, and who want us to get out of Iraq, some of those people are the same people who want our troops to go into Darfur to stop the violence there. Now THAT, is definitely a civil war, between Arab Muslims and black Muslims. Why should we be there, and not in Iraq? Why is consistency of thought so difficult for some?

It's nothing to do with consistency of thought. For one, I don't hear anybody actually saying we need to send 130,000 troops to Darfur - just that there should be some kind of intervention to halt the violence, either thru the use of the UN or US or what-have-you. The second, because while Darfur is a civil war, it comes a lot closer to genocide than anything else, where the majority of people being killed are on one side of the conflict, as opposed to Iraq. And in a genocide situation the intervention is basically to stop the killing, not to take over the country.

The other reason is because what's happening in Iraq came as a result of our invasion. It didn't spring up out of the sand. We're facing a situation that is, right now, unwinnable because we don't have enough troops in the country, cannot get enough troops in the country now because our army is too worn down, have very few allies willing to truly help us in this manner, and the titular head of state in Iraq has very little power other than that of a figurehead. What our presence is doing, then, is delaying whatever inevitable conclusion this would come to. That's the issue we face.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

``````` Again, it's a very basic concept. We win, they lose.

>>

unfortunately, too many people are losing their lives or livelihoods. you can call this whatever you want. until the bush team shows some real leadership, diplomatic skill and sn imptoved war strategy, it won't matter. the results will be the same.

the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. the stay the course crowd, i fear, are crazy.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous rock said...

Maybe our catchphrase should be "Catchphrases do a disservice to the American people".

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Union Thug said...

On the contrary, they should be characterized as liberal.
We should be contrasting the values of liberals against those of BushCo and his neo-con minions.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i disagree

It's too easy for the fringe conservatives to denounce things as liberal. That's why the Democrats have been on the defensive on Iraq, even though the majority backs them.

Re-framing the issues as popular or mainstream also has the benefit of bringing in moderates, creating a bigger tent that can help in future elections.

Liberal, unfortunately, has been given a negative connotation, and that negative connotation, at least for the time-being, has been adopted by a good chunk of the populace.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Union Thug said...

I guess we'll have to disagree. But I think it's all about the framing,

Liberals need to embrace the moniker, while at the same time destroying the conservative label by linking it to neo-cons, Iraq, and cheap labor economic and trade policies

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the truth will set them free
either they will change their ways, or they'll be looking for jobs!

9:25 PM  
Anonymous waiting for hope said...

What a lot of people don't see is that so called "liberal" issues are sometimes more "humanitarian" issues - ideas and beliefs that if implemented, would help all Americans in the long run and globally too.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's just call them "mainstream issues."
If something -- like raising the minimum wage -- has 80% support, only the fringe conservatives will still call it "liberal."

10:44 PM  
Anonymous waiting for hope said...

It's one of my dearest hopes that the word conservative gets the same treatment as the word liberal has gotten over that past two decades or so. There was a time that being a liberal was seen as a badge of honor - not the smearing it gets now, especially the MSM using the word as a weapon.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous elocs said...

The word "conservative" will get the a same treatment at the word "liberal" when Democratic candidates actually run again as "liberals" and not avoid the label except when they are preaching to the choir. In our last election I do not recall many Democrats running and embracing the title "liberal". If Democratic candidates complicity accept "liberal" as a dirty word, it will remain one to many people even if they share some of the same principles.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you could have people say these are mainstream values, and then when the legislation is passed, start introducing the "liberal" word to show people that what they supported didn't ruin america.

for example: "The nation stood with one voice, and said that a minimum wage must be a living wage. This is not just a liberal value, this is an American value. This is a part of our American heritage, to stand up for the weakest among us. The nation stood with one voice and said that health care for our children was important. This is not just a liberal value, this is an American value. This is what people have stood up for throughout the ages, to help our children be safe and healthy."

Let the fringe conservatives rail against that.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Xipe Totec said...

Issues? There are no "issues"
there are only objectives, improvements, and benefits.

The only issues I have are with rabid right wing propaganda, and how to clean up the slime these left behind.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Mythsaje said...

Better yet... "mainstream" and "Main Street" issues.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Jackpine Radical said...

Seems that the Dems could really set things up for a Presidential win in 2008 by passing all kinds of popular legislation & sending it to Bush. All the stuff you mentioned plus single-payer, election reform, return to fairness doctrine, some kinda de-gerrymandering legislation, revising NAFTA, alternative energy research, stem cell research, whatever--and Bush would either have to let them pass, in which case we win directly, or veto them, in which case he is clearly obstructing the passage of legislation reflecting the wishes of the people, so we can campaign on a theme of "Give Us a President Who Will Help Us Make Things Better For You."

10:46 PM  
Anonymous elocs said...

You forget the one thing that many people here want the Democrats to do. And it is not passing popular legislation and passing it on to Bush to do with what he will. The Democrats won the midterms convincingly, but according to the polls there is not a Democratic candidate leading in the presidential race against any of the top Republicans. What Democrats do in the next 2 years will have either a negative or positive impact upon the next presidential race.
I think the American people expect the Democrats to actually address the issues upon which they ran and won.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

true but if a bill is passed with bipartisan support, and 60-80% popular support, and bush then vetoes it, all he is doing is helping lay the groundwork for a bigger Democratic victory in 2008, with a veto-proof majority long-term and a Democratic president to boot.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous mom cat said...

We won the election, but we will still need to fight like hell to get our majority views enacted into law. Never let up. Make them sweat. Let them know that is they do not listen to We the People, that we will find represenatives who will!

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Perky said...

You are right liberal issue have widespread support but liberal solutions do not

It is the differnce between protesting and governing. We are right on the issues. but we have done an abysmal job and coming up with credible politically viable solutions.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Zhade said...

Care to back that up?

10:48 PM  
Anonymous porphyrian said...

It's time to stop cowering from anything labelled "liberal" and do their fucking job. That's what they were elected for, and we will demand no less.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous madville said...

It's all good as long as they layoff the firearms restrictions that some Democrats love to push in Congress. What they want in CA, NY. IL, and MA is not what people want in GA, FL, AL, etc. It should be off the federal table for awhile since things have just swung back our way.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

waiting for hope said...
"It's one of my dearest hopes that the word conservative gets the same treatment as the word liberal has gotten over that past two decades or so. There was a time that being a liberal was seen as a badge of honor - not the smearing it gets now, especially the MSM using the word as a weapon."


Waiting for hope, if you would think about it for a moment, you would realize that there is a very good reason that there is a negative connotation to the word "liberal" today, that did not exist decades back.

Old school liberals such as Truman, JFK, Henry ("Scoop") Jackson, and Zel Miller, etc., would not have very much in common with the leadership of today's Democrat Party. In fact, they would fit in a lot better with today's Republican Party on matters such as national security and taxation.

And that is the reason the word "liberal" no longer garners the same level of respect it once had. Liberals have gone way too far to the left now.

With regard to the "conservative" label, I'm a proud conservative. I believe in my conservative values, and I would never run away from the word, no matter how some people might try to demonize someone like myself.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

waiting for hope said...
"It's one of my dearest hopes that the word conservative gets the same treatment as the word liberal has gotten over that past two decades or so. There was a time that being a liberal was seen as a badge of honor - not the smearing it gets now, especially the MSM using the word as a weapon."


Waiting for hope, if you would think about it for a moment, you would realize that there is a very good reason that there is a negative connotation to the word "liberal" today, that did not exist decades back.

Old school liberals such as Truman, JFK, Henry ("Scoop") Jackson, and Zel Miller, etc., would not have very much in common with the leadership of today's Democrat Party. In fact, they would fit in a lot better with today's Republican Party on matters such as national security and taxation.

And that is the reason the word "liberal" no longer garners the same level of respect it once had. Liberals have gone way too far to the left now.

With regard to the "conservative" label, I'm a proud conservative. I believe in my conservative values, and I would never run away from the word, no matter how some people might try to demonize someone like myself.

ues, and I would never run away from the word, no matter how some people might try to demonize someone like myself.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

I apologize for the double+ post, David. I do not even know how that happened.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

In fact, they would fit in a lot better with today's Republican Party on matters such as national security and taxation.
I doubt very much that Harry Truman, who became vice-president in part because he had investigated an administration that was of his own party affiliation, would feel comfortable in the Republican Party of 2006, which has abdicated all measures of oversight and acted as a rubber-stamp to the policies of this Administration. I doubt very much that Jack Kennedy would be comfortable in a Republican Party that gears its policies toward helping the rich and screwing almost everyone else, and starts unecessary wars based on stovepiping poor intelligence estimates and running around like frightened children into bombing things. No, the lack of oversight, the disdainful attitude they take toward the institutions that have served this country for decades, and the paranoid need to work with power unchecked would probably repulse them, and I still wonder how it hasn't repulsed you, Trinity, because if you are a conservative, well, this administration has betrayed you several times over, and not just on the immigration issue.


And I wear my liberal badge proudly -- but the fact is, liberals now could do everything a conservative could do and they'd still be called "crazy moonbat San-Fran latte-sipping blah blah blah" anyway, because the Republican Party is basically run by a bunch of children now, and their best asset is their ability to call people names. That's about it.

8:58 AM  

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