Good questions

What an interesting question Phil Nugent poses: Why does President Bush keep saying, 'We don't torture'?

Despite the obvious reasons -- his future legal defense -- it's an odd statement because it's not like Nixon denying he was a crook or Clinton denying he'd had sex with that woman. Those were fig leafs for their supporters, escape hatches for the people who still wished to believe they'd elected someone who wouldn't lie or cheat.

But being the tough guy, being more than willing to kick those asses that supposedly need kicking -- that's President Bush's basic appeal to his diehard supporters. So why does he keep denying what is obvious to everyone else, what is clearly happening under his orders and what is plainly the reason many people admire someone like him -- or someone like Rudy Giuliani? What's with all the wish-fulfillment macho posturing and then the grudging lurches toward decent appearances?

Mr. Nugent has an answer, and yes, it ain't pretty. It also helps explain the president's peculiar position these days: "The sad thing about Bush Junior's attempt to have it both ways is that it so completely dynamites his dirty-realist-bastard image, it leaves him with blood on his hands but with none of the glamour that's supposed to go with it."

On the other hand, it's easy enough to see Bush as a lame dick/duck. But you'll notice we're still pretty much playing to his rules on just about everything: the war, the environment, health care, domestic eavesdropping, control of presidential archives, gutting government oversight, homeland security and disaster management, etc.

When President Clinton was apparently mortally wounded, the Republican Congress prevented him from appointing anyone and forced him to accept such things as welfare reform. What have the last election and a Democratic Congress accomplished?

The departure of Donald Rumsfeld and an increase in the minimum wage.

October 11, 2007 5:49 PM |



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