# Your perception of Bush compared to 2001/2002?

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pattylou
Conservatives are criticizing bush increasingly. What is interesting (to me) is that they consider him to be "leading us differently" than 4 years ago. I am curious if this sense that the nature of his leadership is changing, is typical among conservatives.

As a liberal, I feel that he is doing exactly what he has always done. Being unaware of what's really going on, and just bulldozing ahead on things that he wants to bulldoze ahead on, for personal gain. I see *consistency* in his (1) immediate response to 9/11 and (2) delayed response to the katrina disaster.

A conservative oped has this to say:

The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, has vanished. In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster and economic uncertainty.

Do you agree or disagree or (insert your opinion here regarding Bush's (ahem) leadership qualities over the last few years, and whether they have changed).

Manchot
Back then, I was more or less indifferent to Bush. Now, I can't stand the man. The more I find out about him, the more I dislike him. At this point, I can't find a single trait in the man that I consider to be admirable.

Homework Helper
Actually, I was very disappointed to see him win the nomination back in 2000. I voted for him, but mainly because I disliked the idea of Bush less than Gore. By time the election was decided, I wished I'd just not voted. I did like the cabinet Bush assembled, though - I think my biggest disappointment is the job Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell did - I expected so much better.

I thought he did do a very good job in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It kind of bothered me that I might actually have to start liking him rather than just tolerating him.

Since around summer of 2002 on, my opinion of him has steadily dropped. By time 2004 rolled around, I was glad to see Kerry nominated - it would have hurt if I had had the choice of Bush or Dean and I might have been able to vote for Sharpton over Bush. I'm not sure I could have ever brought myself to vote for Kucinich (I remember when he was Cleveland mayor back around 1980 - how could he still be alive in politics?)

And my opinion of him has just kept on dropping. I'd vote for Nixon before I'd vote for Bush - in spite of the fact that his brain has probably decayed some in the eleven years since his death.

Manchot
Well, it wouldn't be the first time that someone in the administration had lost to a dead man. :) I was extremely proud of Missouri (my home state) when Ashcroft lost to the late Carnahan. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, it had the side effect of him becoming Attorney General. :yuck:

1123581321
I liked him better in the first term than the 2nd. The Afghan conflict was handeled in a much better way, and now hostilities are over and one can see a government in afghanistan which is still held up by the US, but will be running it self within the next ten years, with perhaps only special forces advisors in-country.
He needs to finish the insurgency quickly, and set up border defences to keep terrorists out, but he also needs to let the country run itself, with our millitary in Iraq doing what Iraq's parliament wants it to do, not us doing what we want to do. once that happens, we can slowly pull troops out, until only spec ops advisors remain, and eventually pull them. If the people of Iraq can have that feeling of autonomy, it will help our relations with Iraq greatly.

edward
I never liked Bush because of his ties to special interests, especially big oil. When he picked Cheney for his running mate I was hoping that people would see the way that things would be going if Bush won the election.

They didn't. Four years later and they still didn't. Although the vote was so close in both elections that only pandering the religious right allowed Bush to win.

For me the Problem that I had with Bush from the beginning, is that I knew Dick Cheney would be running the country.

Nothing has changed in that respect.

Smurf
Gotten better actually. I used to see him as an actually intelligent person who was pushing the corporate agenda. Now I'm beginning to consider that maybe he's just being manipulated/forced in some way to lead such an agenda.

TheStatutoryApe
My view hasn't really changed much at all. I'm not exactly a conservative though.
Personally I think that the only thing that made Afghanistan any better a move than Iraq was that he had the aproval to do it. I thought Afghanistan was a bad idea and caught flack from both sides when ever I voiced that opinion.

Townsend
TheStatutoryApe said:
My view hasn't really changed much at all. I'm not exactly a conservative though.
Personally I think that the only thing that made Afghanistan any better a move than Iraq was that he had the aproval to do it. I thought Afghanistan was a bad idea and caught flack from both sides when ever I voiced that opinion.

I kind of agree with you.....

The way I see it after 9/11 the US had two choices. We either needed to go full throttle or capitulate. I would have preferred that we simply capitulate....

The US should have ended all operations in the middle east and apologized to Saddam for the first gulf war and stop supporting Israel. We should have left the middle east to itself.

I am not being sarcastic either....I mean that 100%

pattylou
I don't get it. Does he think he's being clever or something??

But Mr. Bush, who plans a second trip to the region this week, says victims can expect a "tidal wave of compassion" in coming days.

http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-09-04-voa21.cfm [Broken]

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pattylou
TheStatutoryApe said:
My view hasn't really changed much at all. I'm not exactly a conservative though.
Personally I think that the only thing that made Afghanistan any better a move than Iraq was that he had the aproval to do it. I thought Afghanistan was a bad idea and caught flack from both sides when ever I voiced that opinion.

I opposed Afghanistan too. No real surprise there.

pattylou said:
I opposed Afghanistan too. No real surprise there.
BARBARA LEE SPEAKS FOR ME

That is a popular bumper sticker around the Bay Area.

I did support the Afghan invasion however and I will explain later. First I would like to explain my feelings about Bush.

I am registered as decline to state because California allows me to. In 2000 I was in Ohio and registered as an independent. I watched the Republican primary and was considering registering Republican to support John McCain. I didn't know a lot about him but from listening to him speak I thought he was the better choice. I knew Gore would win the Democratic ticket so I wanted to vote where I had a choice. When it was obvious Bush was going to win because he had all the money behind him I remained independent.

I have an uncle 5 years older than me. When I was 5 years old I found a nickel. He offered to give me a ride to the store on his bike so I could buy a candy bar. I had never been to town without my parents so this was a big adventure for me. I took one bite of the candy bar and then handed it to him because I agreed to share in exchange for the ride. My uncle ate the rest of the candy bar.

He grew into a strong handsome and charming man. He is 6'2" curly brown hair, brown eyes, and dimples. He turns on the charm and women just fall at his feet. He uses them and then discards them. He befriends people weaker than him and uses charm and intimidation to take advantage of them. George Bush reminds me of that uncle. (Except my uncle is no coward he would have gone to Vietnam if he had been older.)

I remember the 2000 election, Al Gore won the popular vote. Florida was a statistical tie. I had just read in the newspaper that the Bush campaign had filed a lawsuit to stop the recount in Florida. Then on my TV Jim Baker, lawyer and friend of the Bush family said that Al Gore was trying to tie the results of the election up in the courts. :surprised The media let him say it when the opposite was true. Al Gore wanted to selectively recount certain counties, which I thought was wrong, but it was Bush who was filing lawsuits, thereby involving the courts. My belief in American democracy at that moment changed, I became disillusioned.

The next day people were repeating how Al Gore was a sore loser, and was tying the election up in the courts. Well the rest is history. I became somewhat despondent I had always known that politicians were slippery because they are slimy, but I had trusted the press and media to hold to journalistic standards and always seek the truth.

I remained despondent and just went through the motions of living, didn't care to much anymore. Then came Sept. 11 2001. I remember my first thought after the second plane hit was. Oh my God that building will collapse! My second thought was Bush & Co. will not respond properly.

But I wanted to believe, so I supported everything they were doing. Including Afghanistan. I thought we should have gone after Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in March or April after we knew for certain that it was Al-Qaeda that bombed the USS Cole. Whether doing that would have changed 9/11 is a moot point.

When they started selling the Iraq war I knew we were in trouble and now here we are.

My opinion of Bush has not changed, and neither has he. He is still that nasty little boy who likes to blow up frogs with firecrackers. He thrives on the misery of others, whether he is inflicting it or consoling it. I think he may do very well now that he finally understands the scope of the Katrina hurricane. He is in his element although comforting is not as much fun for him as inflicting, It is obvious in the way he talks and the terms he uses.
(tidal wave of compassion...weapon analogy for the hurricane...and he doesn't stutter when he talks about war and death.)

Remember this is a man who thinks that executing a woman is funny!

1 said:
I liked him better in the first term than the 2nd. The Afghan conflict was handeled in a much better way, and now hostilities are over and one can see a government in afghanistan which is still held up by the US, but will be running it self within the next ten years, with perhaps only special forces advisors in-country.
He needs to finish the insurgency quickly, and set up border defences to keep terrorists out, but he also needs to let the country run itself, with our millitary in Iraq doing what Iraq's parliament wants it to do, not us doing what we want to do. once that happens, we can slowly pull troops out, until only spec ops advisors remain, and eventually pull them. If the people of Iraq can have that feeling of autonomy, it will help our relations with Iraq greatly.
:uhh: Border defenses? :uhh:

This is not a game of Risk.

You should read up on the history and geography of the region before making such statements.

TRCSF
You know, when he gave that campaign rally in 2000 at that white supremacist camp (Bob Jones University), I knew he was a joke and was going to be a real f*ck up in office.

During the 2000 election, I wasn't too worried about who would win. Sure, I wanted Gore to win, but I figured that if Bush won, he'd **** things up so bad there'd never be a Republican in office again. Of course, that was before he stole the election, 9-11, Afghanistan, and Iraq. I had no idea he'd be that bad. I just thought he'd be a lame duck and incredibly stupid. Embarassingliy stupid. Well, it's starting to look like my original theory about him being an enormous embarassment to the GOP (and the country, and the world) is finally starting to come to fruition. Even his own party is turning against him. Rats fleeing a ship. It's a shame it's come at such an awful price to human life.

TRCSF
Skyhunter said:
:uhh: Border defenses? :uhh:

This is not a game of Risk.

You should read up on the history and geography of the region before making such statements.

champ2823
Wow, I'm different here. Back in 2000, before I actually did my own research on the government and what actually goes on, I couldn't even fathom having Gore as president. I supported Bush 100%. Well, times have changed. Now, i can't stand Bush. I can't stand his administration and every corrupt thing they do. The problem is that I don't see anything worthy coimg out of the Democratic party and since this really is a two-party system, we really only have 2 people to choose from.
For about 2 years following Bush's election I bought into his propaganda. I bought into all the lies the media told me. But then I read a single sentence out of one book about CLinton and his drug cartel in Mena, Arkansas. I hated Clinton, but still couldn't believe he would be doing this. Well after researching this I realized that the world isn't the way its portrayed on tv. Since then I've decided to investigate everything that goes on independently and use the best possible evidence to form my own opinions. What I found was appalling and unbelieveable to what I had known. Needless to say, I now hate just about everything Bush does. i cannot stand what happened on 9-11, the Iraq war, the attack on civil liberties, or what's going on in New Orleans...a place I once called home a couple years back. I think our overall system is totally messed up and with a govt our founding fathers created (which is totally disassembled today) Bush should've been impeached a long time ago. Along with Cheney as well and many members of his administration. Since Bush has taken office, I believe that America has been led down a horrible downward spiraling path and historians in the future, up to present day, will state that Bush is the worst president we've had to date.

1123581321
Skyhunter said:
:uhh: Border defenses? :uhh:

This is not a game of Risk.

You should read up on the history and geography of the region before making such statements.

What do you suggest, pull out now so they fall a month after we leave!
Leave the borders open so that terrorists can travel into/out of the country freely! What's wrong with letting the Iraqi government having more power over how the war is run?

1 said:
What do you suggest, pull out now so they fall a month after we leave!
Leave the borders open so that terrorists can travel into/out of the country freely! What's wrong with letting the Iraqi government having more power over how the war is run?
I believe the point being made was that Iraq's borders are so extensive it is impossible to fully control them. Terrorists and insurgents are seldom obliging enough to only cross the border at the gov't designated checkpoints.
On the basis of Iraq having greater responsibility for Iraq do you therefore believe America was wrong to interfere a few weeks back when they stopped the new shi'ite dominated Iraqi gov't from agreeing a mutual defence pact with the shi'ite gov't of Iran?

To address the OP my opinion of Bush hasn't changed. He's as bad as I expected him to be. My worry is that the republican party appear to have started a process of personalising the problems, pushing the blame onto Bush and thus clearing the slate for whoever is the next GOP candidate for president. I think it is important for the electorate to remember the whole GOP leadership is to blame and to not let themselves be fooled yet again.

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Manchot
1 said:
What do you suggest, pull out now so they fall a month after we leave!
Leave the borders open so that terrorists can travel into/out of the country freely! What's wrong with letting the Iraqi government having more power over how the war is run?
Yes. Three words: not my problem. You may say that Iraq is our responsibility, but you know what? It's not mine, and it's not the responsibility of those who opposed the war (even if we involuntarily bankrolled it). You're advocating an irrational viewpoint. If we stay, the insurgency's numbers will continue to increase and get more organized (as the past has shown us). We'll never be able to leave! And don't tell me that you're buying into the assertion that they're in their "last throes," because if you look at a graph of average insurgent attacks per day, you'll see that the graph is clearly concave up.

And frankly, I couldn't care if "the terrorists" can travel in and out of Iraq freely, so long as they can't do so in the U.S. In fact, even preventing that is impossible, since it's incredibly easy for someone to cross over here from Mexico. As the past week has clearly shown us, our overemphasis on eliminating the infinitesmal threat that is terrorism is stupid, plain and simple. Hey, I've got a rock here that keeps away tigers. I know that it works because there are no tigers here in the room with me. Believe it or not, al-Qaeda accomplished its goals on 9/11. They got everyone so worked up that people would be willing to support a baseless war on the word of a borderline schizophrenic and drug addict. This is the man that believes that God told him to smite Iraq, and that the world was created 6000 years ago. Oh yeah, he was also pretty much either high or drunk all the time for the first 40 years of his life, and I wouldn't be surprised if he snorts cocaine in the Oval Office. The point of terrorism is to irrationally scare people, and apparently it has worked, because we have been sending our young men and women to Crete to be sacrificed to the Minotaur, in order to prevent people from dying. Yeah, that makes sense.

1 said:
What do you suggest, pull out now so they fall a month after we leave!
Leave the borders open so that terrorists can travel into/out of the country freely! What's wrong with letting the Iraqi government having more power over how the war is run?
You completely missed my point.

Ideas for solving the Iraq crisis have been discussed on other threads. You can read my other posts if you care to investigate my position. If you want to discuss it further start a new thread on the subject and let us discuss it there. Let's not hi-jack this one.

Staff Emeritus
1 said:
The Afghan conflict was handeled in a much better way, and now hostilities are over . . . .
Not quite!
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050905/ap_on_re_as/afghan_violence_3 [Broken]
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Thirteen suspected Taliban fighters have been killed in fighting with U.S. and Afghan forces in a southern province, and more than 40 other suspected militants were arrested, a senior Afghan official said Monday.

Some 200 Afghan police, supported by the U.S.-led coalition, fought the militants in the mountains of Ghorak district in Kandahar province on Sunday night, said Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid.

My opinion of Bush hasn't changed. I was concerned then as I am now, although I suppose my reservations/disappointment has increased. Afterall, this is Bush's administration and his appointees have failed on many fronts.

It would seem that Bush and his administration have vindicated his critics.

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Gold Member
The 2000 election problems certainly didn't help get Georgie-boy off to a good start with anyone who was paying attention. News coverage, such as the time he was on a golf course and seemed more interested in golfing than the questions being asked of him gave me visions of Alfred E. Neuman (though apparently Mr. Neuman would be a better candidate - http://www.hypocrisytoday.com/alfred.htm). But I remained complacent until 9-11. At first I was surprisingly impressed with Bush in the aftermath (though I realized any president would have stepped up to the plate in such a manner).

THE TURNING POINT: Then when Bush & Co. began the spin to invade Iraq, and when I voiced concern and was called unpatriotic, I realized things were going in the toilet with crap swirling around and down the drain real fast. I began to research Bush's background, his administration, etc. and have had nothing but increasing contempt and sincere concern for the future of our country ever since.

Do I think Bush has changed? The office of presidency no doubt has an affect on everyone who has served. But the very so-called "stay the course" entrenchment that some admire, and Bush's lack of independent, analytical thinking makes me believe he is the same idiot he's always been. The spin is all that changes (as often as changing underwear but it still stinks?).

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Gold Member
Although I share most of your views on Bush the one thing that has always stood out in my mind about the moron is this:

Anyone who opposes Bush for whatever reason is called unpatriotic as SOS mentioned or a host of other things. The government we have in this country set up is with checks and balances. It isn't a dictatorship. Junior Bush seems to think it should be. He doesn't expect you to disagree with him and to do so is unacceptable. Disagreement is what politics is all about. Disagreeing and compromising on middle ground. It seems the Bush administration would rather have the VP tell whoever disagrees to go fu.. themselves. I really don't recall what that comment from Cheney was over but it certainly illustrates childish behavior. That comment was guaranteed to get press and he knew it.

How people can take the Lewinski scandal to the level that it was is still beyond me. The Lewinski scandal was between 3 people. The prez, his wife and Lewinski and it was none of anyone elses business. What Bush has done far tops that. It makes no sense to me. End of rant...

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
May I ask what was so repugnant in Gore ? Here I saw several articles that with Gore, they "finally" might have an intellectual in the white house. Was that it ?

I ask so, because several posters indicated that they voted for Bush because they couldn't stand the idea of Gore in office ?

Smurf
Isn't it obvious? Americans don't like intellectuals, they like cowboys and celebrities.

pattylou
vanesch said:
May I ask what was so repugnant in Gore ? Here I saw several articles that with Gore, they "finally" might have an intellectual in the white house. Was that it ?

I ask so, because several posters indicated that they voted for Bush because they couldn't stand the idea of Gore in office ?
My recollection is that Gore was considered "too stiff" and "too green" (environmentalist.) Naturally I didn't think that, and I voted for him.

Townsend
vanesch said:
May I ask what was so repugnant in Gore ? Here I saw several articles that with Gore, they "finally" might have an intellectual in the white house. Was that it ?

I ask so, because several posters indicated that they voted for Bush because they couldn't stand the idea of Gore in office ?

It's the same thing with nearly all democrats!!!!

I would love nothing more than to be able to vote for a dem for next election but they need to represent my views before I will vote for them.

Too many people cannot stand the idea of anti-gun, anti-hunting, progressive tax, bigger government,... the list goes on. On a whole tonne of issues I go the way of the dems.... I want funding for stem cells, I want to give women the right to choose if they want to have an abortion,... and the list goes on.

I really don't like the idea of having a religious president in office. I want a president that can actually give a decent speech without making an a$$out of himself most of the time. I also know that Kerry or Gore would have been those things..... Alas I could not vote for either...why? Government is downward inflexible. It is a lot easier to make laws than it is to repeal laws. I have always been fearful of some ultra left wing president taking away too many of my personal liberties. Increasing taxes on income, sales, and investments, making more government programs...more bureaucrats, less private industries...and the list goes on. Frankly that scares the crap of me!!!!!!!!!! You might not understand that but I hope it answers your question to at least some degree. Regards, Gold Member pattylou said: My recollection is that Gore was considered "too stiff" and "too green" (environmentalist.) Naturally I didn't think that, and I voted for him. Agreed -- He is a very intelligent man, but lacks charisma. OMG, the people do want a celebrity! Hopefully not a dynasty though... TRCSF I hope every one remembers that in the last election that Bush and Cheney said you'd be unsafe if you voted for the other guy. That they were reliable in an national emergency. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Townsend said: It's the same thing with nearly all democrats!!!! I would love nothing more than to be able to vote for a dem for next election but they need to represent my views before I will vote for them. Too many people cannot stand the idea of anti-gun, anti-hunting, progressive tax, bigger government,... the list goes on. On a whole tonne of issues I go the way of the dems.... I want funding for stem cells, I want to give women the right to choose if they want to have an abortion,... and the list goes on. I really don't like the idea of having a religious president in office. I want a president that can actually give a decent speech without making an a$$ out of himself most of the time. I also know that Kerry or Gore would have been those things.....

Alas I could not vote for either...why? Government is downward inflexible. It is a lot easier to make laws than it is to repeal laws. I have always been fearful of some ultra left wing president taking away too many of my personal liberties. Increasing taxes on income, sales, and investments, making more government programs...more bureaucrats, less private industries...and the list goes on.

Frankly that scares the crap of me!!!!!!!!!!

You might not understand that but I hope it answers your question to at least some degree.

Well, what I understand is that you're willing to sacrifice about anything you value in a "good" president for some ideology which comes down what you call "personal freedom", but which are in fact just a few abstract illusions, like having the right to walk with a gun over the street to the next bar (but anyways not having the right to shoot the bastard who insults you :-), and have the very rich not pay a bit more taxes for you to get better comodities, and not asking people to be slightly respectful of the ecological system on which we all depend. Maybe a bright and right person cannot resolve himself in advocating this.

What I find strange is that you prefer to have a person that a) is quite dumb and b) goes against about half of what you value in office, rather than have a person a) that is quite bright and b) goes against about half of what you value in office. I'd prefer the bright guy.

I mean, even if I don't agree with my boss, I prefer a smart (and right) guy (or girl) over a dumb cheater, because I would be confident that even if he takes decisions that *I* personally don't like, they will be well-thought out and will be beneficial in some way.

EDIT: there's something else that struck me in your argumentation, about the impossibility to repeal laws: don't you think that you got a lot of VERY STRONG ANTI-LIBERTY laws now, which are much worse than preventing you to hunt a certain kind of bird a certain time of the year ?

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Gold Member
Townsend said:
Increasing taxes on income, sales, and investments, making more government programs...more bureaucrats, less private industries...and the list goes on.

Frankly that scares the crap of me!!!!!!!!!!
Bush only cut taxes on income for the very wealthy, sales taxes are going up where I live, the government is getting more involved--not less, private industry within the nation is struggling to compete with cheap labor elsewhere, and the list goes on.

It would be great to see candidates of other parties, such as an Independent candidate (a centrist, not Nader), a Libertarian, etc. But if not, just vote a Dem ticket next time if for no other reason but to regain balance in this country and to send a clear message that we'd rather see politicians carry brief cases instead of Bibles in Washington.

Homework Helper
vanesch said:
May I ask what was so repugnant in Gore ? Here I saw several articles that with Gore, they "finally" might have an intellectual in the white house. Was that it ?

I ask so, because several posters indicated that they voted for Bush because they couldn't stand the idea of Gore in office ?
Three things turned the public off: Eight years of Clinton! (Gore was his Vice President), Gore was too stiff and didn't seem to connect with people, and Gore got lumped in with Bush as a politician riding on his daddy's coat tails (this was only somewhat true with Gore - while he benefited from being Al Gore, Jr, he'd personally accomplished more in his life than Bush had).

Mostly, I think people were ready for a change. Clinton was about average in job performance, but his personal habits were embarrassing. A lot of people just didn't want reminders of Clinton hanging around for four or eight more years (Bill Clinton living in the White House is going to be a problem for Hillary Clinton in 2008, as well).

BobG said:
Mostly, I think people were ready for a change. Clinton was about average in job performance, but his personal habits were embarrassing. A lot of people just didn't want reminders of Clinton hanging around for four or eight more years (Bill Clinton living in the White House is going to be a problem for Hillary Clinton in 2008, as well).
And yet didn't opinion polls at the time show that if Clinton could have stood for re-election he'd have won by a landslide?

Mentor
SOS2008 said:
Bush only cut taxes on income for the very wealthy....
That's simply not true. http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm

We've had discussions of Bush's tax cuts before, and I thought you had participated? Those discussions are always about why the tax cuts benefit the wealthy more than the poor.

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