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The George W. Bush Thread

MrPresident

Anglo-Saxon Liberal
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I am reluctant to start another George Bush thread but I have become interestingly intrigued by the approach of all sides of the political landscape (Left vs Right, America vs Europe and so on) to the man. Speaking just from my own experience there is a level of hatred towards Bush that I have never seen directed towards anyone else, and that is matched by the support from the other side. The purpose of this thread to investigate this emotional response. Now politics has always been the domain of emotion and probably always will be but at this current moment in time the level of emotion seems far higher than me than in living memory. People on both sides resort to emotion to form their views far more than they resort to rational thought. And even when they do resort to rational thought they led emotion guide their actions. A person now, especially where I am (a European university), do not oppose Bush because of his policies so much as the man himself. They do not just oppose the war in Iraq or his stance on the environment (to take just two examples) they also accuse him of underhand motives or downright insult the man as just being interesting in money and power. They cannot simply debate the issue giving the benefit of the doubt (and respect) to Mr Bush. They cannot possibly concieve that he just approaches the issue from another point of view, however wrong they consider that view. To take another example, tax cuts, they cannot think that he thinks tax cuts to the rich are the best way to simulate the American economy or that he thinks the previous tax levels for the rich were unfair. They accuse him of 'doing a favour' for his rich buddies and business associate who got him elected. It is this level of mistrust and disrespect that intrigues me. What is it about this President that generates such a reaction? Is it that his views are so far removed from those who oppose him? Is it his straight-talking approach that they find so diffferent? Is it his Texan or oil industry background that causes the mistrust? Is it something wrong with the people and nothing to do with the President? Has society changed and we now instantly distrust those in power rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt and that Bush happens to be the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time? Is it that religious influence on Bush? Is it the stubborness of the President that has created this situation, hardening those who oppose him and vanishing any hopes of compromise? Is it the dramatic difference between media-friendly Clinton and straight-talking Bush? Why is it that Bush supporters are just as veherently against his opponents as the opponents are against Bush? Is that a reaction against the level of hatred shown by the opponents? Or are the supporters responsible themselves in a sort of pre-emptive kind of way? What do you think?
 
Mr. President, the hatred directed at Bush by the Left is the exact mirror image of the hatred directed at Clinton by the Right.
 
Is it though? Clinton did not have the same clearly defined policies as Bush and he certainly did nothing as controversial as the war in Iraq. I think the comparsion is flawed though interesting.
 
Originally posted by MrPresident
he certainly did nothing as controversial as the war in Iraq.

Yes, he did. Her name was Monica Lewinsky.

It might not have been controversial in Europe, but it was here.
 
I have shared very few opinions with Bush, and of those I have shared with him, none has been for the same reasons. Even if I (sometimes) understand his reasons, I usually don't think they are right. This is why I have a problem with both "him" and his policies.
 
MrPresident, Clinton was controversial since day one. Immediately upon being sworn in, he jumped head first into the whole, 'dont ask, dont tell' nonsense, and he went reeling from that right into the healthcare debacle. These two things alone were enough to drive the Right berserk, same way that Bushs tax cuts for the rich and invasion of Iraq press all the Lefts buttons. The specifics are of course different, but the gut level loathing generated is exactly the same.
 
The thing about Dubya with me is that I very rarely share the same opinion with him. On domestic issues, Bush is too conservative for me. On foreign issues, he is too liberal.

More so, not only does he disagree with me on virtually everything, but he is damn effective at putting his policies into place. He is not only unilateral internationally, but also in Congress. There is truely a "deviousness gap" in American politics right now. I don't know if they're defeatist or blinded by idealism, but the Democrats in Congress have been run over by Bush and his political advisors over and over again.
 
I agree with Mr. P.

Clinton stirred a lot of controversy, but not blind hatred, and certainly nothing on a global scale.

I think Bush represents everything the rest of the world hates about the US.
 
Before the election i had already a bad feeling about him, without reason.

when he start to say from day 1, this is a new administration so all previous agrement....blablabla, NEW ADMINISTRATION, come on, USA is not a little restaurent aside the road.

Later , it was several international treaty , either broken and or completly ignore.

His general unilateralism and radicalism.

The hyprocrisis; god is on my side vs killing poeple in Iraq.

He s not able to speak corectly, which mean IMO brain damage.

There is also major contradiction between what he said and what he do ( intern policy).

He is arogant, insuffisant and stuborn.
 
Originally posted by Tassadar
He s not able to speak corectly, which mean IMO brain damage.

Well, I hope you speak better than you type.
 
The appearance he gives out that he doesn't have much upstairs is one reason people think there's something underhand about his policies. I for one think that he's an appealing (to some) cardboard president that his 'advisors' are using to further the agendas of themselves and their pals.
 
Originally posted by Tassadar
Before the election i had already a bad feeling about him, without reason.

Start using reason, it'll help.

when he start to say from day 1, this is a new administration so all previous agrement....blablabla, NEW ADMINISTRATION, come on, USA is not a little restaurent aside the road.

A change of power in a democratic country? :eek:

Later , it was several international treaty , either broken and or completly ignore.

The Kyoto Protocol was rejected 99-0 in the U.S. Senate?

The ABM Treaty that the Soviets/Russians violated?

His general unilateralism and radicalism.

Tell that to the British, Spanish, and Italian families of soldiers that died in military service in Iraq, or the 31 other countries that aided the U.S. in our liberation of Iraq, which I think I should remind you, President Clinton signed in 1998.

The hyprocrisis; god is on my side vs killing poeple in Iraq.

"To each his own." He has his religious convictions, so what?

He s not able to speak corectly, which mean IMO brain damage.

Your opinion then is wrong. Need I say more?

There is also major contradiction between what he said and what he do ( intern policy).

I don't seem to recall stories of President Bush whoring around the White House.

He is arogant, insuffisant and stuborn.

Right now, I'm thinking those terms could be applied to someone else...
 
Originally posted by SeleucusNicator
The thing about Dubya with me is that I very rarely share the same opinion with him. On domestic issues, Bush is too conservative for me. On foreign issues, he is too liberal.
With too conservative do you mean the Patriot Act? If so is that not in fact a rather revolutionary act which has in so many ways undermined the consitution. Since the constitution is considered a key to the foundation of the American Republic, then revoking elements of it is not conservative. Also his recent State of the Union adress was hardly conservative on domestic issues. The policy on resocialising criminals sounds decidedly 'European' to me.

When you say liberal on foreign issues do you mean liberal in the sense that maybe commercial and corporate interests are pandered to too much, or do you mean liberal in the sense he is too soft and not following through with an agenda based on realpolitik?
Overall he has respected the decisions of the WTO, while at the same time he as undermined the UN. This as to a certain extent revolutionized how the international socitey works.


More so, not only does he disagree with me on virtually everything, but he is damn effective at putting his policies into place. He is not only unilateral internationally, but also in Congress. There is truely a "deviousness gap" in American politics right now. I don't know if they're defeatist or blinded by idealism, but the Democrats in Congress have been run over by Bush and his political advisors over and over again.

But can this 'damn effectiveness' be put down to the person Bush. Was it not so that after the terrorist attacks even 'a blind person in a room full of deaf people' (this is how former secretary of the treasury Paul O'Neill described him) would have been able to push through any law in congress. I am reminded in how president Lyndon B. Johnson was able to push through a plethora a social laws, the Civil Rights Bill, concerning the creation of the 'Great Society' trough congress. This largely as a result of the assasination of president Kennedy and the Tonkin Gulf incedent, both of which weaked Republican opposition in congress.

Bush, unlike Clinton, has been a strong executive, and as such he has been a strong president. However I don't know if the spirit of the constitution envisoned such an overarching role for the President. Especially someone who effortlessly mix the pallete of political colours into a brownish shade.
 
Originally posted by thestonesfan

I think Bush represents everything the rest of the world hates about the US.

Bush is not representative of America. One reason perhaps that many people 'hate' him is perhaps that like some tired old vaudeville act they have seen it all before.

The intellectual basis, the ideology of the neo-conservatives, of the Bush administration is based on ancient European political doctrines. One that is sceptical towards democracy and scared of the power of the people.
 
Originally posted by Dr. Dr. Doktor

With too conservative do you mean the Patriot Act? If so is that not in fact a rather revolutionary act which has in so many ways undermined the consitution. Since the constitution is considered a key to the foundation of the American Republic, then revoking elements of it is not conservative. Also his recent State of the Union adress was hardly conservative on domestic issues. The policy on resocialising criminals sounds decidedly 'European' to me.

When you say liberal on foreign issues do you mean liberal in the sense that maybe commercial and corporate interests are pandered to too much, or do you mean liberal in the sense he is too soft and not following through with an agenda based on realpolitik?


No, by conservative on domestic issues I refer to his opposition to abortion, gay rights, gun control, and the such, his mixing of church and state, his domestic economic policy, etc.

By liberal on foreign issues, I mean the latter. He is far too idealistic when it comes to the Middle East. His administration's expectations about how US forces would be greeted in Iraq, as well as his expectations on how that war could be paid for, were both naive. Likewise with his stance on the situation in Israel.
 
Originally posted by rmsharpe

Tell that to the British, Spanish, and Italian families of soldiers that died in military service in Iraq, or the 31 other countries that aided the U.S. in our liberation of Iraq, which I think I should remind you, President Clinton signed in 1998.

This law Clinton concerning the 'liberation' of Iraq did that include direct order fo the deployment of military forces, the circumvention of the UN, the withdrawal of inspectors, the ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to step down? Or was it a law that called for the 'liberation' of Iraq with any means at disposal BUT the military option?
 
Originally posted by SeleucusNicator



No, by conservative on domestic issues I refer to his opposition to abortion, gay rights, gun control, and the such, his mixing of church and state, his domestic economic policy, etc.

While he might have a (faux?) conservative mindset on these issues, it is surely not more difficult ot get an abortion in the US today than it was say 10 years ago. Regarding the issue of gay rights even a socialist will see the inherent contradiction in homosexuals wanting the blessings from a church whose religion uneqivocally states that marriage is the sacred bonding between man and woman. Regarding the mixing of church and state is that not more a matter for local constituencies? For instance the case of a table of the ten commandments being taken down from a courthouse points to a direction away from mixing church and state.

By liberal on foreign issues, I mean the latter. He is far too idealistic when it comes to the Middle East. His administration's expectations about how US forces would be greeted in Iraq, as well as his expectations on how that war could be paid for, were both naive. Likewise with his stance on the situation in Israel.
Are you sure that the Bush administration was naive regarding the level of opposition to US troops? I mean if you are going to invade a country you don't start out with telling the people that this is going to be a long and bloody occupation! Likewise the size of the bill would perhaps also have weakened the argument for invading. I am making a realistic assesment here.

I am not entirely sure what the US stance on Israel is. Is there a policy at all, besides paying the Israeli their annual tuition, including the special one billion bonus for potential damages which might be incurred as a result of the Iraq war. (A possible reflection of the fact that maybe the Bush administration anticipated a rise in terror as a direct result of the war?)
 
Originally posted by Dr. Dr. Doktor


This law Clinton concerning the 'liberation' of Iraq did that include direct order fo the deployment of military forces, the circumvention of the UN, the withdrawal of inspectors, the ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to step down? Or was it a law that called for the 'liberation' of Iraq with any means at disposal BUT the military option?

http://www.fcnl.org/issues/int/sup/iraq_liberation.htm

Read it yourself.
 
Originally posted by Dumb pothead
Mr. President, the hatred directed at Bush by the Left is the exact mirror image of the hatred directed at Clinton by the Right.

No, I disagree. Though some of that is true, you have to take into account that we haven't been this partisan/polar opposites since the Civil War. Clinton did more to hold this nation together that Bush ever did (or at least less to tear it apart). Not in the last 6 or seven presidents has the encumbent gone into the election year with a 45% disapproval rating. Sure, that may not be half yet, but all the others had at least some moderates. People either love him, or they hate him. This isn't good.
 
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