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Friday, September 16, 2005

Bush Bait and Switch

IT'S A VARIATION OF the tried and proven bait and switch technique. You screw up, so what do you do? After denial and the passage of time no longer works, first you 'sincerely' apologize.

Then you provide a new and grandiose vision for the future that the people can focus on, and soon (hopefully) all of your past sins will be forgotten. He said what needed to be said, or should I say what the public wanted to hear. It's a strategy that Karl Rove can be proud:

"The main text of President Bush's nationally televised address last night was the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but the clear subtext was the rebuilding of a presidency that is now at its lowest point ever, confronted by huge and simultaneous challenges at home and abroad -- and facing a country divided along partisan and racial lines.

Hurricane Katrina struck at the core of Bush's presidency by undermining the central assertion of his reelection campaign, that he was a strong and decisive leader who could keep the country safe in a crisis. Never again will the White House be able to point to his often-praised performance after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, without skeptics recalling the fumbling and slow-off-the-mark response of his administration after the hurricane and the flooding in New Orleans.

His response to these criticisms last night was a speech largely shorn of soaring rhetoric and stirring turns of phrase of the kind that marked his efforts to rally the country after the terrorist attacks. Instead, as if recognizing that his own road back will be one marked by steady but small steps, he spoke with workmanlike focus, spelling out the details of what has been done and will be done to help those displaced by the storm.

In again taking responsibility for the federal government's failures, Bush signaled last night that the White House has decided not to contest the widespread perceptions that his administration failed in the early days of the crisis. By embracing those criticisms, they hope to make the issue a sideshow that will play out sometime in the future. Instead, after a halting start, the White House appears intently focused on demonstrating the president's capacity to manage the huge rebuilding effort ahead.

Bush's advisers believe that, despite the partisan finger-pointing over what happened, most Americans are not looking back and will judge the president on what happens going forward. But as Iraq has shown over the past two years, the facts on the ground shape public confidence in the president more than words or promises."

THE QUESTION REMAINS, will it be enough to repair the presidency and his ability to govern effectively for the remaining 40 months?

TALK IS CHEAP. For a fiscally conservative government, will they, or can they possibly deliver?

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2 Comments: 'It's your turn to toss the ball'...

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it was a good speech.

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At 1:13 PM, Blogger cardinal47 said...

The Washington Post has a good article analyzing Bush's speech last night and the implications for his presidency of the Katrina debacle.THe policies he put forth continue to bear the hallmark of the conservative right-wing agenda that has characterized the Bush Presidency.Will Americans be satisfied with this in the afermath of Katrina? I hope not.

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Canada's Nixon Betrayed by Tapes

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9/11 Remembered

U.S. Can't Ban Media Coverage of New Orleans

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New Orleans Begins Counting Its Dead

Now Comes The Body Count

Hurricane Katrina Aid Relief

An Open Prayer for Victims of Hurricane Katrina

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