Thursday, September 15, 2005


Priceless. Wish I had seen it too, but I barely turn on ABC any more.

Evacuées New Orleaneans who actually hold their local and state government responsible. Who'da thunk it possible after the gorging of the press on the federal government?

And now here's the tape and the transcript available at Newsbusters.

How reassuring! Some things in the world never change. John Kerry's rhetorical tone deafness for one.
"Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number. Leadership is getting the job done. No American doubts that New Orleans will rise again, they doubt the competence and commitment of this Administration. Weeks after Katrina, Americans want an end to politics-as-usual that leaves them dangerously and unforgivably unprepared. Americans want to know that their government will be there when it counts with leadership that keeps them safe, not speeches in the aftermath to explain away the inexcusable."
He'd have enjoyed the Galloway performance because it would have given him a chance to watch a master using the same tired, push-button, name calling approach to politics that he uses. And the response this whips up among the left.

"Cheney!" Boo! "Bush." Boo! "Neo-con." Boo! "Halliburton." Boo! "Hurricane Katrina." Boo! "Barbara Bush" Boo!

Could anything be emptier?

Taranto puts his response to this better than me. "To John Kerry, it seems, leadership is issuing whiny press releases. Just think, if only he'd been elected president, he could respond to Katrina with whiny White House press releases!"

In contrast to Kerry, John Podhoretz asks some pertinent questions, to which he doesn't have the answers, about how the post-Katrina speech will effect some of Bush's most faithful supporters. Does it signal the last deathknell of the Republican pretense of small government? And the support of all those who support that position?
The reason Bush's poll numbers have been declining over the past several months isn't that liberals and independents don't like him. For the most part, they haven't liked him except for a few weeks around 9/11. He's been showing some weakness among his core Republican voters, especially in Katrina's wake, with polls suggesting a 15 percent drop in support from these people who, for the most part, loved him during his first term.

When a president gets into trouble, he needs to firm up his base. Last night, Bush did something entirely different.

The stark political question is this: Is there enough "give" in the American body politic for those who have decided they don't like or trust him to alter their view a bit? Were such people capable of listening to his speech with an open mind, thinking well enough of his ambitious promises to help bring about a change in his political fortunes?

I honestly don't know the answer, but common sense and observation tell me most such people have tuned him out permanently. And if I'm right about this, then Bush can score no points with them or the politicians who represent them — and will have alienated, to some degree, the people who do admire him deeply.

Throughout this year, Bush and his administration have behaved in ways that suggest they have lost a great deal of the astonishing political skills they displayed during the first term. Last night, they either found their footing in an appeal to the broad political middle — or they have tripped themselves up yet again, and crippled themselves perhaps beyond repair.


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