First he is a Democrat and then he is a Republican and now? He wants to find some gentleness in the world. In fact he says the guy he likes the best out there is Barak Obama, a uniter. Yep, that is correct, a junior Democrat with a voting record as liberal as Harry Reid's is a uniter. Gag me:
From Dafydd who has a lot to say about this:
Were it not for the Bush administration's rapid pre-landing response and post-landing followup, thousands more people would be dead.
So what exactly was it about Bush's handing of the hurricane that so saddened Matthew Dowd? I would love to know if Dowd still believes the long-discredited urban legends of multiple murders, rapes, and cannibalism in the Superdome...
And now we really get to the meat: Dowd was stunned that President Bush refused to meet -- for a second time -- with Cindy Sheehan, during the time she had become "the angriest dog in the world" (that's a David Lynch reference, not a comment on her perfectly average looks): camping out in front of Bush's Prairie Chapel Ranch, calling him the most vile epithets, accusing him of "murdering" her son, and in general, acting like an unstable mental patient undergoing an episode.
But Bush should have met with her, Dowd says, because...? He offers no reason.
Has he even thought through what would have happened had Bush met with her? She would have berated him, hectored him, lectured him, screamed at him, insulted him and the office, issued diktats that he could not possibly obey, and belittled Bush, the presidency, and the United States -- all on national TV. This would be live, if Bush were foolish enough to allow cameras at the meeting; or if not, then later, when Sheehan would gleefully have reenacted her tantrum for the cameras.
It would have been a PR nightmare, and it would certainly have further damaged the war support, already precarious. If that really were Dowd's advice at the time (which I highly doubt), then thank God he's out of the White House. Were I a Democratic candidate for the presidency considering hiring him for the upcoming campaign, that comment alone would kill the deal for me.
It's as nutty as saying that Bush should attend an anti-war sit-in. It's not merely bad advice, it's stupid advice. But at last, this leads us into the crux of Mr. Dowd's complaints...
The war thing
It really seems to boil down to the Iraq war. But there is an aspect of Dowd's change of heart that particularly disturbs me (repels me, actually): Dowd admits arriving at his new moral denunciation of the war for reasons as personal, if not as drastic, as Cindy Sheehan's:
His views against the war began to harden last spring when, in a personal exercise, he wrote a draft opinion article and found himself agreeing with Mr. Kerry’s call for withdrawal from Iraq. He acknowledged that the expected deployment of his son Daniel was an important factor....
“If the American public says they’re done with something, our leaders have to understand what they want,” Mr. Dowd said. “They’re saying ‘Get out of Iraq.’ ”
First of all, there is no evidence the American people are saying "get out of Iraq." They're clearly saying they not happy with the Iraq war.
But does that mean they necessarily want to immediately abandon Iraq, the Iraqis, and all of our allies, leaving Iraq to complete collapse, to become another failed state -- and a new training and staging ground for al-Qaeda?
Or do the people mean they want to start seeing tangible victories?
To paraphrase Hermann Göring, whenever I hear a man say he is the vox populi -- I reach for my airsickness bag. Oh, please, Matthew Dowd; nobody elected you to lead the American people; they elected (twice) the guy you're now trashing!
But what tore it for me anent Dowd and his fabulous bag of Bush betrayals is his admission that what really turned him so strongly against the war was when "he watched his oldest son prepare for deployment to Iraq as an Army intelligence specialist fluent in Arabic."
That was when Dowd "[wrote] but never submitted an op-ed article titled 'Kerry Was Right,' arguing that Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2004 presidential candidate, was correct in calling last year for a withdrawal from Iraq."
Read it all. It is worth the time.