Tuesday, May 23, 2006


"When I disagree with a member of MY team, I simply tell them what I would do. I don’t start kicking over everything in the room and threaten to never support them again, or throw my support to their enemies."

Bush Pitch
At present, it is popular among conservatives to bash President Bush. This is often done with as little style and originality as liberals have for six years, often using the same insults and lines. The reasons for this are complex, although his stance on immigration is the final straw that drove most around the corner from frustrated support to angry opposition. But the man has been consistent and steady over the years, delivering many great things that conservatives appreciated, while making moves that we have not.

The Anchoress is a Democrat blogger who originally was no supporter of President Bush, but has become more his friend over the years. She ponders this and his career in a post called The Essential President Bush, asking a question:

That made me wonder a little - has President Bush lost his bearings, or have we? Is it President Bush who has broken faith with “his base” or have they?

She goes on to consider this, examining various events in the man's presidency:

Perhaps I am a dim bulb, but President Bush has never surprised me, and that is probably why I have never felt let down or “betrayed” by him. He is, in essentials, precisely whom he has ever been. He did not surprise me when he managed, in August of 2001, to find a morally workable solution
in the matter of Embryonic Stem Cells. He did not surprise me when, a month later, he stood on a pile of rubble and lifted a broken city from its knees. When my NYFD friends told me of the enormous consolation and strength he brought to his meetings with grieving families, I was not surprised. When the World Series opened in New York City and the President was invited to throw the first pitch, there was no surprise in his throwing (while wearing body armor) a perfect strike.

And the Anchoress wraps it all up with these concluding thoughts:

How you receive a good has a lot to do with whether any more “good” comes your way. The Conservatives got a “good” in 2000 and 2004; they’re receiving it very badly, indeed. I think the throwing-under-the-bus-of-George-W-Bush by “the base” is one of the most shameful things I have ever witnessed in all my years of watching politics, from both sides of the political spectrum. How do you receive a good?

President Bush has never surprised me. He is, in essentials, the man he ever was. It does not surprise me that he is a Christian man living a creed before he is a President, that he is a President before he is a Conservative. It seems to me precisely the right order of things.

You “base” have received a great good. You’ve forgotten it. Continue to do so at your - at all our - great peril.

I dislike President Bush's willingness to spend too much - he could have vetoed spending and lobbied to cut it back - and his position on immigration is better, but still wants to reward long-term criminals for being persistent and defiant of our immigration laws. I am frustrated with his near lack of effort to get his word out on what he's doing. But overall, he's been a good president, he's done much of what Conservatives needed and wanted to see, and as a career, he's actually done more conservative work than President Reagan did - he just isn't as charismatic and faces far, far more bitter, angry, and extreme opposition.

I don't expect perfection, and I knew from the first day I saw George Bush the Younger running for president he was not as conservative as I was, except in social areas. But he's done much and is very, very unfairly attacked and vilified every single day. I don't expect politicians to be perfect - I don't even expect them to be trustworthy and fulfill their duties in office. I just know to appreciate it when they are and do. And I recognize that a mistake or bad policy can be repaired and redone, but that good work needs to be supported and appreciated. I'll not sacrifice the good in foolish longing for the perfect.

Commenters at Anchoress' blog had this to say:

Brava, Anchoress, BRAVA!!!

I thought my husband and I were the only ones who felt this way. Nice to see that we are in such excellent company. Thanks for this post.
-by Julie D.

I agree, Anchoress. I think President Bush is one the truest, most honorable and principled men to occupy the White House in many years. In fact, he may well be the only person in America that cares about the immigrants without regard to some ulterior politcal or economic motive.

That’s what makes it so damn hard to part company here with this good man. Maybe devorcing someone is hardest when you don’t hate him.

You can undo an ill-advised law about taxes or energy or the budget or this or that. You can’t undo the consequences of the Bush/Senate immigration reform.

Yes, we’re a nation of immigrants. But after we all got off the boat, we were popped into to a militantly nationalistic public school system that converted us all into 100% red blooded Americans, as they used to say.

Well, that process hasn’t worked in years, and you can thank pc for that.
And until we get it working again, until we can make the country sturdy in spirit again, I have to stand against the President–and you, I guess.

But may I still wave to you from across no-man’s land?
-by igout

Anchoress, You are a blessing. You eloquently express what I feel. My heart is also broken that this good man is so maligned from all sides. I pray for him daily. I hope his family has his back and props him up when he gets down as surely he must. He takes the hits because he believes what he believes. Such a one as this will not come around again soon.
-by fschmeig

In fact, you summed it it nicely a few days ago when you noted that the president represents all Americans and his mandate exceeds that of pleasing and satisfying his ‘base’ only.

It is hubris that by many on either side of the political spectrum that denies that truth.

To this day, Mr Bush has given me no reason to distrust him or his motives.

True, he is a politician, constricted by the ‘rules of the game.’ That said, he remains a decent man, guided by decent ideals.
-by Sigmund Carl and Alfred

Excellent post as usual, Dear A. However, I have noted that the concern of several of the Usual Conservative Suspects is driven from their fear of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And the fact that Mr. Bush–so stalwart in defending Iraq and Afghanistan–seems to be overly concerned with appeasing Mr. Fox.
Why? The accommodation of the millions of illegals, especially those from Mexico, has made the U.S. an “enabler” in the AA sense, allowing the Mexican Government to avoid the hard work of cleaning the corruption in their own government and building their own country’s infrastructure and economy. Mexico is a land rich in natural resources, has a tradition of education, and whose people (as we in the U.S. can attest) are willing and able to work hard.
Why does Mr. Bush continue to enable Mexico? His actions don’t make sense to me and his administration’s fatal flaw is the inability to communicate his ideas and his vision directly to his constituents.
Tell me your vision, Mr. President! Give me some idea of where you see us, America, in the next ten years, or 20, or 50! I want to believe–but I can’t do it on just your word that “It will all work out.”
-by March Hare

Thank you for the post….. and for all those people out there obsessing about immigration to the point of lunacy..where were you a decade ago? Why is it all of a sudden that you lose all reason on this issue? Bush is actually confronting it and trying to get something done. Left to one of the “base” the status quo, illegals and all would probably go on indefinetly, just like it always has.

I don’t even think a lot of these people listened to the President when he talked about immigration, they just kept right on blowing off as if they had some special insight that Bush does not.

Why should an Independent like me ever trust or believe this base? After all, they have proven how shallow they really are.
-by Terrye

Thank you, thank you dear Anchoress. You are so right when you say that he is exactly who we knew him to be all along. He never tried to make us believe differently on this or any issue. I think he ‘calls them like he sees them’. I think the man is true to his conscience and to what he believes is best for this country, to his political peril, I’m afraid. I sincerely hope history sees him for who he is and not for what he’s been made out to be by the press and his fellow conservatives. After all, he campaigned on compassionate conservatism. What did people think that meant, after all?
-by Gracie

Beautifully said and I couldn’t agree more! When I disagree with a member of MY team, I simply tell them what I would do. I don’t start kicking over everything in the room and threaten to never support them again, or throw my support to their enemies. We are at War. Not only on the field of comabat, but here at home. The MSM launched another offensive this weekend to hurt the US economy. See those headlines “Is the market DUE for another catastropic correction?” Ahh, no..it isn’t. Almost all the change in inflation is due to higher energy prices–more than at any other time in history. Plus those price increases are due to a run-up in the futures market, not any supply and demand concerns. Trying to help your Dem buddies, MSM? After ignoring all the positive economic news of the last two years? Disgusting! And the Wapo coming out with that headline about the Republicans’ future hinging on the next election? It doesn’t for the Democrats? Hmmm? Maybe we need a new trend in the US—’Wrote Rage”–where readers tar and feather MSM writers who insult their intelligence. And work against the best interests of this country. I’m glad I am not a Democrat today, with my success pinned to everything negative that could happen to my country and trying to make that a reality. I’d like to think that if I were I would be thinking about doing what’s best for my country now…Checking on my immigration application to Canada. Or something more permanent.
-by Darrell

Utterly fantastic, beautiful and meaningful. I completely agree with you about Bush, and the excess of conservative desire for Unreal Perfection — and disagree with Bush on immigration.

In fact, each and every conservative against Bush should be asked — where is your energy on the local Republican Primary, to get a better Republican candidate?

I’m afraid the Personality Bush-hate anti-cult of the media has infected Michelle Malkin & LaShawn Barber (who I read and enjoy and usually agree with), into being too critical of Bush.

Bush, or any “conservative” leader, needs supporters in Congress. The failure of conservative pundits to pressure big-spending Reps is a failure of the Republican “leader” as well as the pundits — and, like most folks, they want to blame Bush instead.

Prof. Bainbridge and Mark Tapscott should be scolded for taking the easy, lazy, “Bush only” approach to gov’t, and not fighting the longer, harder, “true conservatives” for Congress thru Rep primaries.

Just as the media focuses too much on America (not Darfur, Congo, China, Indonesia), it focuses too much on the President, not enough on the 100 Senators and 435 reps.

Most conservatives who feel betrayed by Bush have betrayed themselves by their own laziness/ busyness in other things.

Thanks again for your heart AND mind.
Please consider re-reading Rerum Novarum (115th anniversary last week).
-by Tom Grey-Liberty Dad

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Muslihoon said...

I'm an impulsive Bush fanboy. I don't think he's perfect. I don't agree with a some of what he is doing. But I think he is the best president we have ever had. We're in such challenging times, internationally and domestically. I think he's doing what he thinks is best.

I don't think it's wrong to constructively criticize Bush, but unqualified Bush-bashing, by the left or the right, is unacceptable to me. He has a tough job to begin with.

Thanks for this wonderful post, Christopher!

Christopher R Taylor said...

I agree, and I think President Bush the younger will go down in history as one of our very greatest. It will probably just take decades before people finally recognize it.