Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Dead Certain," history of a failed presidency

I picked up this book at Borders when it went on a fire sale price of $4.23 including tax. I figured at that price, I could endure reading a recent history of GW. Now that he is no longer in office that is. I got as far as his 2004 re-election bid and cracked up when GW really met Senator Kerry ready to rumble in the first of three presidential debates. Why? Because I had sent Senator Kerry e-mails through his web site to advice him about the need to task GW on the record, his record as known over the last four years by what the news media reported. What Kerry did not do during his airing of campaign ads, he did do during the debates, reminded the people of GW's actual record. Even if GW was to win the election in 2004, his nose was bloodied sufficiently by 2006, that the Dems started regaining the control of Congress. All Kerry had to do was start exposing the fraud of the GW presidency. Even further, the man that people saw as "one of us" held a sort of aristocratic view that he could never accept being challenged. Well, excuse me, GW, but this nation is a democracy. How Robert Draper described GW's reaction to even being challenged by Senator Kerry was pure joy. The debates had rocked GW in a way that he was not prepared for. Within two years, especially after Katrina, GW would face a voter revolt. But then, I expect it would take a bruising re-election for GW for people to begin to wake up to the facts. GW once had very high approval ratings that carried him into the war with Iraq. But, with Kerry carrying at least 48% of the vote, GW's popularity and factual mandate had basically eroded. Katrina—and GW's approval ratings never really recovered. Had Katrina occurred in 2004, it would have been the defining moment of GW losing the election. Especially if he showed the sort of carelessness toward Louisiana and other areas along the Gulf Coast that he did in 2005. The timing right before the off-year elections of this hurricane, couldn't be better. The same sort of fumble hand behind Iraq was also on woeful display on the home front. The people weren't likely to forget it, especially after CNN saw Katrina as the one impeachable offense that needed to be kept in the court of public opinion. But it took them all of 4 years to reach that particular conclusion.

I know that the author wanted to be more than fair to GW and to give the man a "humanizing" aspect. To put it bluntly, that would be an impossible task to fulfill. Here is one reason, Florida went to GW twice. First in 2000 when hanging and pregnant chads produced a highly contested election between Gore and GW. But, without a question, GW did win Florida quite handily by 2004. When President Obama went to a town in Florida today, one hit hard by job losses, there was a fellow in the audience who thanked him for visiting this town and even being prepared to listen to the people in the audience. Apparently, something that GW had not done in all of eight years! Here's why: he might campaign in Florida, but he made certain that the only people who came to see him and ask questions were carefully pre-screened as to their ideological loyalty. As Draper described, to assure GW's "comfort level." How could a man who was seen as "one of us," insist (as a matter of royalty or aristocracy) that he never be offended by the rabble who might not hold him in high regard. And indeed, who (Ft. Meyers, Fla, Elkhart, Indiana) might have a very good reason as to why they'd have heartburn. Well, as Obama was quick to point out, between 2008 and the first 2 months of 2009, unemployment had doubled. GW couldn't be bothered to actually discuss anything with real citizens, only with those citizens who'd further his political campaign. Real citizens would have a few nits to pick with the man. So, a fellow in the audience who made a most telling statement today: about Obama's predecessor who never once came to visit and actually listen to their concerns. And they thoroughly appreciated the fact that Obama met with them and did so. To put it bluntly, GW never really caring about the people he was elected to lead was pretty much vindicated by what I watched this morning.

By 2008, and well into the presidential campaign, GW's polls had dropped so low that he had a negative effect over his chosen successor. And the above is sufficient reason why. Events, GW never wanting to be challenged or having his comfort level invaded; as a consequence, he would find the GOP more thoroughly reduced to a minority status and an African-American Dem would become president.

Seeing a bit of Cal Thomas, and then listening to GOP Governor Crist of Florida, his introduction of Obama included holding a hand out for that federal stimulus package. Let's hope that Thomas and his rants about "hidden welfare spending" took a note of Crist wanting that very thing for his state. Bear in mind that Crist can't hold forth on being a limited gvt free market GOP if the financial situation is so dire that he can't hope to keep his budget balanced. When GOP mayors and Governors plead poverty, that puts them at odds with the Congressional GOP who don't care for a Dem generated stimulus plan. At this point, I highly doubt that Crist much cares, as long as he can get federal money into his hot little hands.

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