Talk about a mess in D.C.
Through thick and thin, I’ve actually supported the President and the Administration. There have been times that the President and his “team” have done the right thing. Despite some errors I would agree with many who say that the President was sterling after 9/11. He set the right tone, serious, somber, compassionate, with more than a bit of letting all know that payback was going to be a bitch, and it was. Afghanistan, may have been impossible to have executed better, and considering the small number of assets on the ground, it makes the accomplishment even more admirable. I also support NCLB, and the way the policy was framed by having key leaders in the Democratic caucas work with leaders of the GOP to get important legislation passed. Is the legislation perfect, of course not. Any major policy change will have more than a few kinks to iron out, and it is also important to remember that most policies take more than a few years to get rolling. NCLB will likely be reauthorized and amended, hopefully without having its teeth taken out, which is why the spending increases it authorizes is justified. Furthermore, I believe that The Patriot Act, and no I don’t like some of its intrusions, is needed. Sometimes the needs of the many require a bit of sacrifice, and the reality of terrorism mandates the Patriot Act.
I can also give the Administration a pass on Iraq, in part. Part of me was more than ready to see Sadaam get the boot, and in all candor, he fully earned that rope around his neck. Also, the Iraqi people may have yearned to breathe free air, and you can argue that in many areas they are better off. There are also real reasons why this war has not worked out as planned, and four years to the day of “Mission Accomplished” the Democrats will hand in a bit of a snarky anniversary present to the President to veto. Got to love that timing. It is interesting to note that Bush 41 didn’t let US troops go past their mandate, a fact that was brought out in full light by George Clooney’s film, Three Kings, which seemed to have supported the idea, yet as we know full well, that we are in Iraq up to our eyeballs. Jon Stewart whose show I confess to watching on occassion, although he really needs to remember that there is another political party to bash on, possibly said it best, “Those people are crazy”. I had some reservations about the Iraq adventure at its start, and the argument of WMD didn’t move me too much. The concept of nation building did have an appeal, but now, I have to ask myself was it worth it. It’s too early to tell, and I think it will likely be 20 years before the fruits from the seeds which our nation’s policy has yielded in that region.
Enter the second term and so far even to this person
(who dragged his liberal wife, and trust me gang, she’s about as lib as they come – I mean she has the long curly hair and IS from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts – to a battleground state to do campaign work for W, and I still love the mental image of her with her “W” is for “Women” placard. Her mother STILL isn’t talking that much to her!)
who is on W’s side, has to give this second go round a C minus at best and more likely a D, and I’m marking on a pretty generous curve. Now before you consider me as an easy or tough marker, I’ll give you my other grades for Presidents:
W’s first term B+
Clinton 1 B-
Clinton 2 C+
Bush 41 B
Reagan 1 A+
Reagan 2 A-
If you consider, Katrina and the lack of apparent INITIAL urgency, which has since framed the debate, that’s strike one. When you consider the lack of clarity in getting the message about Iraq OUT to the public and countering or framing the conversation in a light, that has to be strike two. Not looking good for ole W. More recently, the Gonzales flap, which has been blown out of proportion to some degree, and so we’ll have to call that one a foul ball. Hey, Gonzales isn’t a criminal, at least if he is the guys doing the investigating, who want to hang this guy, are about as efficient as the Three Stooges in their inquiries. So, still 0-2. Now the Scooter Libby debacle, and to me there’s a lot of smoke about this one. I never really paid too much attention to it, frankly in part because you needed an index card with notes to follow the script, so another foul ball, and the count holds at 0-2. When you throw in Harriet Myers, he got another foul ball as it ticked off the base. Now, I didn’t think that Ms. Myers was going to be another Madeline Murray O’Hare on the bench, but it was obvious that the base wasn’t going to go along for that ride, so another foul ball. If you add in a few of the other messes, which are not inherently Mr. Bush’s fault, but are at best foul balls, and some were tips that weren’t yet held onto by the catcher, including Walter Reed, and the recent flap over an Undersecretary of State being a client of a D.C. madam agency – he claims it was just for massages. That line didn’t work for Ted Haggerty and if you’re paying $500 for a massage, not only are you using icky methods, you’re also a bad consumer to boot. All of these “foul tips” are not helping the unrest coming from the stadium. You can add in the inability to get something done with illegal immigration if you would like, but that issue has more turns and twists to it than a gyrating whirling dervish on a high from drinking too much coffee, so that one was another foul ball.
While any Administration has its ups and downs, and it’s hard to make everyone happy, the past two year by most objective lighting has to be ruled pretty bad for the President. I also happen to be on his side, just as I was on President Clinton’s side. Because in the long run, being on their side is in my own interest. Put one in play Mr. President and perhaps you can start a rally and turn around the last two years of your administration, and if you want to use the grading metaphor, there is still time to turn it around if you study hard and do well on your tests!