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The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace — WSJ Commentary

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What must our enemies be thinking?

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

[Commentary]

According to recent Gallup polls, the president’s average approval rating is below 30% — down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, “Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.”

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.

The president’s original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country’s current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, “We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America.”

To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman’s low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.

Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman’s presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years — and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

——————–

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry’s legal team during the presidential election in 2004.

Check out a sampling of responses received to this article here.

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 9:34:38 PM

“Leave Without Winning Iraq War” Numbers Fall Below 50%

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The number of American voters who believe getting the troops home from Iraq is more important than winning there has fallen below 50% for the first time since Rasmussen began polling on the question in May. 49% still feel that way, while 42% place more importance on winning the war in Iraq. Trending spells trouble for Barack Obama on this issue…

By contrast, in mid-May, 52% said bringing the troops home was more important than winning the war, which only 39% rated as more important. In surveys in late June and early July, support for bringing the troops back was at 54% and for winning the war was at 40%.

The partisan divide remains clear, with 76% of Republicans saying that winning the war is more important and 72% of Democrats giving the higher preference to bringing the troops home.
In recent weeks, Americans also have shown record confidence that the United States is winning the war on terror.

Voters continue to see the outcomes in Iraq as widely different depending on which of the presidential candidates is elected in November.

If Democrat Barack Obama wins, 63% say it is likely that U.S. troops will be home by the end of his first term, versus 38% who think that is likely if Republican John McCain gets elected president.
But 54% believe that the United States is likely to win the war in Iraq if McCain is elected, while only 25% think that is possible if Obama becomes the next president.

In the 2004 election cycle, 51% of voters said making sure Iraq becomes “a peaceful nation enjoying freedom and democracy” was more important than bringing U.S. soldiers home right away. Thirty-nine percent (39%) believed bringing the troops home was more important.

Americans also still trust McCain far more on national security issues than Obama. In the latest survey, the Republican leads 52% to 40%, up from the eight-point lead he held the week before.

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Friday, August 8, 2008 at 4:50:17 PM

Wright, FISA, Guns & Now Ludacris: Pattern Is Obvious

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No one can say the Obama staff doesn’t at least partially learn from their mistakes…..

After allowing the Reverend Wright controversy to fester and damage his campaign for months, at least the Obama Campaign reacted fairly swiftly in putting distance between the hate speech of Ludacris in his most recent video.  Problem is, they continue to want their cake and eat it too.  In denouncing the lyrics, Obama and his staff continue to praise this despicable hater.  And that lies at the center of people’s misgivings about Senator Obama.

Saying Ludacris should be “ashamed of himself” for the lyrics he used, and then praising him for being a talented artist and good businessman, they completely negate their condemnation.  This is a replay of the Jerimah Wright business, where Obama distanced himself from that haters more inflammatory statements, yet continued to say what a close, personal friend and mentor the man was.

If this was just about those two unhinged haters, Senator Obama would be entitled by any fair-minded individual, to the benefit of the doubt.  But it is pretty clear this is about character, basic fundamental character. The lack of it.

  • Obama, going after Hillary Clinton tooth and nail, hammered her unmercifully over FISA.  Obama stated dozens of times the telecoms shouldn’t be granted immunity from lawsuits, and he would join other Senators in filibustering it if necessary, during the primaries.  As soon as he was assured the nomination, barely a week after, he voted for the measure.
  • During the primary season Obama rarely missed a chance to denigrate President Bush’s No Child Left Behind program and his Faith Based Initiative.  Now Obama, post primaries, has endorsed both, and more than endorsed, called for expanding both of them!
  • He promised to abide by and accept Public Financing of his campaign, and the attendant spending limits that would mean, only to go back on his word once he captured the nomination.
  • What little Obama is on the record as saying about gun control, shows he was for it, and believed the Second Amendment permitted strict regulation and/or banning of them. Now, with it important to capturing Independent and Republican voters, he not only endorsed the recent Supreme Court ruling on the District of Columbia’s banning of handguns, he took it a step further, saying the Court’s ruling was in line with his feelings all along!  I actually looked up at that time, looking for the house I just knew was hurtling from the heavens to land on him……
  • And of course there is the “Surge”. He was against it from the beginning. Now he says that isn’t so. And of course, Obama says he isn’t prepared to say it has worked, nor would that fact, if he were to accept its truth, cause him to support it now.

Given the above, and several dozen other reversals, the pattern is clear and set.  Apologists try to paint his about-faces as Obama’s evolution of thought, or a refinement.  That is BS.  I respect anyone having a legitimate change of heart.  Senator McCain, on drilling, for instance, was straight enough to explain that what made a sensible stance when oil was thirty-five dollars per barrel, wasn’t at all reasonable or sensible when it was over $100. In my book that isn’t flipping or flopping, but evaluating policy in light of more current conditions.

From the Surge to guns, from FISA to No Child Left Behind, to even injecting racism and gender into the campaign, it is clear Barack Obama and his team are prepared to do or say anything to get elected, to sell out any supporter or friend in order to get power.

Part of the dangerous game Obama & Company are playing is giving all these shifting positions the old “wink and nod” to his hard-core supporters…..letting them perceive that Obama hasn’t really changed at all, and is merely saying what is necessary to win–to stop that horrible McCain.  Then, once in the White House, he will somehow revert back to the “Good Barack” they flocked to and supported. Such talk is rampant in the thousands of “My Barack Obama” (http://www.mybarackobama.com) website groups.  His advisors evidently believe the cult of personality they have developed around Obama will be able to ride out the eventual disenchantment and fury when most his supporters realize they have been played.

I wonder. If their gamble is wrong, people will take to the streets.

Obama Now Says “Conditions” To Dictate Final Withdrawal – Years From Now

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Barack Obama said today that the size of the U.S. forces left in Iraq would be “entirely conditions-based.” Obama said Prime Minister Maliki recognized Iraq was “going to need our help for some time to come. We’re going to have a very capable counter-terrorism strike force there for a while, it’s hard to know where we may be a 1.5 years from now.”

The McCain campaign said the comments were the latest shift in Obama’s position on Iraq toward his opponent’s view that troop withdrawals must be based on security conditions.

“Barack Obama is ultimately articulating a position of sustained troop levels in Iraq based on the conditions on the ground and the security of the country. That is the very same position that John McCain has long held,” said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

“We welcome this latest shift in Senator Obama’s position, but it is obvious that it was only a lack of experience and judgment that kept him from arriving at this position sooner,” the campaign said in a statement.

McCain, like President Bush, has opposed a fixed schedule for withdrawing combat troops, preferring to remain until Iraq is fully secure.

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 10:11:08 PM

Obama Chooses Sightseeing Over Visiting Wounded Soldiers

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In spite of the spin back at home, Barack Obama’s swing through Europe has garnered mostly yawns from citizens of the European Union.

As reported on Hot Air, it seems the Obama Campaign nixed visits to wounded American troops in Germany and France in favor of down-time revelary according to Jake Tapper at ABC New’s blog.

Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air said:

“I guess this is a question of priorities.  Barack Obama apparently ran short on time in his visit to Germany today, and travelers know how schedules can slip during long tours, even without all of the events Obama had planned.  Those circumstances force people to prioritize their time, and eliminate less-useful stops.”

So what’s happening? What did Obama cut? According to Der Spiegel’s blog…..

++ Visit to US Military Bases Cancelled ++

1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

Der Spiegel also reported the following:

++ Paris Left Cold by Obama Visit ++
3:30 p.m.: While Obama’s Berlin visit has caused a stir, hardly anyone is interested in his trip to Paris on Friday. There are hardly any French media reports on the eve of his visit. There is merely some grumbling about the extensive itinerary for his trip to Berlin. “A speech in Berlin, five little hours in Paris,” writes French daily Le Monde.

Well, you know The French….always so touchy about those Germans, lol.

So…..Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American military personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans (and the videographers capturing it all for campaign ads in the States) so he could wine and dine in Berlin, sample the night life? Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief, isn’t it?

Jake Tapper follows up, saying the Obama campaign says a visit to Landstuhl would have been “inappropriate” for a campaign trip:

“During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops. For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”

It begs the question as to what, exactly is Obama’s trip? A campaign event or one to familiarize himself with Europe? Previously the campaign has stressed that although the campaign was paying for the EU portion of his travels, the purpose of his visiting Europe was to meet with various leaders, gather “facts” and opinions of various world leaders.  Is it ever “inappropriate” for an American leader to take the time to visit wounded warriors?

Here is a headline sampling of a Google News search on “European reaction to Obama trip”, it is very telling:

Gee…..one could substitute “Obama” for “President Bush” and it would exactly match what Bush has said on previous European speeches!  At home is the only place one will see headlines like the Atlanta Journal, saying “Obama Rising Star In Europe”.  It has become so blatant that all one can do is laugh at how stupid most of the media think we Americans are.

The main purpose of Obama’s trip is to gather video footage for campaign spots. And that is pretty damn cynical and sick, but nor surprising from Team Obama.

Washington Post Editorial: Mr. Obama in Iraq

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Did he really find support for his withdrawal plan?

THE INITIAL MEDIA coverage of Barack Obama’s visit to Iraq suggested that the Democratic candidate found agreement with his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat forces on a 16-month timetable. So it seems worthwhile to point out that, by Mr. Obama’s own account, neither U.S. commanders nor Iraq’s principal political leaders actually support his strategy.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the dramatic turnaround in U.S. fortunes, “does not want a timetable,” Mr. Obama reported with welcome candor during a news conference yesterday. In an interview with ABC, he explained that “there are deep concerns about . . . a timetable that doesn’t take into account what [American commanders] anticipate might be some sort of change in conditions.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki’s timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama’s. More significant, it would be “a timetable which Iraqis set” — not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki “wants some flexibility in terms of how that’s carried out.”
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Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq’s rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.

Mr. Obama’s response is that, as president, he would have to weigh Iraq’s needs against those of Afghanistan and the U.S. economy. He says that because Iraq is “a distraction” from more important problems, U.S. resources devoted to it must be curtailed. Yet he also says his aim is to “succeed in leaving Iraq to a sovereign government that can take responsibility for its own future.” What if Gen. Petraeus and Iraqi leaders are right that this goal is not consistent with a 16-month timetable? Will Iraq be written off because Mr. Obama does not consider it important enough — or will the strategy be altered?

Arguably, Mr. Obama has given himself the flexibility to adopt either course. Yesterday he denied being “so rigid and stubborn that I ignore anything that happens during the course of the 16 months,” though this would be more reassuring if Mr. Obama were not rigidly and stubbornly maintaining his opposition to the successful “surge” of the past 16 months. He also pointed out that he had “deliberately avoided providing a particular number” for the residual force of Americans he says would be left behind.

Yet Mr. Obama’s account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is “the central front” for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered.

While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country’s strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world’s largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama’s antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 12:27:23 AM

Barack Obama And The Surge — New & Improved Answer Needed

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If Barack Obama’s message team draws one lesson from his foreign jaunt, it almost assuredly should be this: When he finally shares a stage with John McCain, he’s got to provide a better answer than he’s been offering on whether last year’s surge in U.S. troop deployment in Iraq can be considered a success and whether he was wrong to oppose it….

He can’t concede the latter; the base of the Democratic Party would never stand for it. But he’ll need to parry the grilling he can expect on the matter from McCain — the surge’s most notable political advocate — more deftly than he did when pressed on the subject by CBS’ Katie Couric in an interview that aired Tuesday.

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Written by Ridgeliner7

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 7:19:57 PM