Bush, Nancy, and RBDS
I would like to reply to a comment that Moe Lane made under the comments section of the “Nancy. Knew” diary he wrote last Friday. We were going around in circles, so I didn’t pursue it further there. However, I believe Moe made an assertion that does not bear up under logical analysis.
The question was raised (by Kayla) following Moe’s diary as to why President Bush let Nancy pretend she was totally in the dark about waterboarding when he apparently had the evidence to prove she had been briefed on it. Moe replied that the Democrats would have committed sedition if Bush had challenged them on their lies. I challenged this assertion, asking what greater sedition they had in store if President Bush had challenged them. He said they might have defunded the war. I then challenged this assertion, saying that if they had had the political cover they needed to defund the war, they would have done so; President Bush’s being obsequiously polite to them was not the only thing standing between them and defunding the war. I also asserted that President Bush’s challenging them on their lies could have only weakened their political hand, and Bush was, in fact, by not standing up to them, making it easier for the Democrats to defund the war. Moe’s exasperated response to me was that the Democrats would have indeed behaved just that abominably, how many different ways did he have to say it, and why don’t I complain about them for a change instead of President Bush.
Now, I was not at all expressing incredulity at the abominable behavior Democrats are capable of. President Bush, not I, is the one who needs an education in that area. I was saying that they weren’t threatening to defund the war just to force President Bush to be silent in the face of their lies. I think that the assertion falls apart on its own premise. And I want to state why I think that.
Let us just assume that Moe is right, and that Nancy and Harry held the defunding club over President Bush’s head to keep him from telling the truth about them. Why would they do this?
The only reason they would have threatened President Bush with a “nuclear” option of defunding the war was if they thought that Bush’s revelation of their lies would have caused them severe political damage. In other words, if Moe is right, they feared the revelation. However, if they were rightfully afraid, and telling the truth about them could have damaged them that badly, how would they have then had the political capital to retaliate in kind by defunding the war? Clearly, they wouldn’t have. You don’t go with a nuclear – and highly controversial — retaliation when you’re reeling from a public relations disaster. It simply doesn’t make sense.
In truth, if a revelation of the Democrats’ lying would have damaged them that badly, and they feared it as much as Moe implied they did, then it was President Bush, not the Democrats, who was holding all the cards. He was the one with the club in his hand; he was the one who could have told the Democrats to stop with this nonsense on “torture,” or he’d reveal just how much on board they had been on the so-called “torture” from the start.
Therefore, the basis premise of Moe’s defense of President Bush’s silence doesn’t make sense.
But in truth, this particular defense is just one more in an endless series of attempts made by a lot of good people to reconstruct President Bush’s actions, and even reconstitute reality, so that somehow, someway, despite our lying eyes, President Bush actually was the terrific leader we all wish he had been.
So even if that’s so, how about Moe’s second point. Why do I keep on complaining about President Bush and why don’t I complain about the Democrats for a change?
Actually, I do complain about the Democrats quite a bit. But still, why do I still complain about President Bush?
Well, for one thing, despite the fact that a lot of very fine and intelligent people think very highly of President Bush’s leadership, I personally find a lot of Bush boosting to be a form of Reverse Bush Derangement Syndrome (RBDS), and it is hard for me to swallow. It almost annoys me as much as liberals do when they deny left-wing media bias or when they deny the fact that Clinton was a corrupt politician. No amount of facts can dissuade them. And RBDS annoys me in the same way. No matter how many incidents you can rack up of GWB caving to the Democrats — of his silence in the face of their lies, of his embarrassing desire to flatter them while they savagely attack him, of his greater willingness to defend them than to defend members of his own administration, of his greater willingness to attack his own supporters than to site simple facts to refute his critics — he was still just plain terrific. And all of these incidents that point to a contrary conclusion can, with just enough application of intellectual elbow grease, be sqeezed and fit and construed to show how he was actually doing something terrific all along.
Second of all, RBDS keeps alive the possibility of a Part III of the most disastrous political dynasty in American history. Bushes have given us Clinton and Obama — and Barak Obama, with only an eviscerated Republican party to oppose him, may well be a disaster the country never recovers from. But yet, so many Republicans just can’t get enough of the Bushes. Even after two Bushes have New Toned the Republican Party into irrelevancy, many people are still hoping for a Jeb Bush Presidency. The more we build up a folklore about the leadership of GWB – a man who for large stretches of time didn’t lead at all, and in fact seemed to consider leadership a form of bad political manners toward the Democrats – the greater the chance that we’ll go down this disastrous path again.
Thirdly, RBDS helps to let President Bush off the hook for what he should be doing right now. He shouldn’t be going out giving speeches on how much he supports Barak Obama, he should be going out on the stump to support the members of his administration whom Democrats are viciously attacking. Why should that job fall only in the laps of people with the last name of Cheney? Why does President Bush seem so eager to use “the dignity of the office of the Presidency” as an excuse for not standing up to his Democratic foes? All it takes for bad men to take over the world is for enough good men to remain silent. And President Bush chose, and still chooses, to remain silent.