Monday, December 19, 2005

The Newspapers Don't, but Maybe The People Are Cutting Bush A Little Slack

The press, if you forgive me saying so, has blown its cool on President Bush and the war in Iraq, plus the War on Terror. But, judging from the most recent polls, Bush's counterattack has won him back a little ground. Some people are willing to cut the Administration a little slack.

It's only a little. The U.S. military is going to still have to show some definite progress on the war in the next few months, or, I suspect, the Democrats will score sizable gains in the Midterm elections, maybe even winning back control of Congress

But in the meantime, the President's counterattack has won him a little space. He's up from 35 to 40% in the polls, and if the Iraqi elections show some sign of putting a more stable government into power, those poll ratings may continue to climb.

Read the New York Times and the L.A. Times these days, and you'd think the President is trying to be a dictator. A certain number of people are getting sick of this steadily-critical press coverage.

The New York Times broke, a year late, its story about the President authorizing the wiretapping of a few national security risks, mainly Muslims keeping in touch with their friends in the fundamentalist camp abroad.

You'd think, for all the furore, that Bush had done something no other President ever had. But compared to World War II, this Administration has been positively tame. The Roosevelt Administration had a few secret executions. It interned thousands of Japanese-Americans who had never done anything wrong. The governor of California, Earl Warren, supported the incarcerations.

Compared to this, Bush has done very littie. If, the country were to be subjected to a new round of terror, I'd be surprised if the country, including many Democrats, wouldn't want more to be done.

It all requires a little perspective. The Democrats, like most liberals, don't understand or have much patience with war. They are clearly defeatists as the President suggests, just as the Democratic leadership was during the Civil War. Senators like Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate minority leader, and Carl Levin of Michigan are among the worst of the lot, but John Kerry and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts aren't far behind.

Even Israel, we have to acknowledge, has a lot of such people. Before Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unleashed a crack down on the suicide bombers, which he has accomplished with considerable affect, some of these people were talking about giving up on Israel altogether. Sharon's predecessor, Barak, would have given up half of Jerusalem.

Thank goodness, Israel found some fighters, and so, in the Bush Administration, did we. So the war will go on for quite awhile yet, and we may start doing a little better.

In the meantime, Bush is trying hard. And regardless what a few columnists write, this is still a free country. The critics exaggerate worse than the President.

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