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Oct 20, 2004 6:40 pm


Pat Robertson on George Bush's "Blessed Assurance ..."



If you had any doubt about the accuracy of Ron Suskind's"Without a Doubt," remove it. It's actually worse than Suskind told us. Take, for example, this report about Pat Robertson's endorsement of Bush's re-election.

Appearing on CNN's"Paul Zahn Now," Robertson recalled meeting with President Bush in Nashville before the United States invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The president was, said Robertson,"the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life." He had, said the evangelist, what Mark Twain called"the serene confidence which a Christian feels in four aces." Now, Pat Robertson is no stranger to la-la land himself, but even la-la land had its forewarnings about Iraq."I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," Robertson said. Apparently the Lord hasn't yet learned that the strong noun,"a disaster," is better left unqualified by a weak adjective,"messy." Nonetheless, says Robertson,"I warned [Bush] about casualties.""I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.'"
Robertson said the president then told him,"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."

Allen Brill at The Right Christians thinks that Samuel is cutting King Saul loose.


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Richard Henry Morgan - 10/21/2004

Further evidence, as if any was necessary, that Bush hasn't delivered on the far right's agenda.


Maarja Krusten - 10/21/2004

Some interesting aspects to an article in U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT linked to above
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25neocons.htm

For example, "Some conservatives feel Bush acted hastily on Iraq and needlessly shed allies who had stood with the United States on Afghanistan, mushrooming the costs borne by Washington. Some question his switch on nation building: As a candidate in 2000 taking a traditional conservative view, he rejected it; as president, he has plunged into it in Afghanistan (which last week held its first presidential elections) and Iraq."

COMMENT: This matches what I expressed anecdotaaly a month ago on HNN, quoting concerns expressed within my circle of friends, many of whom are lifelong Republicans.

***********************
"Some of that debate is already bubbling to the surface. GOP Sens. Richard Lugar (chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee), Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Lincoln Chafee have bemoaned aspects of Iraq policy. Much of the criticism, though, has a broader thrust: Traditional foreign-policy realism is reasserting itself. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a possible presidential candidate in 2008, appears to be sketching out a realist's alternative, emphasizing rebuilding battered alliances and "an appreciation of [U.S. power's] limits." In contrast to Bush's Wilsonian rhetoric about an American calling to spread freedom and democracy, Hagel warned in Foreign Affairs that "foreign policy must not succumb to the distraction of divine mission." He told the Washington Post that the GOP "has come loose of its moorings." Lightning rod. There are other fissures in the party of Ronald Reagan. Some Wall Street Republicans dislike unconservative deficit spending and favor the sort of internationalism practiced by Bush's father. A few have slacked off on raising funds for Bush. Libertarians, along with neoisolationists like Patrick Buchanan, oppose what they see as Bush's post-9/11 proclivity to intervene abroad.The lightning rod for much of the unhappiness is the loose movement of thinkers and policymakers known by the shorthand "neocons."

COMMENT: I pointed to Lugar's and Hagel's comments a month ago on the Kerry patriotism thread by arguing that dissent did not make one unpatriotic.

********************************
"[Paul] Weyrich also has doubts about the neocons and Iraq policy. "They were very much on the ascendancy at the beginning of the administration, but they have been tarnished," he says. Weyrich and other conservative leaders met with Bush earlier this year in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. He says that Bush rejected the realist posture adopted by his father in choosing not to occupy Iraq. "He said I want you to understand I'm not my old man," Weyrich recalls. Weyrich, however, believes "we have to get out. . . . I hate to agree with John Kerry on anything because he's a gold-plated phony. But we have become a tremendous recruiting ground for al Qaeda." Some of Weyrich's opinions skirt uncomfortably close to Kerry's attacks on Bush as being disconnected from realities on the ground in Iraq. If Iraq's transition "doesn't work, we'd better face that and not just dig a hole that's deeper and deeper," says Weyrich. "I hope he [Bush] doesn't believe his own rhetoric."

COMMENT: Weyrich, who certainly has credentials as a conservative, actually says he agrees with some of Kerry's criticism of Bush. Note especially his concern that Iraq has become red flag in the war on terror. For Weyrich to go on the record in this way must indicate deep seated concern.

OK, go ahead, tell me that I am doing what I tell others not to do, citing the parts of an article which parallel views I have expressed already myself, but after a couple of months of seeing a few posters imply that people are unpatriotic for raising questions on HNN about Bush's policies, I found the article by U.S. News, which generally skews Republican, to be very interesting.


Maarja Krusten - 10/21/2004

Not so related to the religious aspects of the above, but related to questioning of the Iraq war within the Republican party, see
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25neocons.htm


Maarja Krusten - 10/21/2004

(1) January 2006 should read January 2005

(2) " I'm speaking in a candidate against the reality of most political campaigns."
should read
"I'm speaking in general of what voters say they want in a candidate placed against the reality of most political campaigns."


Maarja Krusten - 10/21/2004

Thanks for posting the link to the CNN story, which I already had seen. Interesting in the context of Ron Suskind's article. If what Suskind writes is true, and we don't know for use, it shows the irrelevance of all my musings about Presidential decision making in an historical context (comparisons to Nixon, etc.), how Bush would benefit from an honest broker chief of staff such as Haldeman, etc. Still, it was interesting to see Suskind mention the effect of dropping an unseasoned 1975 MBA graduate into the most challenging management job in the U.S. Reminded me of David Gergen's piece.

I had not yet read Suskind's article when I posted elsewhere on Cliopatria this morning about what seemed like two disparate articles, the review of the the Left Behind series and David Ignatius's column, "Counter-Errorism: Can Bush Admit What He's Learned in Iraq?" Perhaps the two links were not so disparate after all.

How much of Suskind's article is accurate? I guess we will have to wait until Bush leaves office, whether it is four years from January or January 2006, to get candid assessments by some of the officials who have been working with him in the White House. If Bush wins a second term, there will be some changeover. I suppose some of departing officials may speak up after leaving, as did O'Neill, Clarke, and, to some extent, Whitman. But, what are the voters to do, absent confirmation or denial of the picture Suskind paints? If Bush and some his aides really view themselves as having a mission from God, and see "reality-based" thinking as oppositional, they are not revealing this during the campaign, unless it is in some of that "code speak" that some commentators have noted. .

That brings up another question. Campaigning often results in dirty tricks being used against opponents, as I learned in studying the Nixon presidency. Call me overly cynical if you will, but I believe no politician runs a totally clean campaign. For one thing, things are done below the radar without the top guy's direct involvement. Sometimes the top guy mostly sets the tone at the top. Others interpret how far they can go to help him win. At other times, the candidate is deeply involved in nitty gritty strategizing and tactical maneuvering.

Given what I know of politics, I am somewhat at a loss as to how a voter can support a candidate based on "values," such as integrity, without also demanding a moral compass in campaigning. I'm speaking in a candidate against the reality of most political campaigns.

Some voters do seem to really feel that they are right and everyone else is damned, so the heck with them. U.S. News has several interesting articles in this week's issue. One article notes, "'There's a sense among many Republicans that their stands on the issues aren't just about better policy choices; they're matters of personal morality and principle,' says Bill Chaloupka, a political scientist atColorado State University. 'So anyone who disagrees with you isn't just disagreeing, they're insulting your core values and threatening your way of life.'" See the two articles and the two sidebar pieces at these four links:
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25angry.htm
and
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25angry.b.htm
and
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25divided.htm
and
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041025/usnews/25divided.b.htm

The thinking the article attributes to some Republicans is foreign to me, despite the fact that between 1972 and 2000 I have voted for the Republican for President in every election but one. (You'll never be able to guess the one in which I voted for the Democrat.) Of course, I am not revealing whom I am voting for this year.

In applying the U.S. News standards on page 37 of the magazine, I come across as a hybrid of red state voter (regular church goer) and blue state voter (live and let live, God loves everybody) characteristics. I am not an absolutist, I believe in pluralism, respect for opposing opinions, learning from dissent, etc. I really am a centrist.

Most of my friends are like me, tolerant, live and let live types, whether they call themselves Democrat or Republican. But I know of one person who is voting only on a single issue (abortion). She focuses on the fact that the lives of the innocent unborn are precious, period. What about other lives? Asked about the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the war, she says they don't matter because "those people aren't going to Heaven anyway." The deaths of soldiers which might have been lower had the war been better planned? "That's what they are paid to do." Executions? "Those people are all guilty so who cares." Issues such as Iraq, nuclear proliferation, the deficit, etc. are not on that person's radar screen, it all comes down to abortion. But, that voter is just as entitled to vote as you or I.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/20/2004

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Oscar Chamberlain - 10/20/2004

I wonder if this will spread through the mainstream media?

I have had my doubts about some of my friends more conpsiratorial thoughts about TV news. "Corporations in Bush's pocket." That sort of thing.

but if this doesn't make the rounds, I may reconsider.