Hillary Clinton

George W. Bush: The Original Obama

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The New York Times' A1 story on Matt Dowd is worth reading for the confessions of a Bush devotee—not just some cabinet secretary, but a up-from-Texas day-one Kool-Aid-guzzler—who's given up hope in the president's projects.

Mr. Dowd said he decided to become a Republican in 1999 and joined Mr. Bush after watching him work closely with Bob Bullock, the Democratic lieutenant governor of Texas, who was a political client of Mr. Dowd and a mentor to Mr. Bush.

"It's almost like you fall in love," he said. "I was frustrated about Washington, the inability for people to get stuff done and bridge divides. And this guy's personality — he cared about education and taking a different stand on immigration."

Hrm. That sounds exactly like the appeal of the two Democratic frontrunners. Obama has that murky "appeal" that makes everyone around him want to worship (in some cases literally). Hillary Clinton has evolved from the cookie-hating, health care-bungling gorgon of the 1990s by working closely with those ever-hard-to-impress Senate Republicans and people like Newt Gingrich. Hell, she co-sponsored a bill with Rick Santorum—did presidential boda fides ever shine so brightly?

NEXT: Toward a Kinder, Gentler Sopranos

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  1. That’s a bit of a stretch about Hillary. I daresay that very little of her appeal to her supporters is based on the idea that she’s a unificator, not a divisinator.

  2. “Obama has that murky “appeal” that makes everyone around him want to worship (in some cases literally).”

    Does that mean he was the model for the Chocolate Jesus?

  3. If I were Obama and I saw the title of this post, I’d file a defamation suit against Reason…

  4. MILK Chocolate Jesus, that is. You know, where you mix a little white milk with a little brown chocolate.

    CB

  5. Hey Cracker’s Boy, there’s nothing funny about an MLK Jesus.

  6. That’s M-I-L-K Chocolate Jesus.

    RN

  7. You left out a key element of the contrast between Bush and the others, the fact that revelation is his primary vehicle for finding out about stuff, whereas the other two might fall back upon, dare I say it, reason…

    This is difference that bizarrely gets swept under the rug by the U.S. media.

    One more time, Bush relies upon visions and God talking to him (proudly so), while the others take most of their cues from what actually happens on the planet. Can we please not ever forget that, ever again, like the next time one of these drooling “born agains” runs for office? Thanks.

  8. I separate Dowd’s beefs into two:
    1. Accusations against Bush, with Katrina + Sheehan as examples;
    2. Complaints that Bush isn’t prepared to consult Democrats, with Bolton as an example.

    The problem with #1 is that his accusations don’t have merit. Bush was a good deal less responsible for Katrina than were the local Democratic machines in Louisiana. And Sheehan is bad, bad news – a Chavez booster, an opponent of Israel, etc – and Bush *did* meet with her before she decided to create a public scene.

    That most Democrats, including Dowd, know this shows that they don’t argue in good faith, and so must be dealt with as this administration’s enemies. That explains #2. I’ll concede to this administration’s enemies their assertion that they are patriotic and such. Still, there’s no point in this administration consulting its enemies; they don’t disagree with Bolton so much as see him as an opportunity to hurt Bush.

    Dowd has decided to become a hack, probably en route to a book deal. I am not inclined to take him seriously after this interview.

  9. Ah, the enemies within.

    Maybe that’s part of the problem.

  10. “That most Democrats, including Dowd…”

    David – have you even read the article?

    Sheehan/Katrina werent his main gripes. And it wasnt about ‘culpability’, it was about handling the political side of these events. The “Heckuva Job Brownie” type stuff.

    The fact is this = this president is a total failure. People off all stripes, credible or no, are going to take the opportunity to piss on him. No one should be surprised.

  11. “Still, there’s no point in this administration consulting its enemies;”

    ’cause finding out what the administration’s enemies want or demand could never help in the effort to craft a message. Talking shows weakness, in manly-man president world.

    “Sheehan is bad news”

    What does support for Chavez have to do with the anti-war movement? Oh yeah, that’s right. It’s the goal of every right wing commentator to conflate the two.

    “Katrina was the Democrats’ fault”

    And to all those liberal anti-Christianites, we say “heckuva job, Brownie.” Your small town inability to deal with breached levies just proves that the man fired from judging horses was the man most fit to run disaster relief. No cronyism or incompetence involved, just a former horse judge who was victim of, who else?, the Democrats.

    David Ross: did you bother to read the article, or did your post come from some kool-aid talking point site?

  12. Dowd is a Democrat. Glad he has left. His big government compassionate conservatism needs to be purged from the GOP. good riddance Dowd, you self important prick.

  13. “Katrina was the Democrats’ fault”

    Debateable. There certainly was enough blame to go around at all levels.

    But the federal reponse to Katrian – or lack thereof – was the fault of Bush, and the people he put in positions of authority.

    When Jim Lehrer passed on a report from a correspondant in the convention center that there were people who’d been there for days – days – without food or water, Michael Chertoff shouted at him, live on the air, to stop passing around unfounded rumors.

    I’m not going to forget that.

  14. “Some people might be offended by the idea that Jesus was black, and some might be offended by the idea of a black president.”

    Fuck you, you race-mongering cunt.

  15. but a up-from-Texas day-one Kool-Aid-guzzler

    That’s AN…

  16. Oops. I forgot I was in a Reason comment board. I forgot that “consult” means “do whatever your political opponents say”, and that “reading the article” means “agree with whatever your political opponents say”.

    Lamar: “Katrina was the Democrats’ fault”. I didn’t say that. I said it was MORE the Democrats’ fault. If this were an actual libertarian board, rather than the Reason boad, the commenters here would understand something about the role of State governments versus that of the Federal Government. Plus, your quote falsification shows that I don’t have to take YOU seriously, either. Clown.

  17. “that she’s a unificator, not a divisinator.”

    *LOL*

    he talk pretty one day

  18. When I started reading this site, Reason was always being accused to being staffed by crypto-Republicans, and libertarians constantly explaining to Democrats how their political philosophy differed from the Right.

    Funny how things change.

  19. WHATEVER DAVID ROSS SAYS IS RIGHTER*

    *(MORE RIGHT! UNDERSTAND THE DISTINCTION! CLOWNS)

    KATRINA WAS THE WEATHERS FAULT, AND EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWED CANNOT BE BLAMED ON FEDERAL FAILURES BECAUSE AS TRUE LIBERTARIANS WE DONT REALLY THINK THERE *SHOULD* BE A FEMA, ERGO THEIR FAILURES ARE NOT TO BE NOTED

    YOU ALL ARE FOOLS, WHICH IS WHY DAVID ROSS LURKS HERE TO REMIND YOU OF IT

  20. joe-

    I don’t know when you started reading this site, but Julian Sanchez joined some time ago (2003?) and there was an immediate wailing and gnashing of teeth about how the place has gone to left-wing hell in a socialized handbasket. And it all started when Postrel left!

    Nowadays, they all claim that Weigel is the person destroying Reason.

    Point is, this is nothing new.

  21. Quote falsification? Yeah, David Ross, ’cause nobody could see your post just 6 whole inches above mine. See, I’m a big time liar, but I’m so stooopid, that I always lie when the evidence of the truth is on the same blog page. ….and yet, I’m the clown.

    You said the Democrats were more at fault. How is that not blaming the Democrats? Is the kool-aid sugar-free? Is it your bizarro world interpretation that saying the “Democrats were more at fault” is how Republicans take responsibility for their own incompetence?

    Ahh, finally the federalism argument. What exactly is the state’s role in disaster management? What is the federal role? You act like they are clear cut roles, with each fitting a certain piece of the puzzle. Given that your whole sad, sorry schtick is to manufacture justifications for the administration’s incompetence, I’m wondering why we should take you seriously? Do you really have a constant view of the role of the state and federal governments in disaster relief? Or is that just your subject-changer? See, you had a beef with the implication that you were blaming Democrats (which you were), and so you changed the subject to…**trumpets sound**…federalism.

    See, I suspect your view of the governmental roles within federalism changes depending on who’s president. I would say that I disagree with your arguments, but you don’t put forth any, unless changing the subject counts.

  22. thoreau,

    I remember the first day Hit&Run was rolled out, back in ought-one.

  23. but wait…but… but…. Weigel IS the one destroying reason!

    🙂

    I personally prefer a ideologically ambiguous editorial board to a “Let me spoonfeed you what you already believe” type thing, a la Little Green Nazis et al. My only gripe is Ron Bailey and his “God is not DEAD ENOUGH” approach to religious topics.

  24. “ought-one.”

    not november/december 2002? (or thereabouts)

    oh. hrumph.
    /kicks memory chip

  25. Hmm, I take that back.

    I could have sworn I remember reading Hit and Run blogs immediately after 9/11. I guess not.

  26. So, joe, are you saying that you can remember back when Nick Gillespie’s leather jacket was the thing sending Reason straight to socialist hell in a fair-trade handbasket?

    There’s probably some curmudgeon out there who has every issue of Reason in a box in his attic, but insists that it went to Siberia in a hemp handbasket in the second issue.

  27. I don’t know when you started reading this site, but Julian Sanchez joined some time ago (2003?) and there was an immediate wailing and gnashing of teeth about how the place has gone to left-wing hell in a socialized handbasket. And it all started when Postrel left!

    I remember accusing him of being a leftist. I don’t remember what he wrote, but he sure seemed like one at first (but not for years now).

    I remember the first day Hit&Run was rolled out, back in ought-one.

    Holy crap! Has it been that long? I’d hate to know how many hours I spent reading this site. Probably a couple of doctorates worth, or something.

  28. I remember reading H&R on 9/11. I’m not sure how much earlier it was around.

    Or maybe I’m having a false recovered memory due to the trauma.

  29. Dowd is just a rat/’rat fleeing the sinking ship. One notes he didn’t have his conversion years ago when it was painfully obvious how corrupt and anti-American and un-American the BushAdministration was, and before he went to work for Arnie and worked his magic on this state.

    As for Obama, ask him the question at the link or a variation thereof if you’d like to take a bit of wind out of his sails.

  30. Nah – it just shows that you’re an asshole, LOttq.

    So what. Yes – he should support freedom to demonstrate and engage in political expression.

    Next question, dickhead. Or better – don’t ask a fucking question. Just jam the half empty (since you’re a negative, moldy dildo wrapped in some bullshit whatever) bottle of Hennigans up your ass – all pleasure, no smell.

    Just don’t sit down too quickly.

    buh bye.

    (there’s plenty of other reasons not to vote for him)

    H&R archives only go back to Nov 2002…

  31. Let Obama Try This Question:

    The answer is obviously yes. Of course it’s appropriate. The issue spans the borders and it’s responsible to have politicians from both jurisdictions on the same page or at least discussing the issue.

    The only people who will get riled up over this YouBoob video are people who (1) will never, ever, never ever vote for a Democrat, no matter what, (2) will die as a result of the stresses of day to day yelling at the TV screen while the news is on and (3) regularly get their junk caught in their zippers.

  32. H&R archives only go back to Nov 2002…

    IIRC, (and it’s entirely possible that I don’t) they did some kind of server maintenance and/or upgrade at some point and lost a bunch of the archives.

    Come on, now. Somone either confirm my recollections or set me straight.

  33. Isaac-

    Are you daring to suggest that the H&R server might have lost some information somewhere along the line?

  34. you guys could be right about the age of H&R. I only remember reading it while recovering – put it Thanksgiving to Christmas, around there 2002. I had it in my head it was new then, but most definitely could be wrong…..

    Fyodor was around back then, he might remember!

    p.s., Hey Lou Dobbs up there – shoulda known it was you!

  35. I’m not sure exactly how insightful it is to point out that Obama and Bush have tons ot personal charisma.

    It’s not as if we’ve been electing Bobby Knight or Tanya Harding to the Oval office.

  36. or you, for that matter.

  37. Are you daring to suggest that the H&R server might have lost some information somewhere along the line?

    I think the sqirrels shredded it to make a nest.

  38. It’s not as if we’ve been electing Bobby Knight or Tanya Harding to the Oval office.

    Not yet, but give it time. Hillary is the current front runner.

  39. “It’s not as if we’ve been electing Bobby Knight”

    Other than an irrationally devoted following in the midwest and southwest, Bush and Knight have many things in common. However, Knight is also known for his success.

  40. I was going to use R A Fisher as a counterexample….

  41. My take: this Dowd guy jumped on the boat in ’99 when it was expedient, and now he is jumping off for the same reason.

    The fact that such big-government leeches could attach themselves to the Bush Administration for so long is a damning indictment, indeed.

  42. I truly never got the whole Bush has charisma and likeability thing. He always struck me as smirky and kind of a bully. Think Karate Kid-era William Zabka.

    Back when he was governor and then candidate he at least had the appearance of some residual smarts and could talk like a somewhat intelligent (barely) high schooler.

    But he has seriously regressed since then. Almost Flowers For Algernon level of regression. He now speaks like he is an eight year old explaining something to a six year old. I suspect that is the way his handlers explain things to him and he is unconsciously imitating them.

  43. My take: this Dowd guy jumped on the boat in ’99 when it was expedient, and now he is jumping off for the same reason.

    Bingo.

  44. I truly never got the whole Bush has charisma and likeability thing.

    I think that Bush appealed to people who don’t give a great deal of critical thought to issues. And I don’t think you have to be an intellectual snob to realize that most people in this country don’t give a great deal of critical thought to issues.

    I don’t think that any people who actually think critically were ever fooled by his folksy act. In fact I sometimes found it smarmy, smirky and maybe even unctuous.

    I was actually a little surprised that he performed so well until a little after 9/11. But then I have low expectations of pols.

    Since he started his Iraq sabre-rattling though I confess that he has sunk below even my expectations.

    My take: this Dowd guy jumped on the boat in ’99 when it was expedient, and now he is jumping off for the same reason.

    Bingo.

    I concur.

  45. One more time, Bush relies upon visions and God talking to him (proudly so), while the others take most of their cues from what actually happens on the planet. Can we please not ever forget that, ever again, like the next time one of these drooling “born agains” runs for office? Thanks.

    Actually, Hillary Clinton relies upon visions of Eleanor Roosevelt to tell her what to do (and proudly so):
    http://www.cnn.com/US/9606/22/hillary.book/index.html

    The only difference is that Bush wants to bring religion into government, where as Hillary wants to turn government into a religion.

    See, I suspect your view of the governmental roles within federalism changes depending on who’s president. I would say that I disagree with your arguments, but you don’t put forth any, unless changing the subject counts.

    I don’t know who you are addressing, but if you are addressing most Libertarians, then you will find that they are pretty much against FEMA, regardless of which president is in charge of FEMA at the moment.

    It is not that we think Bush did a great job with Katrina, it is that we think a government beurocracy half a continent away can never do a good job with disaster relief. FEMA is a giant Federal gravytrain for government contracters, no one actually believes it can do a good job providing disaster relief.

    Only a socialist would imagine that a bunch of politically appointed beurocrats, thousands of miles away, could do a better disaster relief job that highly trained first responders at the scene… Yet this is the whole ideology behind FEMA.

  46. “I don’t know who you are addressing”

    I was addressing David Ross’s comments. He’s does not appear to have a libertarian bone in his body, unless he shacked up with Guy Montag last night. Cheap shot!

    I know libertarians are skeptical of government agencies, especially federal agencies that deal with disasters (for the very reasons that you state). But doesn’t the federal government control the levies? Or, didn’t it build the levies? It seems that the level (federal, state or local) of government responsible for the levies should also be responsible for disaster relief. I would think that the federal government would also have a reason to take this type of responsibility since disasters rarely happen within the confines of a single jurisdiction. But it’s true: the local politicians stunk the place up just as much as the White House.

  47. Thanks for the grown-up comments about my ObamaVideo above.

    However, I think that as long as it’s explained to the American people in (frankly) easy-to-understand terms, the great majority of them are going to end up opposing foreign political parties and those linked to foreign governments meddling in our internal “ImmigrationDebate”.

    Why, we even have laws requiring those who engage in things like this to register:

    usdoj.gov/criminal/fara/links/faq.html

    The fact remains that foreign governments may have used proxies to agitate their citizens who are in our country illegally. At the very least it was done by foreign PoliticalParties.

    And, some people like Obama and other Dems assisted their efforts.

    Since libertarians say this is a non-issue, then there’s no harm in going to his appearances and asking him about it, right?

  48. How bout that New York Times book review huh?

    Sorry, am I interrupting?

  49. Reason’s buddies:

    (1) Are you sure that these particular parties didn’t register? It would seem that the major parties in our closest neighbors would regularly lobby Washington and drum up support, just like any other grassroots org or lobbying group.

    (2) Did they distribute material, or did they merely appear at a rally where Obama (or other American) distributed materials?

    (3) I’m not sure why there’s this supposed moral outrage that Mexican political leaders would fight for a better life for their citizens. We all know that a better life is available in the US. We all know that Mexico benefits when immigration rules are relaxed. It isn’t some big secret (which is that the FARA is designed to protect against).

    (4) Keep in mind that the more xenophobic we are at home, the worse our citizens fare overseas. If we want to cut off all political activity associated with Mexican interests, we should be prepared to be powerless when our citizens need help abroad.

    (5) I’m pretty sure that the FARA isn’t a libertarian friendly act.

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