Keith Olbermann called out President Bush for his dishonest and divisive rhetoric in another special comment on Countdown. Here’s a small quote:
Why has the ferocity of your venom against the Democrats, now exceeded the ferocity of your venom against the terrorists?
Why have you chosen to go down in history as the President who made things up?
In less than one month you have gone from a flawed call to unity, to this clarion call to hatred of Americans, by Americans.
If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies.
I’m sure it’ll be up at Crooks & Liars soon. [Update: Here’s the link.] In a nutshell, Olbermann called Bush “unbowed, undeterred, and unconnected to reality.” Bush is playing the straw man game — lying about what Democrats say so he can bash them. And, says Olbermann, for the sake of power for his political party, he is selling out America.
President Bush is careening around the country, feverishly campaigning for Republican congressional candidates and unleashing highly provocative accusations against his Democratic critics.
But nobody really cares.
The only thing anyone wants to hear from the president right now is his reaction to the Congressional page-sex scandal revolving around former representative Mark Foley and rapidly enveloping the GOP House leadership.
On top of that, the public doesn’t trust him. A fresh round of polls shows that most Americans think Bush has been intentionally misleading about the progress in Iraq, they oppose his war there, and they don’t think it’s making them safer. His approval rating is back down to a dismal 39 percent.
And establishment Washington has finally and conclusively written him off as being in a state of denial.
Froomkin quotes Peter Baker from yesterday’s WaPo:
President Bush ratcheted up his campaign offensive against Democrats on Tuesday with perhaps his bluntest rhetoric yet as he accused them of being “softer” on terrorists and willing to allow attacks on Americans rather than interrogate or spy on the nation’s enemies.
With his party in serious trouble five weeks before Election Day, Bush shifted into full campaign mode this week, kicking off a month of frenetic barnstorming aimed at drawing disgruntled Republicans back into the fold. As part of the effort, he has escalated the intensity of his attacks with each passing day, culminating with what aides called a “very aggressive” series of speeches Tuesday.
“Time and time again, the Democrats want to have it both ways,” he told donors here. “They talk tough on terror, but when the votes are counted, their softer side comes out.”
He added: “If you don’t think we should be listening in on the terrorist, then you ought to vote for the Democrats. If you want your government to continue listening in when al-Qaeda planners are making phone calls into the United States, then you vote Republican.”
Bush’s tough talk Tuesday came after he suggested at a Monday night fundraiser in Nevada that Democrats were content to sit back until terrorists strike again. “It sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is wait until we’re attacked again,” he said.
Of course, no one in the Democratic Party has suggested we shouldn’t listen to “al Qaeda planners” or that we should “wait until we’re attacked again,” but truth never stopped Junior before.
Stephen Walt writes in today’s Boston Globe why the Bush foreign policy is such a disaster:
JUST WHEN YOU think that US foreign policy couldn’t possibly get worse, the Bush administration manages to take it down another notch. Iraq is a debacle; the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan; and Osama bin Laden is still at large. North Korea has become a nuclear weapons state and Iran’s nuclear ambitions remain unchecked. The quixotic campaign to “transform” the Middle East has fueled several violent conflicts and empowered Islamic extremists in Iraq, Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon.
This disastrous record is not just a run of bad luck. These setbacks occurred because the Bush administration’s foreign policy rests on a deep misreading of contemporary world politics. Conducting foreign policy on the basis of flawed premises is like designing an airplane while ignoring gravity: it won’t get off the ground, and if it does, it is bound to crash.
Walt then provides a succinct evaluation of the flawed premises — well worth reading — and concludes,
Fixing our foreign policy would not be that difficult because many states would welcome more enlightened US leadership. To do it, however, Bush will have to ask for a few overdue resignations (such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld). He will also have to abandon the core beliefs that have guided his entire foreign policy. Bush has thus far shown little capacity to learn from experience, and he continues to maintain that we are on the right course. Americans had better get used to a failed foreign policy, at least until 2008.
If we live that long.