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Bush Winning Gore Backers' High Praises
October 23, 2001 6:05 PM   Subscribe

Bush Winning Gore Backers' High Praises I never thought I would see this in the New York Times; praise for President Bush. "Many Democrats who once dismissed Mr. Bush as too naïve and too dependent on advisers to steer the United States through an international crisis are now praising his and his advisers' performance. Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs expertise an issue in the campaign, did not win." I cannot agree more!
posted by Oxydude (47 comments total)

 
You mean, not even an op-ed column from William Safire or Maureen Dowd? The NY Times, like much of the media, went negative on Gore during much of the campaign season. In any case, this anonymous source-laden story was impossibly silly, wildly speculative and deeply offensive, all at once. We don't know how Gore would handle this because he's not president now, OK? (What we do know is that he took a hardline on Yugoslavia, when Clinton would not, and knew plenty about terrorism.) Don't reporters have enough on their hands with the military action in Afganistan . . . no, make that all anthrax all the time, and the badly covered war?
posted by raysmj at 6:16 PM on October 23, 2001


Bush Winning Gore Backers' High Praises

Perhaps that's true. Perhaps the Supreme Court toasted their credibilty unnecessarily. Doesn't change the fact that Bush is still illegitimate.

I notice no rightwing lawyers ever accepted the debate challenge issued by Vincent Bugliosi and Alan Dershowitz. Guess I'm not really surprised, though.
posted by RavinDave at 6:24 PM on October 23, 2001


Look at the history of the 20th century and make the argument that any significant solutions originated in the political sphere. On the contrary. The pols do nothing but create problems, because they cannot see outside of their small slice of reality. The pol mindset is still on par with a newtonian scientific worldview. It's old.

Political authority exists for its own sake, and it makes no difference whether Bush or Gore are at the "helm." The power of the office is imbued with its own inertia.

I am sick of hearing that it matters who the fuck the top dog is.

Really my top dog is better than yours..
posted by gomez at 6:25 PM on October 23, 2001


I would suggest checking back on this in, say, six months.
posted by tranquileye at 6:26 PM on October 23, 2001


Ugh,
I got an e-mail the other day giving a detailed list why GW is sooooo much better than Clinton
Here is just one of the statements.

"After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and Injured 1,000, President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.

My response to that is just wait we'll see.
I read somewhere that most presidents lose popularity after a war time situation. Kinda like GeeDub's dad did.
I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happened.
posted by redhead at 6:42 PM on October 23, 2001


I'm not so sure that having a team with experience at lobbing cruise missles at oil rich regimes will be a virtue that reaps praise through his whole term.
posted by machaus at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2001


While it's certainly humorous to imagine Gore delivering schoolmarmish lectures to the Taliban as opposed to bombing the crap out of them, I think that he would've taken as hawkish a position in this situation as Dubya while avoiding some of the stupid verbal gaffes like Bush's "crusade" remark.

And ravindave, I think that the whole question of whether or not Bush is our legitimate president is far beyond moot at this point.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:56 PM on October 23, 2001


Here's an interesting question, one which I'd like your opinions on:

Democrats have, for the most part, muted their criticism of Bush and solidly rallied round the president. Would Republicans have done the same for Gore? What would Republican Congressional leaders be doing now if Gore were president? What would right-leaning talk-radio be saying?
posted by Chanther at 7:00 PM on October 23, 2001


Republicans would start calling a Democratic president "soft on terrorism" if he hadn't started bombing within a week of the attack.

Limbaugh & Company would say he's "unamerican" and a collaborator, while calling for his impeachment.

It's how they operate.
posted by owillis at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2001


> Would Republicans have done the same for Gore?

Republicans? Yes. The far right? No. I mentioned before that Rush Limbaugh was already trying to smear liberals with the abortion clinic anthrax scares (obliquely accusing them of trying to evoke sympathy for themselves). He still can't go ten minutes without mentioning "Clinton". Those types are a lost cause, but the rank and file Republicans are reasonable people. They're just overshadowed by the lowbrow louts.

Realistically, a president -- any president -- is essentially a glorified traffic cop in this situation. Whether it be Al "Helluva Time to Grow a Beard" Gore, or Governor Shrub, it's the Joint Chiefs who are calling most the military shots and the president going: "Sounds good to me. Do it." And I'm comfortable with that. Though I may disagree with some of their notions, I have measured faith in them. They spent their lives preparing for this sort of thing and I place a premium on their judgement (up to a point).

But, Bush, on the other hand, thought there were harbors in Afghanistan ("This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe, but they won't be safe forever.") Of course, he was speaking metaphorically. ;)
posted by RavinDave at 7:29 PM on October 23, 2001


Tom Tomorrow dealt with this in his This Modern World comic last week.
posted by barkingmoose at 7:36 PM on October 23, 2001


I really fail to see how Bush is doing such a great job.

He's taking a popular stance, with a popular war, after a national tradgedy. I'd be a hell of a lot more impressed if he just came out, intelegently talked about what were doing over there, instead of just refering it to a "hunt for terrorists", and a "battle of good and evil".

I fail to see how bombing the fuck out of a people who have no food, no medicine, no where to run to, and who are 99% not involved in terrorist activities, is "hunting the terrorists".

Then again, I'm just a dirty leftist.

LEFTIST!!!!
posted by SweetJesus at 7:36 PM on October 23, 2001


Some are even privately expressing satisfaction that Mr. Gore, who tried to make his foreign affairs expertise an issue in the campaign, did not win." I cannot agree more!

I CANNOT agree, more.

"After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and Injured 1,000, President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished."

Arrests were made.
posted by Rastafari at 8:14 PM on October 23, 2001


Political authority exists for its own sake, and it makes no difference whether Bush or Gore are at the "helm." The power of the office is imbued with its own inertia.

I think Neville Chamberlain might disagree...
posted by Ty Webb at 8:53 PM on October 23, 2001


For an alternate take on the article, take a look at MediaWhoresOnline, where the author ( Richard Berke ) was named the Whore of the Week for publishing such a transparent suck-up piece.
posted by dragonmage at 8:56 PM on October 23, 2001


Bush has performed better than I expected, but as Raysmj says we don't know how Gore would have performed as he isn't President. September 11 is completely different from other "tragedies" and trying to compare them, I believe is futile (I am not wishing to down play the atrocities which were committed in Yugoslavia etc, but the fact that 5,000 people died on American soil makes them not worthy of comparison).

Although, I hate to think what would have happened if Powell wasn't the Secretary of State. His performance has been excellent, but that doesn't surprise me really.
posted by jay at 8:59 PM on October 23, 2001


As a Gore voter, I think he would have been a great president for this occasion.

Unlike Bush and the Republicans, Gore is a strong believer in international organizations -- he would have used the United Nations and other global resources without reservation, there would be no treaty-busting plans like the National Missile Defense complicating our relationships with important allies, and he wouldn't have squandered the surplus six months into his presidency, leaving the country with no choice in a crisis but massive deficit spending. Gore also would have never made verbal gaffes like calling this a "crusade" and saying Bin Laden was "wanted dead or alive."

However, one of my concerns about Gore is his lack of constancy -- he has always seemed to be in a perpetual state of reassessment of himself and his policies. I think this trait served him poorly in the recount, where he should have called for a statewide recount under the simple and popular principle that every vote should be counted, and it could have been disastrous in this crisis.

Up to this point, I feel like President Bush has done a good job projecting a consistent image about our goals and our actions. He may not always use the right words, but he has stayed on message like a robot.
posted by rcade at 9:05 PM on October 23, 2001


...he has stayed on message like a robot.

Uh, as if Bush is capable of doing anything else.

Anyway, here is a telling picture.

Cheney gets "democracy" award.

Caption?

"Can you believe we're getting away with this"?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:34 PM on October 23, 2001


And ravindave, I think that the whole question of whether or not Bush is our legitimate president is far beyond moot at this point.

Really, MrBaliHai? Does a democratic election mean so little to you? Is it better that we accept the cheat rather than the legit (if that proves to be the case here) just because it is expedient? What other principles do you consider moot during crisis? Really, it is a poor disservice to a democratic nation to be calling the questioning of who people really wanted as a leader moot. Poor show, sir. Very poor show indeed.
posted by holycola at 9:56 PM on October 23, 2001


I think that the whole question of whether or not Bush is our legitimate president is far beyond moot at this point.

That's the strategy of the Bush Adm.

They actually believe that everyone is just going to forget about it.

Most will, until 2002 and 2004.

Realistically, a president -- any president -- is essentially a glorified traffic cop in this situation.

Any other time, I would agree with this completely.

GW Bush, though, proves how unqualified he is to even be a "traffic cop" every time he tries to talk about anything without prepared text in front of him.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 10:24 PM on October 23, 2001


I did not approve of Albright's war, and I am not pleased with this one either. That is pretty consistant. I really disliked Gore, and was slightly happier to get Bush, but that is not saying much. I think it is pretty safe to say that from a war standpoint, things would not be all that different no matter which side of that 2 headed coin landed facing up.
posted by thirteen at 10:26 PM on October 23, 2001


It really amazes me how every thread with the name George Bush in it can turn into another collection of pointless, off-topic rants about the election. It's no wonder I've stopped bothering to participate around here...
posted by RevGreg at 10:42 PM on October 23, 2001


I voted Green!

But I do find it sad that Bush has trouble sometimes speaking... but still I prefer him to Gore. Mostly because I approve of how he handles our relationship with Mexico. (C'mon we need to give all the Mexican workers some status here, after all they do the jobs we won't)

And if you didn't like the outcome of the Election... tough... next time have a class on how to punch a ballot.

Really I would have preferred a coin-toss to the whole ordeal that the Bush and Gore camps put us through. Maybe some rock-paper-scissors.
posted by dancu at 10:51 PM on October 23, 2001


1) George has finally learned to read a teleprompter.

2) He feels more comfortable in front of the camera. Sometimes down right cocky.

3)AP and Reuters don't print the goofy mugs of him like they used to, they print the noble and nurturing side.

Don't worry he is still a goofy mo-fo and will return to his normal self after these messages from the Taliban.
posted by chokersandwich at 11:17 PM on October 23, 2001


Do you think Lieberman as Vice President would have affected our ability to persuade Muslim nations to join us in the search for bin Laden? Many Muslim nations already see us as Pro-Jewish/Anti-Islam. I can't help but think, unfortunately, that Lieberman would have been a symbol that would pose more difficulties than solutions.
posted by stevis at 11:37 PM on October 23, 2001


stevis: Not an illegitimate question, but do you think there's a problem with him in the Senate? Or being the first to announce the number of anthrax cases among Senate staff? He was all over the news in the morning. Y'know, the Taliban and bin-Laden may have seen that. He also sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chairs the Subcommittee on AirLand Forces and sits on, yes, the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He's as deep as a senator can be in all this, and highly conpicous in media coverage.

Oh, and he was pro-tolerance-of-Muslims a long time ago.
posted by raysmj at 12:46 AM on October 24, 2001


Following rcade's point: had Gore been elected, I suspect that the international treaties on money laundering and biological weapons would have been dealt with differently. (And the International Criminal Court, but that depends more on the legislative and judiciary branches being sensible.) Which might not have prevented the attacks, but would have ensured that global mechanisms to combat terrorism were in place, rather than "re-invented" by an adminstration that was looking for ways out.

Had Gore been elected, Colin Powell wouldn't be Secretary of State. Now that would have been missed. But I think that Tony Blair has actually been acting out "President Gore"'s part in the Big World for the past month.

But all these "we're oooooh sooooo glad Bush was awarded the job" pieces smack rather of retroactive justification. Sorry, even if GWB is the next Lincoln, it ain't going to disinfect that stink.
posted by holgate at 5:38 AM on October 24, 2001


Notice that nobody is quoted by name: it's easy to assert that "even some Gore supporters" think it's good Bush is prez, when you don't have to find any Gore supporters to quote.

This is just more spin, another attempt to convince us that the election came out in the appropriate way, regardless of what was done to get Bush into the White House.
posted by rosvicl at 5:52 AM on October 24, 2001


"If not for the successful effort by [GE CEO] Welch to manipulate media coverage of the election and the Florida recount, George W. Bush would not be president today," according to David Podvin and Carolyn Kay, in THE MEDIA COVER-UP OF THE GORE VICTORY PART FOUR: DEMOCRACY, GENERAL ELECTRIC STYLE. Long piece, but chilling.

This is a must read.
posted by
ferris at 6:24 AM on October 24, 2001


I should have mentioned that Podvin and Kay call Berke an "abject liar." Here's a bit of what they say:

"Of course, Berke knows that reporting the truth would not be divisive if the ballot study had proven that the man who really won the election is currently president. Berke has at least one contact inside the ballot study who has also spoken with MakeThemAccountable. We can therefore report with certainty that Mr. Berke wrote his rationalization for withholding the truth only after he was informed by an inside source that the study definitively proves that Al Gore won Florida."

Really, I think this is front page stuff.
posted by
ferris at 7:11 AM on October 24, 2001


ferris: The link was greatly appreciated. The site has a list of online radio shows I'm looking forward to exploring. Locally, the only talk radio we get is composed of a glut of Rush wannabees chirping the same ol' tired bs and tortured logic. One smug local pair goes so far as to filch material directly off his show (I guess there is a reason you don't see too many rightwingers in the creative arts).
posted by RavinDave at 7:25 AM on October 24, 2001


Getting back to the original link here -- Berke's article, if anyone bothers to read it, is textbook bad journalism.

Few of the Democrats he quotes say much beyond "Bush hasn't been bad" and the few who say they think it's better that Bush is in charge are unnamed sources. Using a couple of nameless sources of unknown value, mixed in with tepid words of support from named Dems, he makes a huge reach to claim that "President Bush has won over some unlikely supporters, prominent Democrats who campaigned for Al Gore in last year's presidential campaign"...

It's a huge stretch to go from Dems saying they are "comfortable" with Bush in a time of crisis to conclude that Bush has "won over" Democrats and convinced them that he's handling the job better than Gore would have...
posted by mattpusateri at 7:50 AM on October 24, 2001


It really amazes me how every thread with the name George Bush in it can turn into another collection of pointless, off-topic rants about the election.

The link is about Gore backers praising Bush. How is the election off-topic?
posted by rcade at 9:11 AM on October 24, 2001


The NYT is not the first publication to take notice of the "Democrats for Bush" phenomenon. This article from Monday's Washington Post notes the same thing.

Beyond the whole, "Would Gore have done better/as well as Bush," question, the perception that Republicans are the better party to have in power during times of war has some potentially disturbing implications. I've written about this twice on my site so far. (self link)

The gist of my concern is this: Does the existence of a general perception that the Republican's are the better party to have in power during times of military struggle remove the motivation from the Bush administration to quickly resolve the terrorist conflict? Is a "long and secretive war" necessary, or is it just a new tactic in the normal jockeying between the parties?
posted by theMargin at 10:00 AM on October 24, 2001


Well, if you've read that passage from 1984 which everyone's cited in the past month, there's a compelling argument that "permanent war" is designed to cement established power. But that's just theory, and it didn't really apply to Orwell's original model of 1940s totalitarianism.
posted by holgate at 10:09 AM on October 24, 2001


Yes, I've thumbed back through my dog-eared copy of 1984 this month too, although I think Brave New World holds more parallels to the (pre 9/11 at least) state of the U.S.

I don't think that it is being too much of a conspiracy (little "c" not big "C") theorist to see a very cynical use of the "War on Terrorism" in order to solidify the shaky power base held by the Republicans. The argument could certainly be made, and has been on several occasions, that the "Drug War" and the whole "tough on crime" debacle have been tactical political maneuvers by the more conservative elements in the U.S. to generate and exploit the often irrational fears of the general public for political gain.
posted by theMargin at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2001


theMargin: The Washington Post article cited is based on the NY Times article.
posted by raysmj at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2001


The link is about Gore backers praising Bush. How is the election off-topic?

Uhm, I don't know, because the story being quoted isn't ABOUT the election maybe? Maybe I made the comment because the second post in this thread was an entirely off-topic post concerning the election which had absolutely nothing to do with the article posted.

Sorry, it does get a bit tedious after a while.
posted by RevGreg at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2001


> it does get a bit tedious after a while.

Sorry that protecting the integrity of the constitution is "tedious". For a full 8+ years, we had to endure rightwingers tenaciously jumping from molehill to molehill, desparately trying to find any modicum of dirt with which to smear Clinton. We replied: "Guys ... get over it. He won the election. This is getting tedious." Ironic, isn't it. I wish you the same luck we had.

The post was entirely appropriate. The point of that post was to note that stories like these (Gore fans supporting Bush), apocryphal or not, come with a built-in subtext: "Quit whining about the election! It all turned out for the best." That is, of course, why such tales are getting so much ear-play, is it not? It's merely another clumsy rightwing device to divert attention -- to settle the question without actually addressing it.
posted by RavinDave at 2:59 PM on October 24, 2001


The credit all goes to us democrats, who have temporarily united beneath this boob because it is important to the future of this nation. Please don't mistake or patriotism as a belief that Bush is the best man for the job. Publicly, I'm behind him, but that doesn't mean I don't go home nights and cry when I think about him negotiating with foreign leaders.

(sigh)

I wish that Clinton were still around, but I know that the job probably wouldn't be done as well, because Republicans would never be as decent as we are to this poor idot whose five word sound bites all sound the same and could be applied to any situation.

sorry for being bitter. its just that inside I want a guy that can put a sentence together running this country.

I mean - Go Bush!
posted by xammerboy at 7:18 PM on October 24, 2001


Nader is Lebanese. Look what middle eastern descended people are able to accomplish here! They become liberal pragmatists.
posted by crasspastor at 11:22 PM on October 24, 2001


Uhm, I don't know, because the story being quoted isn't ABOUT the election maybe?

The link is about people who backed Gore in the election backing Bush now. The mind boggles at how you can possibly think the election is not germane to the discussion of how bitter Gore partisans (like me) are acting today, and whether we should set aside our belief that Bush lost Florida and unite behind the president during a time of crisis.
posted by rcade at 6:01 AM on October 25, 2001


As Mark Morford mused recently: "He's the president, after all. He is a Good Man. He's our leader right now, he's doing his best and he's all we've got. This is our rallying cry, our motto: He's all we've got. There's your bumper sticker. And there he is. "
posted by Carol Anne at 6:18 AM on October 25, 2001


Marianne Means asks today: "If Gore won, how would he be doing?"
"There is a great deal of silly talk that Bush is surrounded with smarter foreign-policy advisers than Gore would have had, that he is a better public communicator and has a deeper understanding of military strategy. Unfortunately, some people have the attention span of a gnat."

posted by Carol Anne at 7:22 AM on October 25, 2001


Sorry that protecting the integrity of the constitution is "tedious".

The Constitution was protected by the Supreme Court's action, it was the basis for the decision.

The mind boggles at how you can possibly think the election is not germane to the discussion of how bitter Gore partisans (like me) are acting today, and whether we should set aside our belief that Bush lost Florida and unite behind the president during a time of crisis.

My mind boggles at how one would not understand that a comment which is ONLY about the election isn't germane to this thread. Whether or not Bush won is strictly subtext to this discussion and since we all already now how fractioned everyone is about it, it makes no sense to me why it needs to be brought up at length EVERY time Bush is mentioned...
posted by RevGreg at 3:50 PM on October 25, 2001


The Constitution was protected by the Supreme Court's action, it was the basis for the decision.

You misspelled "perverted".

They tortured the equal protection clause beyond recognition (the VERY argument they **REJECTED** when Bush had proffered it earlier), then went on to declare: "Oh, by the way ... this bullshit pretext we concocted while goofed on nyquil ONLY applies to Albert Gore and no one else."

Excerpt from A Layman's Guide to the Supreme Court Decision in Bush v. Gore" by Mark Levine:

Q: Oh. Does this have something to do with states' rights? Don't conservatives love that?

A: Generally yes. These five justices, in the past few years, have held that the federal government has no business telling a sovereign state university it can't steal trade secrets just because such stealing is prohibited by law. Nor does the federal government have any business telling a state that it should bar guns in schools. Nor can the federal government use the equal protection clause to force states to take measures to stop violence against women.

Q: Is there an exception in this case?

A: Yes, the Gore exception. States have no rights to have their own state elections when it can result in Gore being elected President. This decision is limited to only this situation.

Q: C'mon. The Supremes didn't really say that. You're exaggerating.

A: Nope. They held "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, or the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

Q: What complexities?

A: They don't say.
posted by RavinDave at 7:43 PM on October 25, 2001


Yes, the Gore exception. States have no rights to have their own state elections when it can result in Gore being elected President. This decision is limited to only this situation.

Uhm, it was not a state election, it was a federal election. The Florida State Supreme Court violated the Constitution by overriding the Florida Secretary of State's decision to deny recounts past the tally deadline, the Supreme Court ruled to restore the results to the count at the time.

In layman's terms:

1) Individuals are not given the right to vote for president by the Constitution.

2) The body that actually votes for president is the electoral college, which is APPOINTED by the legislature of each state.

3) ONLY the state legislature has the power to create or amend laws concerning how electoral votes are to be assigned.

4) The laws enacted by the Florida Legislature assigned the right to determine vote legitimacy and to validate final vote totals to the Secretary of State.

5) The Florida Supreme Court violated the Constitution by overriding the Secretary of State - ONLY the state legislature had that authority. This was a clear violation of the separtion of powers.

6) The final verdict for all Contitutional matters is the Supreme Court which upheld the laws of the State of Florida concerning FEDERAL elections as enacted by the state legislature and the actions of those who were empowered by those laws.

If you disagree with what happened, that's your prerogative but to attempt to make it an "equal protection" issue is fallacious. The Supreme Court did NOT attempt to alter the vote in any way, they merely said that the vote as validated by the assigned authority will stand because the body assigned the power to modify the laws concerned has not acted. Read the WHOLE decision next time, not just those tiny portions that you find objectionable...
posted by RevGreg at 2:29 PM on October 26, 2001


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