Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Bush on the defensive

I realize that not every college student is a political junkie. We often have better things to do on a Sunday morning than watch Meet the Press — like sleep.

Nevertheless, Bush was interviewed by Tim Russert this Sunday in order to talk about a number of issues that have been particularly troublesome. David Kay’s bombshell (or lack thereof) that we would probably find no WMDs in Iraq, renewed questions about where Bush was in 1972 when he should have been in Alabama serving with the National Guard and the still-flagging economy make Bush look as weak as he was when he started out his presidency.

It’s amazing to think three years ago Bush came into office via judicial fiat, was unpopular, presided over a sluggish economy and looked like the one-term president he most surely was going to be.


Then 9/11 occurred and everything black was white, dogs and cats were getting along like old friends and the poll numbers were off the charts.

However, Bush was back at his old game on Sunday. Or, more precisely, reminding us all why he’s such a terrible Commander-in-Chief.

Here are some quotes about Bush’s performance.

Peggy Noonan, a former Reagan speech writer and avowed conservative, says, “The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse. He did not seem prepared.”

John Podhoretz of the New York Post says, “Some of my fellow conservatives found his performance wanting. Or more than wanting.”

These are the quotes that made Bush look good. Conservative talk-show host Michael Graham called the interview a “disaster,” and Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News, also a conservative, said of Bush, “He looked nervous, defensive and intellectually insecure.”

That’s exactly what happens when you question a child of privilege about his behavior. Remember “The Simple Life”? Whenever Nicole Richie would get caught doing something stupendously stupid or inconsiderate, she’d throw a tantrum, get pissy, look confused or sometimes all three. President Bush is exactly the same.

The lesson to be learned here is that Bush has an enormous sense of entitlement.

First of all, he’s the oldest child in a long line of American aristocracy. He was given a pass at college when his dismal grades (a C average) didn’t keep him from getting into the exclusive Harvard Business School.

When Bush’s business ventures in Texas folded due to his mismanagement, he was given an opportunity to invest in the Texas Rangers. Many people think Bush “bought” the Texas Rangers when, in reality, he was the front man for a large investment group and Bush was able to invest only 6% of the total purchase price into the project.

Bush also moved to annex an adjoining neighborhood using a state seizure of the land next to the old stadium in order to build the Rangers a new facility. Only a few years later, Bush changed that law so that the state of Texas could never appropriate a Texan’s land for projects exactly like his.

Next Bush ran for president, lost the election and still had it handed to him by judicial activism. The entitlement continues.

So when Bush is pressed to divulge his military records (which he asserted he did in 2000, but the record is still incomplete), he gets testy. When Bush is pressed to explain how he could say one thing (“Saddam currently has large quantities of chemical weapons”) when the exact opposite is true, he conceded the point, but looked like he had been kicked in the groin.

There is only one way to deal with someone who is so used to using his name, power and position to breeze through life. It is to remind him that others have power, too.

Bush is one man, and in the contest that matters this November, he only has one vote. He’s trying to buy a lot more with the record-setting campaign war chest he’s been amassing. But all his money can’t buy integrity, intellectualism or honesty.

Bush is wanting in all three categories, and your vote can tell him so.

It is imperative to cast your ballot next Tuesday. Go to the polling place, if only because it’s good practice to figure out where you have to vote and get registered for this November. All it takes is one piece of mail establishing your residence and an ID — then you can be registered to vote in Wisconsin.

The best thing to do with someone who has coasted through life is to remind him that sometimes others are at the controls. Bush was given a pass in the last election. But this time we can end an era of entitlement for good.

Rob Deters ([email protected]) is a second-year law student.

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