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President George W. Bush - Orlando Report Profile
George W. Bush

George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States

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George W. Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative" in 2000, pledging to be a uniter, not a divider. Instead, W has become one of the most polarizing presidents in our nation's history. He became president without winning the popular vote, yet he governed as if he had won in a landslide. Regardless of how one felt about his policies, Bush and his advisors were remarkably effective in getting what they want, from huge tax cuts to the war in Iraq. This effectiveness has solidified his support on the right, while infuriating the left.


While Bush has been effective in getting his agenda passed, many of us believe that his competence needs to be called into question regarding how decisions are made, and whether he's willing to address problems that arise. From WMD to the situation on the ground in Iraq, the number of blunders are starting to pile up. (updated 5/9/04 by Gerardo Orlando)

An email to Andrew Sullivan's blog brilliantly explains the use of "thin pretexts" by politicians. Read it and see if you agree that this nicely sums up the Bush and Rove approach to politics and governance.�

Jacob Weisberg
has been compiling hilarious "Bushisms" for years in Slate demonstrating Bush's difficulties with the English language. In "The Misunderestimated Man - How Bush Chose Stupidity", Weisberg introduces his new compilations of Bushisms and provides a sharp indictment of Bush's approach to his job.

Andrew Sullivan explains how President Bush "has done a huge amount to destroy the coherence of a conservative philosophy of American government." Sullivan argues that conservatives need to consider Kerry.

BUSH 41: Thomas Friedman has an interesting piece in the Times explaining how we could use a president like George H. W. Bush in office during these troubled times. He also explains how John Kerry, not George W. Bush, is the true heir to Bush 41's legacy.�



News Archive :

Kennedy accuses Bush of 'credibility gap' (Washington Post)

Woodward: Bush barely consulted his top advisors about invading Iraq; Powell was mostly out of the loop; Rice comes across as incompetent (Newsweek)

Former Nixon aide John Dean says secrecy in Bush administration worse than in Nixon years (Bloomberg)

Text of Rice speech originally planned for delivery on 9/11 reveals that Bush team's top focus prior to 9/11 was not terror
(Washington Post)

Ex-White House terrorism advisor claims Rumsfeld wanted to bomb Iraq immediately after 9/11 and that the Bush administration ignored terrorism prior to 9/11
(CBS News)

Bush Administration ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld prior to vote in Congress
(Knight Ridder)

Bush calls for constitutional amendment banning gay marriage
(CNN)

Bush ejects two from bioethics council, renewing criticism that he puts politics over science (Washington Post)
Bush administration forecasts on job growth and deficits have consistently been overly optimistic (Washington Post)

Democrats will use budget deficit to attack Bush and GOP on credibility (USA Today)

Bush advocates doubling funding for abstinence-based sexual education programs that exclude instruction on contraceptives (AP)

Bush and administration officials ignored CIA caveats on Iraq (Washington Post)



Commentary and Analysis:

Bruce Springsteen explains his opposition to the Bush administration in an op-ed piece in the New York Times.

Ron Reagan makes his case against George Bush in Esquire.

Andrew Sullivan
explains how President Bush "has done a huge amount to destroy the coherence of a conservative philosophy of American government." Sullivan argues that conservatives need to consider Kerry.

E. J. Dionne Jr.
ridicules George W. Bush's discussion of "values" in light of his failure to take responsibility for pre-war statements about Iraq and the rationale for war.

Smear and Pivot
- Andrew Sullivan explains George W. Bush's campaign strategy.

Nicholas Kristof
explains how wild claims by Michael Moore and others on the far left about Bush's "lying" misses the point and just adds to the polarization of American politics.

Michael Tomasky
argues that the portrait of Bush in the Woodward book is not one of an idealist, but rather an incompetent.�

Fred Kaplan
explains how serious threats were ignored while Bush and other administration officials were on vacation in August 2001.

George Bush has ripped Kerry for flip-flops, but the Center for American Progress lists some pretty significant Bush flip-flops.� Here's another list of Bush's own flip-flops on the issues.

A New York Times article from 2002 details how John Ashcroft was cutting counter-terrorism spending in 2001 prior to 9/11.

In The American Prospect, Matthew Yglesias rebuts many of the flip-flop charges leveled by Bush against Kerry, while also pointing out some of Bush's own flip-flops.

In Slate, William Saletan argues that Bush's confidence is his biggest problem.

Howard Fineman
argues in Newsweek that heads need to roll over Iraq - otherwise the President is in real trouble.

Timothy Noah
in Slate details how Bush is having more trouble with the truth as he tries to defend federal spending under his watch.

Words matter, and George Will takes George W. Bush to task for some of his careless remarks on WMD. Will says it's time for the President to step up his game.

Former Congressman John Kasich laments today's huge budget deficits, and offers suggestions on how to restore budget sanity.

David Frum of The National Review tackles the question of whether George W. Bush is a conservative.

The Nanny in Chief
- Andrew Sullivan argues in Time that Bush thinks he knows what's good for you, and he'll spend money to prove it. Sullivan demonstrates how Bush is entrenched in the "moralist" wing of the conservative movement.

Michael Segal argues that Bush is smarter than the intellectuals who disdain him.

North Coast Blog - George W. Bush
News and commentary on President Bush.


QUOTES ABOUT PRESIDENT BUSH:

"Mr. Bush's central problem is not that he was lying about Iraq, but that he was overzealous and self-deluded. He surrounded himself with like-minded ideologues, and they all told one another that Saddam was a mortal threat to us. They deceived themselves along with the public � a more common problem in government than flat-out lying." - Nicholas Kristof

"From foreign to economic to social policy, Bush's record is a lesson in the limits and perils of conviction. He's too confident to consult a map. He's too strong to heed warnings and too steady to turn the wheel when the road bends. He's too certain to admit error, even after plowing through ditches and telephone poles. He's too preoccupied with principle to understand that principle isn't enough. Watching the stars instead of the road, he has wrecked the budget and the war on terror. Now he's heading for the Constitution. It's time to pull him over and take away the keys." - William Saletan (3/4/04)

"It should be clear to all by now that what we have in the Bush team is a faith-based administration. It launched a faith-based war in Iraq, on the basis of faith-based intelligence, with a faith-based plan for Iraqi reconstruction, supported by faith-based tax cuts to generate faith-based revenues. This group believes that what matters in politics and economics are conviction and will � not facts, social science or history." - Thomas L. Friedman

"Unlike Bush, Reagan was a man of ideas, an intellectual, a man who had thought long and hard about the world and developed keen ideas about what was needed to fix its problems. So he was able to argue, to make a case, to concede a point, to embrace a synthesis. President Bush, alas, can only make a case - in words given him by others. I have never witnessed him in public acknowledge an opposing argument or think on his feet. Those aren't his strengths. But they sure were Reagan's." - Andrew Sullivan

"[President Bush] wants to build like a space station on the moon, and then from the moon, he wants to launch people to Mars. You know what this means, ladies and gentlemen? He's been drinking again." - David Letterman

"The Republican Congress is spending at twice the rate as under Bill Clinton, and President Bush has yet to issue a single veto. I complained about profligate spending during the Clinton years but never thought I'd have to do so with a Republican in the White House and Republicans controlling the Congress." - Paul M. Weyrich, national chairman of Coalitions for America


BUSH QUOTES:

"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." - President Bush on the night he launched the Iraq war

Here's a very thorough list of the WMD claims made by Bush, Cheney and other administration officials prior to the war.



Bush's Budgets - Fiscal Irresponsibility

Everyone, including liberals, moderates and conservatives, seems to have a problem with Bush's budgets. This isn't very surprising since we've gone from huge surpluses to huge deficits in three short years under Bush. Liberals hate the tax cuts and conservatives hate the spending increases. It's refreshing to see conservatives finally speaking up and admitting that the deficits matter. Naturally, the Bush administration is denying the problem and playing with the numbers.

The National Review describes how the GOP-controlled congress and the Bush administration are spending like drunken sailors. Can the GOP really be trusted with our money?

FactCheck.org
analyzes increases in discretionary spending under Bush and how statements from Bush and the Administration are misleading.

Timothy Noah
in Slate details how Bush is having more trouble with the truth as he tries to defend federal spending under his watch.

Former Congressman John Kasich laments today's huge budget deficits, and offers suggestions on how to restore budget sanity.

Bush budget blasted -� Sloan.

Mort Zuckerman of U.S. News lays out a scathing indictment of the out-of-control spending and deficits produced by the Bush Administration and the Republican congress.

The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board rips the GOP for spending like drunken sailors and not being honest with the public about the real percentage increases in government spending under Bush.



Responses to Bush Critics

The Bush administration's playbook is pretty clear - when insiders question Bush policies, the response is character assassination.� It's an easy and sometimes effective strategy. The media loves controversy, and the right wing media is even more willing to go along. Joe explains in Time how the Bush administration gets ugly and personal in response to insider critics, and details how Cheney in particular got things started with cynical and vicious attack on Richard Clarke when he appeared on the Rush Limbaugh program.�

We've seen this story before with the administration's attacks on Joe Wilson and Paul O'Neil. With Wilson, someone in the administration actually "outed" Wilson's wife and exposed her as a CIA agent.


Credibility Gap

Fred Kaplan takes a look at how President Bush has often implied that Iraq was connected to 9/11 without explicitly making the connection.

Dana Milbank
outlines the Bush administration's pattern of contradicting or disavowing its own documents.

White House refuses to let advisor testify about withholding of Medicare cost estimates
(Knight-Ridder)

Foster: White House had role in withholding Medicare data (Washington Post)

Kennedy accuses Bush of 'credibility gap' (Washington Post)



Bush's Texas National Guard Service

This is becoming an issue again as Democrats try to draw distinctions between Bush and John Kerry. The articles below provide highlight the issues involved.

Ex-officer alleges that Bush's national guard file was 'cleansed' (USA Today)

White House releases more Bush records (MSNBC)

Bush credited for Guard drills; time frame still leaves questions
(Boston Globe)

FactCheck.org
dismisses Michael Moore's silly "deserter" claim and analyzes Bush's record in the Texas National Guard.

Eleanor Clift of Newsweek weighs in on Bush's service, or lack thereof, in the Texas National Guard.�

ProgressiveTrail.org outlines many of the charges regarding Bush's service record.

The Boston Globe broke this story in 2000. Click here for the Globe's first article and follow-up coverage.


Bushisms

"The Senator has got to understand if he's going to have -- he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."�

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."

Jacob Weisberg has been compiling hilarious "Bushisms" for years in Slate demonstrating Bush's difficulties with the English language. In "The Misunderestimated Man - How Bush Chose Stupidity", Weisberg introduces his new compilations of Bushisms and provides a sharp indictment of Bush's approach to his job.


Humor:

George W. Bush jokes (About.com)




Comments, questions and suggestions can be sent to Gerardo Orlando at editor@orlandoreport.com.

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