Alex's Outlook

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Bush and Meet the Press

I have mixed feelings about Bush's performance this morning. If I were he, I would have thrown in the towel about WMD (while acknowledging the distant possibility of finding WMD later) and focused on the other reasons for the war: planting the flag of freedom in the heart of the Middle East, undermining Saddam's support for Palestinian terrorists and talking up Saddam's connections to other terrorist groups. Keeping the WMD thing alive just looks bad.

A lot of people besides Bush were wrong about WMD; it's time to move on. But at least he conceded that the WMD intelligence was substantially wrong, which was better than I expected.

I thought Bush was very effective in responding to the Kerry/Michael Moore slander about the National Guard - it isn't true, he has opened his records to prove it, and you can denigrate me but don't denigrate the National Guard.

There was too much of the "We're hunting down the maniacal ruthless killers" fare. Tedious. You've already used that phraseology about 99999 times. No need to flog a dead horse.

Explaining away the $521 billion deficit as "it's all the war's fault" is stupid. Bush has been fiscally reckless. On the upside, he did take a stand against Congress' bloated transportation bill, but he got the details wrong. "I understand that the Senate version is about $370 billion and the House's is somewhat less than that"? Actually, the House version is the $370 billion one, and the Senate's is $311 billion. Pretty minor, but to me it crystallized Bush's careless attitude about domestic spending. The deficit issue could get really ugly if the Democrats decide to generate a PR debacle for Bush by voting en masse for the bill and helping the corrupt big-spending Republicans override Bush's certain veto. The deficit is doing Bush major damage, and he would have spared himself a lot of grief by acting earlier to put fatcat spenders Ted Stevens and Don Young (both R-Alaska) on a leash.

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