Bush is a Loser? And Harry Reid is, what? A winner?

Ms. Newmark shakes her head in disgust at Harry Reid’s unfathomable stupidity and his nasty, quite wrong, undiplomatic, extremely partisan and hapless (considering the US President is on foreign soil) remarks. Then she reminds us of some of his other nasty, quite wrong, undiplomatic, extremely partisan remarks.

Ms. Newmark suggests that Reid is a dim bulb who should try shutting his yap, sometimes. I concur. And I cannot help but counter Reid’s assertion that President Bush is “a loser…[who is] doing a bad job” with this quite differently thought-out op-ed piece from the Baltimore Sun, which no one on planet earth would call a “Bush-friendly” newspaper: (H/T Democracy Project)

Signs of Bush’s success can’t be dismissed

By Herbert London
Still others view the president’s claims for democracy as a form of utopianism that like most utopias increases hope and accelerates failure.

That said, there are signs that the president’s policy is working, notwithstanding the criticism.

Surely the election in Iraq was a remarkable development and a clear sign that the people of that embattled nation wish to participate in the affairs of state. Despite delays and complications in establishing a government, the vote was an extraordinary triumph. Even ardent critics admit as much, although they rarely give Mr. Bush credit for the outcome. In their biased eyes, it is a manifestation of deus ex machina or spontaneous combustion, anything but Mr. Bush.

But there are other signs that have gone unnoticed or unreported.

On an Israeli television program in early February, an Egyptian politician who intends to run against President Hosni Mubarak said Egypt has much to learn from Israel. He proceeded to discuss the openness in Israeli politics and the virtues of democracy.

That an aspiring Egyptian politician would say this on a TV news program is nothing short of miraculous. It is inconceivable that this kind of admission could have been made three years ago.

Is this a sign of political liberalization in Egypt? It is too soon to say, but without the president’s commitment to democracy, even this modest gesture would not have been possible.

Perhaps more noteworthy is the reaction of the Iranian students to Mr. Bush’s plea for democracy. The Middle East Media Research Institute, which monitors Arab television programs, caught an address that President Mohammad Khatami made at an Iranian university in December.

The auditorium was filled with students as Mr. Khatami explained government policy on a host of issues. After only a few minutes, several students started shouting, “Don’t lie to us,” “No more lies.” Then a few more raised their voices. Finally, everyone in the auditorium was shouting. Mr. Khatami could not continue.

This episode was censored for Iranian TV, of course. But censorship does not eliminate student sentiment opposed to the ruling mullahs and for democratic expression.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn once remarked that if the totalitarians covered the Earth in cement, there would be a crack and from it would emerge a plant. Despite all of the efforts to control free expression, despite the gulags and the secret police, despite radical mullahs and terror groups, the desire for democracy is inextinguishable.

This is what Mr. Bush is counting on. The tyrannies in the Arab world have received the message. It is not clear which one will next be in the president’s sights, but if I were the Syrian or Iranian president, I would not be sleeping soundly.

This, I should hastily note, is not merely a military battle; it is – to use a well-worn cliché – a war of ideas. It is largely a question of letting grass-roots organizations make the democratic arguments the president has unleashed.

One prominent resident of the West Bank told me that Mr. Bush has caused a veritable tsunami in Palestinian political circles. If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seems more conciliatory than Yasser Arafat, that can be explained, he noted, by Mr. Bush’s actions and words.

Can the Bush Doctrine spread like political ripples across the region? Is this democratic impulse sustainable? Can democracy take hold in a region where the rule of law and individual rights haven’t taken root? Is Islam compatible with democracy? Questions abound.

Yet what is also clear is that the Bush Doctrine, the call for the spread of democracy, is having an effect. I am reasonably confident that from these small signs of openness and rebellion, big effects might emerge. This might not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen. And for this, Mr. Bush deserves our collective gratitude.

And Mr. Reid, and his pals…what exactly have they brought to the table in the last four years beyond sneers, jeers and the incessant “NO,” can anyone answer that? Anyone? Anyone? Can someone tell me Mr. Reid’s solution to the Social Security situation? To terrorism? To Immigration? To teenage angst? Anyone? Anyone?

What a deafening silence. What a freaking LOSER.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Darrell

    “Gee, Senator Reid, I want to be just like you when I grow up!” The fact that the MSM let Senator Reid get away with that tall tale, with hardly any commentary or derision, is proof positive that they are the propaganda wing of the Democrats.

    Ideas? None. Alternatives? None. Disinformation? Plenty. Calling the President’s plan for allowing 3-4% private contributions to SS accounts “privatization” –and not having that challenged by the Press? Grounds for dismissal. Hiring your own relatives while demonizing Tom Delay for doing the same? Business as usual.

    Maybe we should keep an eye on that kid in Nevada—just in case!

  • http://shotofpolitics.blogspot.com/ Joseph Marshall

    Having read the story to the bottom of the page, I can say unequivocally that Harry Reid has done one thing I have never in the past five years heard George W. Bush do:

    He admitted a mistake and apologised.

    He also did so immediately, clearly based on his own better judgment, and on his own initiative. He didn’t have to have it dragged out of him like Trent Lott, or, recently, Tom DeLay.

    That is a better quality of man than is the norm in politics.

  • Florian

    Social Security
    a) Bush doesn’t have a plan, he has one idea which doesn’t solve any problem of SS
    b)There are enough alternatives out there for the Government to propose (for example the Diamond-Orszag Plan), why should the opposition do it ?

    How about the McCain-Kennedy plan ?

    The 9/11 Commission was bipartisan, so Congress actually implements a plan partially formulated by the minority…

    Teenage angst
    What is this…? And what does Bush do against it ? And why should the government play psychiatrist anyway?

    Yes, Bush’s foreign policy shows some success in the middle east. Great, congratulations, but his domestic policies are a pretty big mess (maybe the ideas are good, but the implementation sucks, see Medicare)

  • http://shotofpolitics.blogspot.com/ Joseph Marshall

    Moreover, I just took a look at the Democratic Senate Leadership’s and Senator Reid’s personal website. This is something you should do if you really want the questions answered rather than waving them around for rhetorical effect with a demand that somebody else “tell” you them.

    Now it may be that what is over there are wrong answers. It may be that what is over there are incomplete answers. But they really do exist.

    Also, over there some very hard questions are asked (about the way we are treating our veterans, for example) which the people who think the American Flag is their own personal fashion statement (in the Blogsphere or elsewhere) apparently consider unimportant enough to even acknowledge.

    But then there are so many questions. Indeed, as the article you quoted states, “questions abound”.

  • TheAnchoress

    But in five years, you haven’t heard Bush call anyone in the opposition side a loser, or any other name, either.

  • Florian

    In one of Campaign 2000’s most memorable moments, Bush uttered an aside to his running mate Dick Cheney about New York Times reporter Adam Clymer. “There’s Adam Clymer — major league asshole — from the New York Times,”

    for some the NYT is the opposition…..

    Nobody is perfect, everybody is only human and makes mistakes

  • Mary

    An aside: One of the best things about the overheard “Clymer” remark was the non-apology. The Bush campaign issued a statement sying they “regretted the exchange had been ovheard” — that was it!

    Back on subject: Harry Reid is a small, mean, nasty little man who is obviously not ready for prime time. He looks like a small-time hack who is used to speaking to local groups of rabid partisans, not a diverse national audience that doesn’t share his far-out opinions and could very well find them patently offensive.
    As a conservative, I want clueless Harry to just keep doing what he’s doing. :-)

  • Zsa Zsa

    Harry Reid is a weiner!…Not a winner…Anyone who would actually say to the American public that Social Security is not in a crisis… I think he must be in his own world! Loser World…I hope you will pardon the expression, but that was as nice as I could put it! Thank you!

  • Zsa Zsa

    I don’t think there wsa any mistake in what George W. Bush said to Cheney!…I think that dude really was an ” asshole!”
    So I think his apology was very appropriate…WILLism.com directed me over here…Great Blog!

  • http://shotofpolitics.blogspot.com/ Joseph Marshall

    I think comments 7, 8, 9, & 10 illustrate better than anything else I could say about the integrity and value of a man willing to actually apologise for a mistake in judgement made in the heat of partisanship.

  • Darrell

    So now you admit that the MSM, like Alan Clymer, are an official part of the opposition party? There were lots of people that work with Clymer who agreed. Bush’s “apology” was appropriate. He is entitled to his opinion and he was unaware that anyone else was hearing his remark. Funny how his “mike” went live like that, and was recorded separately and not mixed in with the audio feed of the speaker at the podium at that time! Kerry never said anything at all about the similar incident during the early stages of his campaign in the Chicago area. “These guys are, these guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen.” Wasn’t asked much about it, either. Go figure.

    Have to buy some more flags now, just to annoy the Dems…Why does that bother you so? It just brings a warm feeling to my heart… Just like your “Che” merchandise does to yours.

  • Florian

    First let me state, that I am neither republican nor Democrat (and since I am only a guest in this country, but not a US citizen, I don’t think that I should affiliate myself with one of the two sides).

    Darrel, my comment about the NYT being part of the opposition stated, that some hold this view (from your comment I infer that you do), not that this was my own view.

    The issue of what Kerry said is irrelevant here, citing the quote of President Bush was to refute the statement made by the Anchoress that the President is not above name-calling.

    Honestly, I do not care what the President calls NYT reporter, or whether Senator Reid thinks that somebody is a loser. I do care about what policies both sides advocate, and there both sides have in my view major weaknesses.

    And plainly, I absolutely don’t care how many American flags you have. You are absolutely free to and even should honor what the flag stands for, but using the flag for partisan issues to anger people is definitely not a sign of appropriate reverence.

  • Darrell

    But see, my point is that Bush was not name calling. He was speaking to Dick Cheney, confidentially, he assumed. Reid was peaking publicly, so it’s not a fair parallel. The Anchoress was correct in saying that Bush did not engage in “name calling.” See the difference?

    And I don’t own flags to annoy other people. That’s the point. Why should it annoy anyone? Just a little sarcasm on my part. Poking a stick into the beehive. The last I heard, Democrats are free to buy or sell flags, even display them proudly. Even burn them. The bloggers I see that display flags on their websites do so out of pride. Any other assumptions are in your own mind.

  • Florian

    I don’t know the full record of what President Bush said or didn’t say, so I guess with enough scrutiny you can always find something you could see as name-calling. Also we could argue about the fact whether something said in private (altough is a campaign stage really private?), but reported in public, is still private or not. But if it is private, wouldn’t that imply that the President is a hypocrite (Speaking publicly different than what he really thinks ?). But again, why should I even care about it ?

    I guess I have to apologize for misinterpreting your comment, “Have to buy some more flags now, just to annoy the Dems”, which i interpreted probably a little bit to literal….I just didn’t get the point that it was sarcastic (though as an excuse english is not my native language).

  • Darrell

    It would be hypocritical (the Left’s self-proclaimed Deadly Sin) only if he called Alan Clymer one heck of a good fellow in public, before or afterwards. He did no such thing.

    You seem to have an excellent grasp of the language, except for not capitalizing certain words. Curious. Sort of like the British press during the Papal election who could never quite bring themselves to capitalize

  • tmt

    I don’t know how you figure a guy who won two Presidential elections, started Afghanistan and Iraq on the road to democracy, and has a beautiful family in his personal life is loser. I just don’t see it.

  • Darrell

    Up is down, lies are truth. That’s how.

  • Zsa Zsa

    George W. Bush is not a loser! He is such a great President! Political partisanship has no part in what George W. Bush has in mind for our country!…The partisan antics of the Liberal Dems. are holding progress back for America! It really seems to me the MSM and the Liberal Dems. have almost choreographed a little song and dance together. They are so in step with one another, it is amazing! They could perform together at Radio City Music Hall and The New York Times would give them rave reviews!

  • Florian

    my problems with capitalizing is not intentional, it’s either sloppy writing on the internet or the issue that my native language capitalizes so much more, so I am not sure whether to capitalize at all in english….

    Now whether somebody is a loser is a very subjective decision (well, except for Football, etc), so the Anchoress has every right to call Senator Reid a loser. But it is also possible to find reasons, why you could President Bush a loser. For example he was unable to prevent a war peacefully and he is presiding over one of the largest Budget deficits in history. Both are subjective views about policy decisions by President Bush, which would justify calling him a loser.

  • Florian

    And Zsa Zsa,

    the US has a

    REPUBLICAN President,
    REPUBLICAN House of Representatives,
    REPUBLICAN Senate,

    so why is it the out-of-power opposition who holds back Progress ?

  • TheAnchoress

    See, I don’t look at POLICY issues and say “loser” re anyone. When Clinton was president, I thought he was a loser when he diddled with a 21 year old intern, but not because of his policies. I think of “loser” as a word you use re personal behavior, not policy. And perhaps that is where I’m not on the same rail as everyone else.

    Discuss and debate policy all you want, “loser” does not enter into such a debate, if it is an intelligent one. Call someone a failed president or say his policies were weak (you say it about Bush and I’ll say it about Clinton, ok?) :-) But when you start to say, “loser,” or “asshole,” etc…you’ve left beside discussion of policy and you’ve descended into something else.

    Bush may have called Clymer an asshole, but he wasn’t president when he did it. Since taking office, he has conducted himself in a gentlemanly manner and you have not seen him or his staff call others names, not loser, not crook, not chromosome challenged, not nazi, not all the things the left routinely spews about this administration.

    So, yes. By my measure, Reid is a LOSER.

  • Patrick

    Careful about expanding your claim about name-calling beyond the President personally, Anchy; you managed to bring to mind a certain exchange between the Vice President and the senior Senator from Vermont.

    But you and Florian between you suggest a good point: “loser” is a relative term. If you’re going to call the President a loser, you’d better be prepared to answer the question, “Compared to whom?” I suppose every President can be called a loser if compared to the opposition’s ideal of a perfect President. But compare the current President to any real person practicing real politics today, and I think it’s tough to make the moniker stick.