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1/21/2005
MIXED BAG OF NUTS
CATEGORY: General

Reaction at home and around the world to the President’s startling inaugural address was, if nothing else, predictable. Here’s a round-up of editorial opinion from newspapers here and elsewhere:

The New York Times sorta shrugged their shoulders as if to say “so what?”

Once in a long while, a newly sworn-in president moves beyond the deeply felt but slightly bland oratory and says something that people will repeat long after he has moved into history. Mr. Bush’s speech did not seem in danger of becoming immortal, but its universal intent suited the day.

The New York Post, on the other hand, fairly gushed with praise:

George W. Bush made it clear yesterday that he has no intention of resting now. He has eloquently challenged himself and his countrymen — believing full well that he, and we, will be equal to the task.

We pray that he is correct


The Chicago Tribune was cautiously supportive:

Inaugural speeches sometimes rise to history. Here is a prayer that Bush’s words on Thursday live beyond the moment, and that the next four years are defined not by divisions, but by the values that all Americans share.

Note: Lots of these editorials closed with a “prayer” that Bush succeeds. Being something of an atheist, I find it disturbing that the MSM is getting religion. What’s next? Prayer Breakfasts in the New York Times editorial board room?

The Los Angeles Times was reliably negative and insulting to boot:

A small man (in our view), who became president through accident of birth and corruption of democracy, he has been legitimized by reelection, empowered by his party’s control of all three branches of government and enlarged by history (in the form of 9/11). His second inaugural address was that of a large man indeed, eloquently weaving the big themes of his presidency and his life into a coherent philosophy and a bold vision of how he wants this country to spend the next four years.

Not only does the editorial reveal that the LATimes has forgotten 9/11 (even though they mention it, it doesn’t seem to cross their minds that anything should change because of it) they, like all liberals, seek to trivialize the momentous and complicate the obvious. On Bush’s opposition to using American troops for promoting democracy in 2000:

Not only does Bush now think otherwise — in the most sweeping terms — but he does not even acknowledge that there is a cost involved or another side to the argument. He makes it sound simple. Terrorism is bad, freedom is good. Coherence comes easier when you don’t sweat the details.

What part of “terrorism is bad, freedom is good” is incoherent. Frankly, I’ve never heard it put better.

The Washington Times issues a call for Reagan-like optimism:

The president avoided the cynicism that consumes so much of establishment Washington. It’s the cynicism which allows the president’s critics to consistently underestimate his ability to lead — and a vision of leadership is what the president offered yesterday. Cynicism has never once broken the chains of a slave nor, upon the ringing bell of liberty, inspire others to wonder, as the president asked, “Did our generation advance the cause of freedom?”

USA Today quotes the beating heart of the speech and approves:

There should be no disagreement over the underlying logic of Bush’s words: “America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one.” The question now is how the president will apply that logic.

The Wall Street Journal, as usual, gets it exactly right (Listen to the moonbats barking):

This clearly is a President transformed by September 11. He has drawn the essential lesson of that day, which is that the U.S. cannot consider itself safe from the world’s turmoil simply by ignoring it. In George Washington’s day, we could avoid “entangling alliances.” But not in a world where fanaticism bred in the tyrannies of the Middle East can hijack planes and fly them into office towers in Manhattan.

The Times of London, that diary of moonbat madness, can barely control themselves. Check that; they DON’T control themselves. That wet spot you see at the bottom of the editorial page is the result of a little “accident” caused by the editorial board of that ancient and august institution having a collective apoplectic fit:

Yesterday the transformation of George W. Bush from frat-boy-made-good to solemn champion of an urgent, messianic mission to transform the world was completed.

And this:

Four years ago he was the Accidental President, scion of a ruling family propelled into the highest office more by genetics and duty than by political zeal and ideological mission.

Victor, sort of, after a messy constitutional scrum left him in charge of a divided nation and holding a flimsy legitimacy, this apparently callow and unengaged new President seemed to match the times. America in January 2001 was fat, happy and self-absorbed with the trivia of the post-Cold War world.


Jeez! Get over it already!

The Toronto Star fairly sums up the dangers of the President’s policy:

It is hard to quarrel with a U.S. president who presents himself as a champion of democracy, and human rights. And Bush did say the U.S. has no intention of imposing its style of government on others.

But if U.S. pressure plunges the Middle East or Asia deeper into crises before those in Afghanistan and Iraq are sorted out, Bush may multiply the very tyranny, anarchy and terror he hopes to stamp out.


Finally, being THE company newspaper in THE company town for politics, The Washington Post gives a little, takes a little, and sums up the prospects for success of the President’s ambitious proposals for spreading freedom:

That’s a policy with which we agree—and which, until now, Mr. Bush has not pursued. He has promoted democracy when it has coincided with other U.S. interests, as in Iraq, Iran and the Palestinian territories. When opposition to tyranny has been at odds with security or economic policy—in Pakistan, in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, in Russia, in China—the Bush administration of the past four years consistently chose to ignore and excuse oppression. Anyone judging by Mr. Bush’s speech yesterday would have to conclude that U.S. policy toward those countries, and many others, is on the verge of a historic change. If not, his promise of “the greatest achievements in the history of freedom” will be remembered as grandiose and hollow.

The President’s speech will take a few weeks to sink in. The ideals and goals are so profoundly different-radically different-than the pious, platitudinous bromides about freedom and liberty tossed out like candy from a parade float in previous inaugural addresses, that Americans are going to have to get used to the fact that a seismic shift in international relations could be on the way.

The test will come in redefining our relations with three countries: Saudi Arabia, whose cheap oil we so desperately need to maintain a strong economy; Russia, where authoritarianism is beginning to rear its ugly head and whose nuclear stockpile is still dangerous; and a nuclear Pakistan, who like Saudi Arabia, has radical islamo-fascist elements in the government that not only brutally oppress their own people but who pose a real threat to America’s existence.

Those three countries have gotten pretty much of a free pass over the last four years. And that’s where the Presidents rhetorical rubber will meet the real politik road. That’s where our “vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one” idea will be most severely tested.

Cross-Posted at The Wide Awakes


By: Rick Moran at 5:58 am
One Response to “MIXED BAG OF NUTS”
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