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  • Bush advised not to admit mistakes

    Sorry I've been busy lately and missed the fun of dissecting what may have been one of the most pathetic presidential performances of all time. Bush is, quite simply, an embarrassment to our nation.

    Here's some insight into why George can't say he's sorry. If you go to the Salon link, it has the links for the original articles. As is typical with Republicans, they consider apologizing for failures as "weak". So much for the party of personal accountability.

    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/index.html
    Stubborn as strategy
    The Wall Street Journal and New York Times both look at the president's inability to apologize or admit mistakes during his press conference on Tuesday night. (We wrote about this here and here.) Turns out, although the president appeared to be wracking his brain to come up with a mistake he'd made, he had been told beforehand by advisers not to admit any wrongdoing.

    The Journal said "White House aides are convinced that admitting error would only embolden Mr. Bush's critics in the Democratic Party and the news media." And the Times had this colorful quote from a senior Bush aide who laughed out loud at the persistence of reporters who wanted Bush to admit something had gone wrong in the last three years.

    "We must return to the days of Jimmy Carter!" the aide said in a sarcastic invocation of a Democratic president that Republicans have long sought to equate with presidential weakness. "We must have malaise! We must have a weak president! We must have a morose Kerrylike apology!"

    And although the president rebuffed NPR's Don Gonyea at the end of the primetime news conference, saying he doesn't take action in response to polls -- "And, Don, you know, if I tried to fine-tune my messages based upon polls, I think I'd be pretty ineffective. I know I would be disappointed in myself" -- the Times said today that public opinion played a role in the White House refusal to apologize.

    "Several aides to Mr. Bush said that his unrelenting posture was as much aimed at a domestic audience as it was at showing strength to America's enemies. White House aides and Democrats said they saw little chance that any significant number of voters would seriously blame Mr. Bush for the Sept. 11 attacks." Perhaps if the polls suggest otherwise, Bush will reconsider.
    2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

  • #2
    Here's the full NYT article for those who don't wnat to log in
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/15/politics...print&position=
    April 15, 2004
    POLITICAL MEMO
    Bush Takes Strategic No-Remorse Stance
    By ADAM NAGOURNEY

    ASHINGTON, April 14 — It was no accident that President Bush passed up five chances on Tuesday night to offer regrets, contrition or an acknowledgement that he might have made mistakes in handling the Sept. 11 attacks or the war in Iraq.

    In fact, his advisers said Wednesday that there was near unanimity in the White House, starting with Mr. Bush himself, that the last thing he should do in his first prime time news conference since the Iraq war was to show any sign of remorse.

    Aides said Mr. Bush did not want to offer the sort of emotional apology that Richard A. Clarke, his former counterterrorism specialist, made, to the annoyance of White House officials, at the Sept. 11 commission hearings three weeks ago.

    After days of emotionally wrought hearings before the Sept. 11 panel, and rising questions about the course of the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush's performance on Tuesday was described by some Democrats and independent analysts as at least potentially risky.

    Bruce Buchanan, a professor of political science at the University of Texas, noted how President John F. Kennedy had called a news conference to take responsibility for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba and that it bolstered his stature with American voters.

    "He took the heat and his polls went through the roof," Mr. Buchanan said. "I think what people like is the willingness to accept responsibility, even when the consequences may not be good."

    But Mr. Bush's performance at his news conference was the latest manifestation of a leader who has seldom expressed remorse in public. And White House aides said it also reflected a change in the candidate and the political tenor from 2000, with Mr. Bush intent on presenting himself as an unwavering wartime president while diminishing his Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry, as weak on national security.

    One of his senior advisers broke out laughing Wednesday as he recalled the persistence of reporters pressing Mr. Bush on the subject of remorse, suggesting that contrition would have been a sign of weakness that was both alien to Mr. Bush and more typically found in the corridors of the Democratic Party.

    "We must return to the days of Jimmy Carter!" the aide said in a sarcastic invocation of a Democratic president that Republicans have long sought to equate with presidential weakness. "We must have malaise! We must have a weak president! We must have a morose Kerrylike apology!"


    Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, said: "I don't recall people asking that of F.D.R. after Pearl Harbor. The bottom line is we were attacked. Trying to rewrite history is just playing the blame game."

    The history of presidential contrition is certainly a sparse one. There have been two notable examples in the past 50 years: Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and Ronald Reagan when he accepted "full responsibility" in 1987 for his administration's effort to trade arms for hostages.

    Mr. Bush's advisers said that the president had anticipated the line of inquiry at the news conference.

    One adviser said the White House had examined polling and focus group studies in determining that it would be a mistake for Mr. Bush to appear to yield.


    The advisers said there were pragmatic considerations in his response to the challenges to his policy. Most obviously, they said, Mr. Bush did not want to give an answer that Mr. Kerry might use against him in the campaign. In addition, they said, any suggestion of error might undercut Mr. Bush's standing with his most fervent supporters and thus complicate his efforts to challenge Mr. Kerry on this issue.

    "It would really damage him tremendously with his base," said one Republican close to the White House.

    Not incidentally, several aides to Mr. Bush said that his unrelenting posture was as much aimed at a domestic audience as it was at showing strength to America's enemies.

    White House aides and Democrats said they saw little chance that any significant number of voters would seriously blame Mr. Bush for the Sept. 11 attacks. But Democrats have increasingly said that Mr. Bush might be vulnerable on the war in Iraq, given the fervor with which he has advocated it and the difficulties on the battlefield now.

    Joe Lockhart, who was a press secretary under President Bill Clinton, said that Mr. Bush undercut his credibility by declining to acknowledge any error on Iraq, from the intensity of the resistance United States forces have faced to the original justification for going into Iraq.

    "The president is always given the benefit of the doubt on issues of war and peace," Mr. Lockhart said. "The more he takes the position of, `Everything I've done is right and nothing is my fault,' the less credibility he has in making the case."

    Presumably, Mr. Lockhart said, this could help Mr. Kerry in his effort to raise questions about Mr. Bush's credibility and to present him as stubborn and headstrong.

    But Mr. Kerry declined on Wednesday to get drawn into the discussion of whether Mr. Bush should be acknowledging any error.

    "That's for the American people to decide," he said.

    A senior Bush adviser said that, in fact, was the last thing the American public wanted now. "Apologize for what?" the adviser said. "The American people are looking for purpose and resolve and focus."
    2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

    Comment


    • #3
      You know, the first step in *any* recovery program is admission. Then, of course, recognition and apology are also seps toward a positive change.
      "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. "
      -- Dennis, Monty Python & The Holy Grail

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nebulous_Blue@Apr 15 2004, 10:41 AM
        You know, the first step in *any* recovery program is admission. Then, of course, recognition and apology are also seps toward a positive change.
        Since Bush has already gone through at least one "recovery" program, you'd think he should already know that.
        2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

        Comment


        • #5
          “I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.”
          Damn these electric sex pants!

          26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

          Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

          Comment


          • #6
            whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

            I thought George the un-flip-flopper doesn't listen to polls?
            Dude. Can. Fly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dvyyyyyy@Apr 15 2004, 10:45 AM
              whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

              I thought George the un-flip-flopper doesn't listen to polls?
              Here's what W said during the press conference:
              -- "And, Don, you know, if I tried to fine-tune my messages based upon polls, I think I'd be pretty ineffective. I know I would be disappointed in myself" -
              Maybe that's the root of his problem - he's in a SHAME SPIRAL. He's disappointed in himself for fine-tuning his messages based upon polls, but he can't give up his addiction to them.
              2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just more of those unbiased sources and "ANALysis"
                And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Damtoft@Apr 15 2004, 12:03 PM
                  Just more of those unbiased sources and "ANALysis"
                  What a fucking joke you've become, JD.

                  In the other thread you complain that you COULD post articles that support your claims, but I would discount the source, so why bother. Here, you discount my sources - including direct quotes from the President - without offering any information in response.
                  2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're the fucking joke you belligerent hyper left trolling asshole.
                    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Damtoft@Apr 15 2004, 12:08 PM
                      You're the fucking joke you belligerent hyper left trolling asshole.


                      You've


                      Got


                      Nothing!
                      2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You're

                        an

                        asshole

                        (Yesterdays actually do count)
                        And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                        -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Damtoft@Apr 15 2004, 12:09 PM
                          You're

                          an

                          asshole

                          (Yesterdays actually do count)
                          I'd rather be an asshole with substance than an asshole with nothing.

                          You've got nothing, JD.

                          You don't even try to pretend you do any more - you go straight to the insults now.

                          You're such a chicken-shit that you have to hide behind other posters, like Far52.

                          Carry on with your insults, JD. I'm through with you for today. You've once again been exposed as a blowhard with nothing to say - my work is done.
                          2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When you get some "substance" let somebody know.

                            I won't hold my breath.
                            And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                            -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've been critical of Bush on many occaisions but I'd take him over a guy like Carter any day.
                              Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                              Comment

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