Skip to comments.Latimer the Liberator?
Posted on 09/21/2009 7:47:02 PM PDT by BufordP
If Matt Latimers new book had been released a few weeks ago, the Tea Party marchers would have hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him -- laughing and cheering -- all the way up Capitol Hill.
Laughing, because Latimers new book,Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor, renews conservatives license to chuckle at ourselves. Cheering, because it lifts the burden of George W. Bush from our shoulders.
There are only two kinds of people who wont like this book. First are the liberal media who tied the Gordian knot that binds conservatism to Bush.
As Byron York reported in the Washington Examiner, Latimer relates a conversation with President Bush in which the president said that there was no such thing as the conservative movement and quotes Bush as saying, "Look, I know this probably sounds arrogant to say, but I redefined the Republican Party."
And so he did. The media narrative that was built upon that redefinition also established false boundaries around the idea, and ideals, of conservatism. That narrative -- that Bushism is conservatism and conservatism is Bushism -- is now, thanks to Latimer, shattered.
The media will fight Latimer to defend their narrative. They created it to push John McCain as the Republicans only chance to win in 2008 and pave way for Barack Obama to campaign on it successfully. They will do their best to bury this book. They know that once the narrative is debunked -- and now it has been -- the restoration of conservatism as the main political force in America will be accomplished quickly.
The other people who will fight Latimers book are the gaggle of Bush political staffers whose careers depend on maintaining the media narrative. They are already out there -- former White House
(Excerpt) Read more at humanevents.com ...
My short list ping
History will probably grade George W. Bush much more generously than the daily media, but he will not be recorded as a conservative.
The first reports on this book made Latimore look like an opportunist. The second reports seem to be revising that view.
Babbin certainly makes a good argument.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the book actually says. I don’t much like staffers who kiss and tell, but sometimes it’s justified.
And I guess many of us are split on Bush. He was not only good after 9/11, but he was reliable on the right to life, which Babbin doesn’t mention. But he was undoubtedly a big spender and a big expander of government.
So, let’s see what the book actually says.
Three kinds. One is the rest of us who don't like our minds made up for us by the likes of Mr. Babbin.
Thanks, I might have missed this.
Years and years ago, I labeled Bush as the ‘proto-McCain’. He paved the way for the full weasel.
Latimer has Bush pegged. This is a key passage:
Assigned to write a Captive Nations Week speech for Bush, Latimer relates how White House staffers Ed Gillespie and Barry Jackson were on a different frequency than Reagan or Latimer: they were tuned precisely to the Bush channel. This from Speech-less:
Traditionally Captive Nations Week was marked to remember dissidents around the world still trapped in captivity. It gained special prominence during the Cold War when Ronald Reagan used the occasion to give speeches condemning the tyranny of the Soviet Union. Reagan publicly celebrated the anniversary over the strong objections of his State Department, which warned about offending the Soviets. I thought the speech would be right up President Bushs alley another dusting off of his Freedom Agenda and a condemnation of dictatorships across the world.
But Ed Gillespie and Barry Jackson the man who wanted to compare Bush to Thomas Jefferson had another revelation. Theyd looked at a series of polls and decided to rebrand the Freedom Agenda. They even held meetings in the EEOB about it, complete with PowerPoint presentations and colorful slides. To their apparent surprise, it turned out that all that stuff the President had been talking about standing up to dictators and encouraging democracy around the world was unpopular with the American people. The war in Iraq was even more unpopular. (Again, these are the conclusions that were being drawn in 2008.)
By contrast, fighting hunger and disease in places like Africa and Latin America was viewed by Americans as a good thing. So it turned out that fighting river blindness and elephantitis and who knows what else was really what the Presidents Freedom Agenda had been about all along. (Wink.) As for the Presidents inaugural address the one supporting democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq and calling for an end to global tyranny? Uh, never mind. Now assistance to Africa, our one popular initiatives, was infiltrating our national security and foreign policies. The speechwriters were told to argue that battling HIV and malaria on a continent thousands of miles away was central, indeed essential, to Americas national security. Rebranding the Freedom Agenda was our version of New Coke.
So Latimer went ahead drafting the speech to land somewhere between Reagans beliefs and Bushs White House. The president didnt like the first cut, or the second. As Latimer found to his discomfort:
Now grossly dissatisfied with two drafts of the speech, the President finally told us what he wanted: a speech that recognized the freedom agenda as freedom from disease, freedom from poverty, freedom from despair. Oh, and freedom from tyranny too, if you could fit it in. It was true: the President really did want the freedom agenda to be about fighting river blindness in Botswana. I couldnt believe it. All the big talk about standing up for democracy around the world, well, that was clearly over.
Well, your other sources of information are the liberal media which thought Nixon was a conservative (when in fact he was the most liberal Republican president we had, ever) and Bush's smoke and mirrors public relations people that somehow managed to sell an expansion of Medicare and the expenditure of half-a-trillion dollars in Iraq to nation-build as conservative.
Thanks for the ping. It’s about time that conserviatism and Bushism had a divorce.
I am quoting MacArthur's closing statement at the Japanese surrender ceremony on the battleship USS Missouri, which formally closed out the Pacific War specifically, and WWII in general.
Something we did not need. Bush is just a McCain.
| Eight Wasted Years
...Margaret Thatcher used to talk about the ratchet effect. When the Left gets power, she said, they drive everything Left; when the Right gets power, they slow the Leftward drive, perhaps even halt it for a spell; but nothing ever gets moved to the Right. U.S. politics in the 21st century so far bears out this dismal analysis. What does the Right have to show for eight years of a Republican presidency? I supported George W. Bush in 2000 because I thought he had a conservative bone in his body somewhere. I supported him in 2004 because I thought him the lesser of two evils. At this point, I wouldnt let the fool park his car in my driveway. Bruce Bartlett was right, every damn word...Bill Gertz interview on Hannity and Colmes
Gertz: Well he casts himself as a compassionate conservative and I argue that he's neither. That his administration is neither. He's done tremendous damage to the conservative movement...
Here's another book to read:
I've had many reactions to the quotation, but this is the first that brought up American defeat. Actually, I used it because it sounded sunnier that MacArthur's other favored aphorism - "Only the dead have seen the end of war".
I wouldn't hold his arrogance against him. A humble politician is an oxymoron. What I do hold against him is his liberalism. On the other hand, we need to note that the other options were Gore and Kerry. And his primary opponent was McCain. Here's the reality - we compromise in our daily lives. We want a Porsche, but buy a Ford. And that's a decision we have 100% control over (assuming financing is available). At the polling booth, we are part of a decision that 100 million other people have a say in. It's a given that any president we get is going to be merely the lesser (or the greater) of two evils.
Actually, I do like the look of the Pinto. Too bad about the Ralph Nader-generated hysteria surrounding the gas tank:
The most famous Ford Pinto product liability case resulted in a judicial opinion that is a staple of remedies courses in American law schools. In 1981 in Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Co., the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District reviewed Ford's conduct, and upheld compensatory damages of $2.5 million ($5.86 million today) and punitive damages of $3.5 million ($8.2 million today) against Ford. It also upheld the judge's reduction of the punitive damages from the jury's original verdict of $125 million ($293 million today). Of the two plaintiffs, one was killed in the collision that caused her Pinto to explode, and her passenger, 13-year old Richard Grimshaw, was badly burned and scarred for life.
However, a 1991 law review paper by Gary Schwartz argued that the case against the Pinto was less clear-cut than commonly supposed. The number who died in Pinto rear-impact fires, according to Schwartz, was well below the hundreds cited in contemporary news reports and closer to the twenty-seven recorded by a limited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database. Given the Pinto's production figures (over 2 million built), this was not substantially worse than typical for the time. Schwartz argued that the car was no more fire-prone than other cars of the time, that its fatality rates were lower than comparably sized imported automobiles, and that the supposed "smoking gun" document that plaintiffs claimed showed Ford's callousness in designing the Pinto was actually a document based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations about the value of a human life rather than a document containing an assessment of Ford's potential tort liability.
The NHTSA put pressure on Ford to recall the Pinto. The NHTSA was largely motivated by public outcry and pressure from groups such as the Center for Auto Safety. Initially the NHTSA did not feel there was sufficient evidence to demand a recall due to incidences of fire. The 27 deaths attributed to Pinto fires is the same number of deaths attributed to a transmission problem in the Pinto. That same transmission problem resulted in 180 total deaths in Ford vehicles. In 1974 the NHTSA ruled that the Pinto had no "recallable" problem. (All the information in this paragraph is from a single reference )
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