Skip to comments.Bush Tapes Not a Precursor to Armageddon (FR mentioned)
Posted on 02/22/2005 7:33:39 AM PST by Flightdeck
"It's over!" Or: "Worlds are colliding! Unfastened is Pandora's box, and it heralds apocalyptic days of doom - the end of the Republican reign." Or even: "Hell hath no fury like Bush's unbridled tongue: Tapes of President Bush speaking unedited, uncoached and unchecked are loosed to do their bidding!"
This is what one would expect to hear from mortified Bush supporters after just such a bombshell announcement - the release of private presidential tapes.
From a president who has coined (and I use this word as disdainfully as possible) words such as "misunderestimate," "Hispanically," and "the Internets" in rehearsed stump speeches and - Heaven help us! - an actual presidential debate, news that The New York Times has heard nine hours of unabridged and unaided Bushspeak is surely a conservative dystopia.
Doug Wead, an author and former aide to George H.W. Bush, provided the Times this series of a dozen tapes which captured Bush's thoughts, ideas and candor on every issue from his faith and quasi-blemished past to Cabinet appointees and gay marriage.
The disaster that conservatives crossed fingers in hopes of avoiding never came, much to the chagrin of the circle-and-slash W. crowd. One relieved Free Republic blogger put it best: "Thank God... [Bush] is what he is, has been and will always be: himself."
This guy got it exactly right: Bush is always Bush. Just imagine the incrimination that would come from nine hours of off-the-cuff, "private" recordings between Clinton and a trusted friend. Remember the 18-minute mystery gap that "happened" into Nixon's secretly taped conversation with his chief of staff? Or what about Lyndon Johnson's confidential tape stash? For a president, secret tapes are about as damning as it gets. But, these tapes don't incriminate or condemn: Bush in private is Bush in public. He is himself.
I admit it: Having never met the president, I find it difficult at times to defend him or his thoughts (or lack thereof). And I can't trust the explications he or his press secretary or Cabinet members put forward to the public as guiltless, spin-free and veritable. Now, enter secret tapes.
No preparation, no politicking, no putting the best foot forward; if you want real, this is it. The tapes are full of Bush genuineness like misused words, a Texan patois and that occasionally braggart swagger. It's a complete package; Bush is always Bush, and that's inclusive of those idiosyncrasies that make him the object of vituperative, filthy mudslinging.
Here's a sampling of W., unplugged:
Speaking about prominent evangelical minister James Robison, Bush told Wead, "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals. [I told him], 'Look, James ... I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?'" But he added, "Gay marriage, I am against that. Special rights, I am against that." Hardly anti-gay, yet consistent with his religious roots. (A bit of clarification on the motives behind a constitutional amendment.)
Though he's made mistakes, Bush is keenly aware that one of his duties is national role model: Bush told Wead about his past, "I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried." In Bush's words, "Baby boomers have got to grow up and say, 'yeah, I may have done drugs,' but instead of admitting it, say to kids, 'don't do them.'" I doubt any ambitious politician's desire to conceal a past (shameful or not) is entirely altruistic; however, when the unguarded stance to which he defaults in private is setting a meritorious example, that's certainly a start. Let's assume Clinton and Gore initially denied marijuana use for the same reasons.
His faith brings balance and pushes him to be a better man: He lists five life-defining moments: "Accepting Christ. Marrying my wife. Having children. Running for governor. And listening to my mother." He said of his experiences as a Christian, "I've sinned, and I've learned." And, "I read the Bible daily. The Bible is pretty good about keeping your ego in check."
Many in conservative circles are harboring enough ire at Wead to sink an anchored ferry, insisting he released these tapes to get publicity. In his defense, Wead says he withheld the juiciest and most intimate bits of tape. (He incidentally has a new book, "The Raising of a President," available.)
These tapes do Bush more justice than a passel of fawning NewsMax stories. They are uncensored and true. They define the president's uncontrived, unpretentious staidness more than any biography ever will. Never have secret recordings of a president done anything but bring dishonorable ignominy and reprehension to the highest elected office. In these tapes, Bush is his himself when he didn't have to be.
But what did I expect? After all, Bush is Bush.
Rainey is a journalism junior
This guy's a total leftist, with surprisingly an intellectually honest bone in his body. (Albeit tongue-in-cheek with the obligatory Bush bashing)
In another week, the left will be accusing Karl Rove of masterminding the leak of the tapes.
That's what they always do when an attepmted attack on Bush backfires. :)
Alas, this poor innocent has never met the sleazy likes of Pelosi, Reid, Waters, Dean and Kennedy. They certainly will find all the necessary meaning in W's tapes and inform us of what he really meant.
This would be interesting.
Absolutely, a very rare find. An ounce of honesty amoung a liberal. If Bush came out with a plan to feed the hungry, liberals would cry out that it is just a scheme to payoff Bush's 'Big Food' buddies.
Besides a trail of dead bodies including a previously trusted friend?
Some people just don't get it. After Podunk U. beats Notre Dame in basketball, you always hear how the Podunkers "over-achieved" and "played out of their minds", etc. etc.
You never heat the sportscasters or the prognosticators say "I GUESS OUR EXPECTATIONS WERE JUST PLAIN WRONG !"
According to DU, Rove was busy suiciding Hunter S. Thompson yesterday, but being the multi-headed hydra he is, I'm sure he could have found the time to script some spontaneous Bush moments, prior to his forcing CBS to use obviously forged documents.
Imagine what he could accomplish if he wasn't getting gay with Gannon all the time!
Maybe the tapes weren't done in secret. The oped below is really interesting. Maybe the NY Slimes got roped a doped again by President Bush:
Politics and the aversion to politics, law and law school, high and low culture, and the way things look from Madison, Wisconsin.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Are we sure the Wead tapes were recorded secretly?
The NYT reports that Doug Wead secretly recorded private conversations he had with George Bush back when Bush was planning his run for the presidency:
Mr. Wead said he recorded the conversations because he viewed Mr. Bush as a historic figure, but he said he knew that the president might regard his actions as a betrayal. As the author of a new book about presidential childhoods, Mr. Wead could benefit from any publicity, but he said that was not a motive in disclosing the tapes.
"Might"? But of course it would be a flat-out betrayal to make secret recordings of a conversation with someone who came to you as an old friend and sought advice, as Bush purportedly did with the man he called "Weadie" or "Weadnik."
The NYT puts the story of the tapes on its front page, and the first few sentences hint that there may be some juicy morsels in the tapes. But:
The private Mr. Bush sounds remarkably similar in many ways to the public President Bush. Many of the taped comments foreshadow aspects of his presidency, including his opposition to both anti-gay language and recognizing same-sex marriage, his skepticism about the United Nations, his sense of moral purpose and his focus on cultivating conservative Christian voters.
The similarity between the private Bush and the public Bush is so great, in fact, that I suspect the Times is being taken for a ride and Bush actually knew he was being taped:
When Mr. Wead warned him that "power corrupts," for example, Mr. Bush told him not to worry: "I have got a great wife. And I read the Bible daily. The Bible is pretty good about keeping your ego in check."
Bush comes across as a remarkably consistent, morally grounded man. Look at the material about gay rights:
Mr. Bush appeared most worried that Christian conservatives would object to his determination not to criticize gay people. "I think he wants me to attack homosexuals," Mr. Bush said after meeting James Robison, a prominent evangelical minister in Texas.
But Mr. Bush said he did not intend to change his position. He said he told Mr. Robison: "Look, James, I got to tell you two things right off the bat. One, I'm not going to kick gays, because I'm a sinner. How can I differentiate sin?"
Later, he read aloud an aide's report from a convention of the Christian Coalition, a conservative political group: "This crowd uses gays as the enemy. It's hard to distinguish between fear of the homosexual political agenda and fear of homosexuality, however."
"This is an issue I have been trying to downplay," Mr. Bush said. "I think it is bad for Republicans to be kicking gays."
Told that one conservative supporter was saying Mr. Bush had pledged not to hire gay people, Mr. Bush said sharply: "No, what I said was, I wouldn't fire gays."
As early as 1998, however, Mr. Bush had already identified one gay-rights issue where he found common ground with conservative Christians: same-sex marriage. "Gay marriage, I am against that. Special rights, I am against that," Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead, five years before a Massachusetts court brought the issue to national attention.
If the tapes are what they purport to be, respect for Bush should grow. But how do we know Bush and his friend didn't stage the tapes? The Times tells us "The White House did not dispute the authenticity of the tapes or respond to their contents." Did the White House confirm the tapes were made secretly? That they were made at the time they are said to have been made?
The New York Times hired Tom Owen, an expert on audio authentication, to examine samples from the tapes. He concluded the voice was that of the president.
Well, good. But how did the Times convince itself that the tapes were made secretly? To me, they seem too good to be truly confidential conversations with an old friend.
From a president who has coined (and I use this word as disdainfully as possible) words such as "misunderestimate," "Hispanically," and "the Internets" in rehearsed stump speeches and - Heaven help us! - an actual presidential debate,OK, little college junior journalism student, why don't you actually grow up a little and get a job and some real world experience before you presume to disdain the president. You remind me of the little 12 year-old girl that the dems trotted out and thought it was so cute to see her reprimand the VP for his choice of words directed toward a reprehensible senator.
Freedom of speech means that you have the right to express yourself. Responsibility and maturity involves recognizing when you do and do not have the life experience that establishes your credibility to make an authoritative statement about something.
(Note - my comment is directed to the smarmy little author of the column and not to the Freeper "Flightdeck")
When I was young, unexperienced, and had not yet truly learned the truth about the utopian fallacies of the left, I would have considered myself somewhat to the left. But I later learned that what I was interested in was fairness and freedom for people, especially from abuse of power, and the marxist/socialist way was not it. Perhaps this is what happens to all of us who follow Winston Churchill's paradigm of liberal youth, conservative maturity.
And the intellectually honest will often go this way with time.
Wish they all would.
Some loser picked one of your posts to publish in a student newspaper in the above article.
All it means is that he has a heart. In 15 years, he'll have a brain.
The only prt I really have interest in commenting on is this-
The disaster that conservatives crossed fingers in hopes of avoiding never came
I never crossed my fingers. I know my President. I voted largely for him in 2000 on basis of Character and Faith. He makes mistakes but he has a good soul. That is not subject to Doubt, at least in my case.
"(Note - my comment is directed to the smarmy little author of the column and not to the Freeper "Flightdeck")"
And I was just about to post an indignant response. Actually my theory is that the press is so liberal because conservatives are busy being the newsMAKERS and the pathetic following little leftists are left to report on what we do.
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