Bush as a leader?

I got suckered into voting for Bush last election (the “compassionate conservative”) but I can assure you that I won’t be making the same mistake again (not that it mattered since Gore won CA anyway). I am completely disgusted with his far-right-leaning administration, his seeming lack of intelligence and his blatant moral hypocrisy. Republicans want to talk about Bush as a strong “Leader”. Is he really a “leader”? Will he go down in history with men like Patton and Churchill? I think not.

Let’s look at how and where Bush has LED us so far:

  • Bush has LED us into a loss of 3 million jobs (and still counting) on his watch. Meanwhile, his economic advisor says sending more jobs overseas is GOOD for the economy (i.e. corporations and wealthy owners). Oh, and don’t forget that making hamburgers is manufacturing job <lol>.

  • Bush has LED us into the biggest national deficit ever due to the unnecessary Iraq war, unwise tax cuts for the already wealthy and unrestrained spending. Bush has yet to veto any spending bill to come across his desk. The lack of financial understanding in this administration will haunt us far into the future.

  • Bush has LED us into the quagmires of Iraq & Afghanistan. What’s next in 2005? Syria, Iran and/or North Korea or all of them?

  • Bush using fear & intimidation in the name of “Homeland” security, LEADS us into a world of paranoia, where we are supposed to live in fear our own shadow, with a terrorist supposedly lurking around every corner.

  • Bush LED us into the 9-11 disaster by ignoring previous intelligence that this sort of an attack was a real possibility. And even with the attack underway, with all of our super technology, we somehow couldn’t scramble fighters in time to stop even one of the 3 planes from hitting its target.

  • Bush is rabidly against environmental protection while pooh-poohing the cause and effect of worldwide rising temperatures on the climate, LEADING us deeper into the global warming or icing problem.

  • Bush wants to LEAD us into becoming an evangelical fundamentalist Christian nation, regardless of what anyone else’s beliefs are. This is no different than what any other religious fundamentalist faction such as the Taliban wants to do for their “perfect” religion.

Out of interest, who will you be voting for next time? Since you’re a conservative, does the alternative offered by Kerry seem less bad than Bush, and if so, will he be getting your vote?

I just heard that if you look at the household surveys data, the number of jobs is up by 700,000. This seems to make sense since the retail spending figures are up. If we had lost 3 million jobs, no way retail spending is up.

The deficit is not so big when looked at in comparison to GNP. Also, it’s less than the deficit to GNP ratio in several European countries. Are you willing to condemn those deficits too?

Can’t blame Bush for your fears about 2005.

Sorry, really if you are suffering from fears. I personally find the radical Muslims a lot more scary.

Are you saying if Gore had won the electoral vote those jets in NJ would have been off the runways a lot faster.

In order to scamble fighters, the crews would have had to get to their aircraft and the aircraft would have to be started. (I’m assuming we don’t generally keep pilots sitting in running interceptors.) Then they would have to taxi to the runway and take off, and receive vectors to the target(s). Then they would have to cross a given number of miles at a finite speed in order to reach the targets. So it would take a certain amount of time just to get the fighters in position.

But all of that assumes that the nation is on a war footing, and the pilots are scrambled for the purpose of shooting down aircraft. Before 9/11, we didn’t conceive of people using passenger aircraft as weapons. As far as anyone knew, 9/11 was a just case of coordinated hijackings. The accepted procedure was (for the aircrew) to cooperate; or (for pursuing aircraft) to follow the hijacked aircraft to see what it does. Remember: the first plane to go in was thought to be an accident. When the second plane went in, people were like “Huh? What the…?” Could this be an attack? Could there be something seriously wrong with our Air Traffic Control system, and the pilots are being directed into tall buildings by a combination of a computer error and inattention? Could it be something else?

And then, once it became clear that these were diliberate attacks, someone had to give the order to do the unthinkable: to shoot down a commercial aircraft filled with innocent civilians.

All of that takes time. Now, I don’t like Bush either; but he really can’t be blamed for not shooting down the 9/11 passenger jets.

Being a leader is many things… and Bush certainly knows how to do the “man’s man” image. He is a leader in as much as he reflects what the common american respects and the “straight talking” he imagines is honest.

As for leading the government and being a real leader I think he fails badly... between Rummy, Rice, Cheney, Warhawks and Powell, Bush is being tugged along as a facade. These are way smarter and politicized people compared to him.

Nonsense. Retail spending can increase for any number of factors regardless of any change in employment. Employment may or may not be up, but a tick up in retail spending does not prove or confirm it.

That said, it probably doesn’t make too much sense to blame Bush for a lack in jobs: after all, he doesn’t control hiring or firing in corporations across the nation, not even really indirectly. The biggest single lever to change the job situation is controlled by Alan Greenspan, not Bush.

However, I would say that if Kerry’s tax cuts were passed instead of Bush’s, or even if they were passed today, they would have done a lot more to stimulate the economy.

Just to expand on what Rashak Mani said, the pattern we see in the Bush White House is similar to what we see in the weakest leaders in our history. Ulysses S. Grant, for example, came into the White House with a bunch of his cronies from his native Ohio and the Army in tow. The cabinet heads fought incessantly, jockying for the ear of the President and often working at loggerheads with each other. Corruption was so rampant that it became known as “Grantism.” He was swindled by a group of gold speculators that included his own brother-in-law who attempted to corner the gold market, leading to a financial panic known as Black Friday.

Warren G. Harding was also unable to control his cronies, commenting “I have no trouble with my enemies, but my damn friends, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.” The Teapot Dome affair resulted in the first American cabinet member going to the pokey.

Franklin Pierce had a man named Jefferson Davis whispering in his ear. Emotionally distraught over the loss of his child and drinking heavily, Piece allowed Davis’ advocacy of a southern route for the Transcontinental railroad to lead to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missori Compromise and led to a mini-Civil War in Kansas.

George W. Bush’s cabinet is out of control as well. Incompetence won’t get you fired in this administration, only percieved disloyalty. The offices of the Vice President and Defence have set up their own intellegence bureau (the Office of Special Plans) to stovepipe false intellegence to the President to convince him to go to war, illegally exposed the identity of a CIA agent, fought damaging interneccine wars with the State Department, and enriched themselves and the companies they are associated with at the expense of the taxpayer. Bush seems unwilling or unable to assert his authority over his cabinet, just like Grant, Pierce, and Harding before him. He is, despite his PR machine’s assertions, an extraordinarily weak leader chosen, like Grant, because he was a well-known brand name to run on. Histroy will judge him harshly.

“Leadership” implies “interaction between leader and group being led.”

Bush may demonstrate leadership with his cabinet, and with the people he routinely sees. Perhaps with Congress.

As far as the American people, well, he occasionally makes a speech telling us what he intends to do.

Not sure that’s “leadership.”

I’m about halfway through Ron Susskind’s The Price of Loyalty, his narrative non-fictional account of Paul O’Neill’s time as Secretary of the Treasury. From the beginning it shows Bush as difficult to read and tells that some of his key folks (including Colin Powell and Christine Whitman) were just guessing at what he wanted them to do. O’Neill served in the Nixon and Ford administrations and worked closely with Bush I and sometimes had dialogues with Clinton. So far the impression I get from this story is that

  • Bush is not as intellectual as previous presidents. He doesn’t strike me as a dummy, just someone who is so certain of what is correct or insistent on sticking to his commitments to his core constituency that he won’t bother to engage other opinions.
  • He has a core group that he works with and then keeps the rest in the dark (this is also a key Cheney trait); the core group is Cheney, Rove, Card, Hughes, Ashcroft and Rumsfeld. That said, he comes across as a lot more responsible, for both good and bad, then he is generally given credit.
  • There is no process for developing policy, beyond the political machinations of above group, particularly Rove and Hughes.
  • Although he’ll change his mind for something that is politically expedient, he is an incredibly closed minded person. The quote “I won’t negotiate with myself” is attributed to Bush several times. Some will see this as an ironclad will; I see it as a refusal to incorporate new data into one’s thought process.

As far as job creation, his administration has promised and would certainly take credit for job creation. Greenspan is only one variable in this equation. Greenspan does not generate a tax plan, he just controls the supply of money.

Most experts (including Alan Greenspan) apparently believe the payroll survey showing the loss is more reliable than the business survey. Here is what Paul Krugman has to say:

Well, they may not be records in terms of percent of GDP, but it isn’t that small either by historical standards. And the point is that we have gone from surplusses to large deficits in the matter of a few years. (We are at some record low for the past ~50 years, I believe, for federal government revenues as a fraction of GDP.) And, the deficit is really structural…i.e., it is not just due to the economic downturn and it will be very difficult to make it go away.

Well, your second paragraph here partially negates the first. But, just to emphasize, I think that Bush can very much be blamed. He sold us his gargantuan tax cuts largely-for-the-rich plan, as a stimulus plan (even though they were originally advertised as a “give part of the surplus back to the people” plan). So, having committed us to a fiscal disaster, the least we might expect is that this stimulus would live up to his predictions. And, he did make predictions in terms of how many jobs would be created. These predictions (which even if true, as Paul Krugman and others pointed out, made his cuts an incredibly pricey jobs program!) fell quite a bit short of reality unless you assume the jobs situation would have been so much more atrocious without them…And, I don’t think many economists would buy this claim.

Urgh!! That ought to read: “Most experts (including Alan Greenspan) apparently believe the business survey showing the loss is more reliable than the household survey.”

One thing we can learn from this is how healthy the US economy is. Its recovering DESPITE Bush… not due to Bush. Normally a heavy deficit should be a major economy booster and its barely heating things up.

I classify myself as a fiscal conservative and social moderate. I’m in the AbB camp and will be voting for Kerry as the only viable alternative capable of beating Bush. I may not agree with everything Kerry stands for or wants to do, but believe that he offers more than Bush. And I think, in the long run, Kerry will be better for the country overall, both internally and externally

While fighter jets are not generally sitting on the runway waiting to go, it is my understanding that they can be put up fairly quickly if needed. There was plenty of time to do this. Logically, even if nothing was done until the first jet was clearly going to hit its target, something should have been done knowing the overall situation and with 3 other unresponsive passenger jets in the air. Makes you wonder what would happen if say, North Korea lobbed a few missiles toward the west coast.

Fighter jets are fast and could have intercepted at least one or two of the planes. Here are some speeds:

And here’s a LINK to take a look at on the subject of scrambling the jets and was there time to do so.

But all this is after the fact. The information that terrorists might try this tactic was know back in the Clinton administration. It doesn’t look like Clinton administration put much stock in this information and it looks like the Bush administration followed the same path (which is interesting, given how much stock they gave the rumors of Iraq having WMD’s :stuck_out_tongue: ). I would have liked to see Bush admin to have taken some proactive actions prior to 9-11 instead of waiting until after the fact.

Not true actually. Bush did not lead us into this, or create it. This is the environment that he inherited. The economy was blowing off after a very long expansion, the tech bubble had burst, and there was 9/11 and the accounting scandals waiting in the wings.

If you want to blame and administration for leading us into these things, then I think you’d want to blame the Clinton administration, not that I think that that’s accurate either.

Some of this is the same as the last. When the economy corrects, tax revenues drop and any deficits increase. Secondly, tax cuts and government spending are fiscal stimuli appropriate to a recession. Thirdly, the amount of debt being created or carried really isn’t the issue. The issue is the ability to carry it. For example, carrying a million dollars at 1% is cheaper than carrying $100,000 at 15%. With rates as low as they are now, the government should be borrowing aggressively. So, the spending isn’t really a problem here.

These are both accurately examples of Bush leadership to which he is responsible.

I guess you weren’t in Madrid on Thursday. The world is what it is. You may find the patriot act and homeland security to be a bad reaction, and I won’t argue as to whether they are, or aren’t, but to parpahrase Yossarian it’s not really paranoia if they really are out to get you.


  • Bush LED us into the 9-11 disaster by ignoring previous intelligence that this sort of an attack was a real possibility. And even with the attack underway, with all of our super technology, we somehow couldn’t scramble fighters in time to stop even one of the 3 planes from hitting its target.

Do you blame Clinton’s leadership for the attacks from Al Quaeda that occured under his leadership, and for doing nothing about them? Should either he or Bush have had a crystal ball?

And what? Did you want Bush to shoot down every civilian airliner in the air on 9/11?

Which is it, warming or icing? You know, times between ice ages are relatively small geologically. We had a severe global cooling period right at the start of the industrial age in the 1800s. They use smudgepots to stop orchards from freezing. What if it’s all those fossil fuels that’s holding back the next ice age?

Do you really blame the total techno-industrial complex on Bush’s leadership? It seems to me that we’ve been burning fossil fuels for quite some time. The fact is that the third world burns a lot of coal and is going to continue to do so. There’s nothing much any President is going to be able to do about it except a feel good band-aid gesture.

Usually when one says what somebody else “wants” you can pretty much safely ignore the statement. Bush is certainly pro-religious but saying that he seeks to lead us into a talibanesque brand of fundamentalism is pretty ridiculous.

We will have to vote on this in about seven months. It will be 50-100 years before the general public will get their answer. Only G. Bush and a few others really know what is going on…Look at how the JFK stuff is just starting to come out now…

If you go here to the Scientific American website and download a 4 Meg file containing James Hansen’s extended online version of his March 2004 Scientific American article, he notes:

Yes, he could actually start to implement measures like the Lieberman-McCain Climate Stewardship Bill (instead of strongly opposing it) that actually send the market the signals that the emission of greenhouse gases are not free, so that the market will start working to solve this problem (and, at the same time, the U.S. will at least stabilize its emissions rather than having them continue to increase so that future cuts will have to be more and more drastic). Markets are totally sucky at solving problems that they don’t even know about but are quite good at solving ones that they do know about.

Whatever happened on Clinton’s watch is over and past. How long will Republicans go on blaming Clinton for everything bad that has happened in this world? Sheese, let it go. And 911 is not another excuse. A lot of us are tired of hearing one excuse after another from the Bush team. We’re tired of excuses, we need solutions! Bush’s job, like any CEO, is to take what he received from his predecessor and work tofix the negatives while enhancing the positives. Are we better off than we were four years ago? I and many others say no.

Carrying debt, even at a lower interest rate, still means you are carrying debt. And that debt has to be paid back. Who does the paying? Mostly, you and I, the taxpayer! Bush claimed to be a conservative and yet has not vetoed even one spending bill in the whole 3 years he has been in office!. This has even upset many Republican fiscal conservatives. Bush has turned out to worse than any liberal Democrat from a fiscal viewpoint. He has burdened us with large deficits by reducing tax revenues (primarily for corporations and the already wealthy) and yet tries to accelerate spending at the same time. It can’t and shouldn’t be done. If spending were cut as it should be, then we wouldn’t be in the negative fiscal position that we are in. With spending cuts, voters would realize that we have some serious problems that need to be dealt with now, not at some point later on.

Despite two tax cuts and outside of 1983, the lowest corporate tax revenue as a percent of the economy, jobs (and future tax revenue) keeps evaporating. In another thread, I posted that the local San Francisco Chronicle Sunday edition has exactly 9 ads under the COMPUTER heading today, as opposed to 3-4 PAGES back in 1999/2000. Bush’s economic plans ain’t working!

Oh, and by the way, we didn’t have “severe global cooling” before industrialization. We had some modest cooling in the Northern Hemisphere but because it was a local cool period in much of Europe, the Eurocentric history tends to magnify it. See here (600 KByte PDF file).

I don’t understand. Is that supposed to be a joke? http://www.rense.com/ has articles like “Americans Are Rothschild Proxies in Iraq” and editorials with references to hate sites.