Saturday, August 13, 2005

Bush Handlers and The Wrath of Cindy Sheehan

A PR Nightmare with No Escape Leaves the President Looking Like a Coward

American President George W. Bush has a problem. A big problem.

While Cindy Sheehan's protest may seem like the immediate problem, the protests in Crawford the past few days reflect a growing plague upon this White House.

Bush's handlers have done a bang-up job keeping the president to his talking points, launching pro-policy campaigns, spearheading anti-protestor propaganda, and maintaining the president's fundraising obligations to the GOP.

But no amount of spin can overcome the images played out on network broadcasts across the world today. The presidential caravan, careening down a lonely road, speeding away from a group of protesters, led by Sheehan.

Regardless of what was on the president's schedule, it appeared, at least via the newscasts I caught tonight, that the President of the United States was running away.

Instead of simply meeting with the Sheehan and participating in what would more than likely be a very uncomfortable situation, Bush was led away from his ranch like a whimpering puppy with its tail between its legs.

In the real world, this is called cowardice. For the commander-in-chief of hundreds of thousands of troops bravely serving their country to run away from a middle-aged peace activist is an embarrassment to the country. If a president cannot defend his or her actions to the Electorate, he/she has no business pretending to be a leader of the free world.

Former First Lady Dolly Madison stayed in Washington until the last possible moment, saving historic treasures as the British burned the capital during the War of 1812. Theodore Roosevelt once gave a campaign speech after being shot by a would-be assassin. His cousin Franklin would later battle with crippling polio, enduring pain and suffering to maintain the public accord during the Great Depression and the Second World War. Harry Truman agonized over the choice to use of nuclear weapons against Japan 60 years ago. Ronald Reagan took a bullet, and even managed to crack a couple of jokes after his assassination attempt.

Courage to make choices and the wisdom to defend them is the burden that comes with living in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Americans not only expect this from its elected leadership, they also demand it.

If the president cannot defend his choices to his detractors and to hear out their concerns, then he is not fit for duty. If he can do no more than surround himself with those who agree with him, then he is both unwise and unable to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities. The American Presidency is supposed to be made of a tougher material than a kangaroo court filled with blind followers.

If the White House cannot answer Cindy Sheehan's simple question, 'Why did my son have to die?', then what kinds of questions can he answer? More importantly, what kinds of answers can President Bush give when it comes to the harder choices that may face the nation? Can he display the soul and sustain the internal torment of Truman in the face of a nuclear event involving the likes of North Korea, India, China, or Iran? Would he wither under a second major terrorist attack, running to some bunker while America burns and disgracing the memory of the Madisons?

There's a reason why the President was hurried off to a meeting with major Republican Party donors. And it has very little to do with raising money for party coffers.

The Bush Administration is afraid of answering its grassroots, Jane Sixpack critics.

And this administration should be.



Kara said...

I can't believe that he hasn't spoken with her! That is very sad... very sad indeed!

Anonymous said...

Bush is a damned coward! A disgrace to the office.

Smurf said...

I wish he had talked to her. IDeally he SHOULD have talked to her. But you know what? President Bush has the highest security clearance in the NATION... there are a lot of secrets, by the nature of his job, that he has to keep that they lay man like you or me... will EVER know! It's easy to judge with our limited knowledge of what is going on... but it's not always smart, accurate or fair to judge when we don't have all the facts!

Once again, to play the devil's advocate, so to speak, can GEORGE BUSH really take the time to deal with everyone that comes to the door and talk with him? Do you know how many AMericans there are? Could he publically address each and every family that has lost a loved one in the war on terror or whatever reason. Like I said earlier, IDEALLY that would be the BEST way to handle it... but... there are a lot of facts and reasons for why he might not have done that. There could have been some sort of security issue that wouldn't allow it for a gazillion reasons. Will the Secret service allow the president to risk assasination to address a grieving mother?

I am not making light of her grief! I am not saying he shouldn't have addressed her personally... what I am saying is you are making a very BOLD judgement with only having a few facts and there could have been a ton of other factors involved.

Pissed Off Vet said...

As somebody who just got back from that shithole called Iraq, I can honestly say fuck George Bush and his policies. Protesting didn't bring my damn morale down...having buddies get killed for stupid shit did or having to kill somebody. That's a morale killer.

Bush answers to the americn people, every last one of us. nobody elected his sorry ass king. We vote in our president, so he's accountable to us! If he cant face US then he should get da fuck outta dodge. These motherfuckers aren sitting in some war room with all the facts! They worrying about how to make themselves look good at VETS expense.

I think we need more bold statements like what Sheehan is doing.

G said...

You're asking a lot of questions, J, that I'm sure are on the minds of many (and not just Americans). We've got to keep asking those questions, and keep pushing the issue, as Cindy Sheehan is.

If for nothing else than to see just how many times Scott McClellan can say "no comment" to the press. My money's on 10,000 and then he loses his voice.

Pissed Off Vet, glad I read what you vote. The media loves to give but one perspective from soldiers (that of support) and nothing else. The truth of how many of the men and women in the field actually feel about US policy must be told. Thanks for sharing how you feel - keep doing it - perhaps a blog of your own?